Stuffed karela is a dish that even karela haters will like. Dal, chawal and stuffed karela are a whole meal by itself. It does take some time for the preparation because you have to make the stuffing and then fill the karelas and fry them. But they keep well in the fridge for upto a week and so I tend to make about 8-10 at one time and we have them everyday till they are gone. My husband is a goan but he loves these karelas as much as fish. So that's saying some thing about them. Just try them once and you will be hooked.
6 small sized tender karelas
1 jumbo onion
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp kalonji or onion seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/s tsp turmeric
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp amchoor powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1-2 tsp Punjabi pickle masala
1 tbl sp green coriander or cilantro
1-2 tbl sp oil
Salt to taste
Peel the karelas and slit them and remove all the seeds.
Apply salt liberally both inside and outside. Keep aside for at least 1 hour.
In the meantime, prepare the stuffing.
Heat oil, add jeera and onion seeds.
Add finely chopped onion and fry till brownish in color.
Add turmeric powder, chili powder, amchoor, coriander powder, pickle masala, fennel seeds, salt and cilantro.
Fry for 1-2 mins and the stuffing is ready.
Wash the karela very well and dry them.
Stuff the above mixture in each one, filling them completely and then tie each karela with a thread so that the stuffing won’t ooze out when you fry them.
Heat oil, put the karelas in a single layer and fry on low heat uncovered, turning them every 10-15 mins, so that they brown up on all sides.
Remove the threads a serve.
My mom makes the mango pickle at home and it has fennel seeds, mustard oil, methi seeds and other spices. We take a tsp of this masala and add to the stuffing. Here in the USA I generally use either Pachranga mix pickle or Sanjeev Kapoor’s Punjabi pickle and use that masala. You can use any mango pickle or mix pickle for this. Just use the masala and do not use any pieces of mango etc in the stuffing.