Sunday, August 3, 2014

Stuffed Karela (Bitter gourd) curry

Stuffed Karela curry is a tangy and spicy curry with not one bit of bitterness. This dish is great for rainy days and tastes best with a pot of hot rice. This recipe is a modified version of my mum's recipe. She usually makes only the stuffed karela dish which I modified into a curry. She used to make a karela & Raw mango rasam to go with it. This Rasam is made of very few ingredients but tastes heavenly. I will post the recipe some time this week.

Bitter gourd or karela may be bitter by taste but it is the sweetest vegetable for your health. As usual, I would like to list the health benefits of this miraculous vegetable.

* Bitter gourd juice purifies blood from the toxins and also helps to cure boils and itching on skin due to infections.
* It is a remedy for cholera in it's initial stages.
* Bitter gourd contains a compound that lower the blood sugar levels and hence the perfect vegetable for people with Diabetes. It improves the glucose tolerance without increasing Blood insulin levels.
* It also improves the stamina level of your body if consumed regularly in turn increasing your body's resistance against infections.
* Bitter gourd is also known to cure some respiratory disorders.

Stuffed Karela curry takes only 15 minutes to prepare and it is one of the tastiest Karela dishes you will ever taste. I made only 3 stuffed pieces out of 2 Bitter gourds, to serve Naveen and me [2 for me and 1 for him ;) ]. I used the other half to make Karela and raw mango rasam. You can make as many as you want but make sure to increase the quantity of stuffing accordingly.

Nutritional Information  (Approx) (per serving)
Energy  150 Calories
Fat 7 %
Carbohydrates 9 %
Dietary Fiber 1.8 %
Sodium 9 %
Vitamin A 10 %
Vitamin C 106 %
Calcium  16 %
Iron  8 %
Protein 4.4 Grams
Sugar 2 Grams

Ingredients: for stuffing
[makes 3 stuffing]
Onion 1 small
Red chillies 3
Garlic cloves 3
Cinnamon 1 small stick
Clove 1
Lemon juice 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

[makes 3 servings]
Bitter gourd/Karela 2
Lemon juice to marinate
Salt to taste
Oil 3 tablespoons (divided)
Onion chopped 1 small
Bell pepper (optional) 1 small
Garam masala powder 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1/2 teaspoon
Water 1 tablespoon

* Clean and cut the sides off the Bitter gourds. Cut them in the middle and take out the pulp and seeds out. Smear salt and lemon juice inside and out and keep them in refrigerator to marinate for 15-20 minutes.
* Meanwhile gather chopped onion, red chillies, garlic cloves, cinnamon stick, clove, lemon juice and salt.
* Grind them into a fine paste.

* Take out the marinated karela and stuff them with the ground paste.
* Heat oil in a frying pan. Shallow fry the stuffed bitter gourds in low flame. Once bitter gourds are fried evenly, transfer them from frying pan to a plate.

* Heat oil in the same frying pan and add chopped onion and bell pepper. Fry till the onion looks transparent.
* Add salt, turmeric powder, garam masala powder and the remaining ground paste. Also add sugar & water and mix well. Once the raw onion smell stops, add the stuffed bitter gourds and give it a mix. Fry for another 2 minutes and remove from flame.
* Serve hot with a pot of white rice.

* You can also add the pulp back to the stuffing if you can stand the bitterness.
* Make sure to check the taste before you add salt to the curry since the stuffed is seasoned well.
* We like the curry dry. Feel free to add more water and few chopped tomatoes to make it watery.
* You can skip bell pepper if you wish,  but the curry tastes better with a few pieces of bell peppers.

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