Bharwan Karele Recipe - Bitter gourds stuffed with spices.

This is a Sanjeev Kapoor exclusive recipe.

Main Ingredients : Bitter gourd (karela)(करेला), Salt(नमक)

Cuisine : Punjabi

Course : Main Course_Veg

Bharwan Karele

Punjabi food is wholesome and full of rustic flavour. The custom of cooking in community ovens or tandoors prevails in rural pockets even today. The cuisine is characterised by a profusion of dairy products in the form of malai, paneer and dahi. The dals are a speciality of this type of cuisine, made of whole pulses like black gram, green gram and Bengal gram.  They are cooked on slow fire, often simmered for hours till they turn creamy and then flavoured with spices and rounded off with malai for that rich finish. The food is simply delicious.
The most unique thing about cooking in a tandoor is the smoky flavour that the food gets making it tastier. Moreover it is a healthy way of cooking since minimum fat is required and the food generally gets cooked in its own juices thus retaining its natural flavours. Besides it is not only easy to digest, it is also very hygienic.  In conclusion one can safely say that it is through tandoori cooking that Indian cuisine first got globally acknowledged.

For more recipes related to Bharwan Karele checkout Shukto , Karele Ka Salan . You can also find more Main Course_Veg recipes like Kalan, Pumpkin More Kozhambu, Cluster beans in mustard sauce, Malai Mushroom Curry. Or try out these recipes from Punjabi Cuisine like Kaale Gajar Ka Halwa, Healthy Mango Pickle, Pedewali Meethi Lassi, Aloo Ki Launji.

Bharwan Karele Recipe - How to make Bharwan Karele


Prep Time : 41-50 minutes

Cook time : 31-40 minutes

Serve : 4

Level Of Cooking : Medium


  • Bitter gourd (karela) 8 medium

  • Salt to taste

  • Oil 1 tablespoon

  • Onion chopped 1 medium

  • Ginger paste 2 teaspoons

  • Garlic paste 1 tablespoon

  • Coriander powder chopped 1 teaspoon

  • Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Cumin powder 1 teaspoon

  • Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Tamarind pulp 2 teaspoons

  • Gram flour (besan) 1 cup

  • Onion chopped 1 medium

  • Fresh coriander leaves chopped 2 tablespoons

  • Salt to taste

  • Red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon

  • Garam masala powder 1/4 teaspoon

  • Carom seeds (ajwain) 1 teaspoon


Step 1

Scrape and make a slit on one side of the bittergourds and deseed. Rub salt over and inside and set aside for an hour. Wash under running water. Set aside.

Step 2

To prepare the stuffing, dry roast one cup gram flour in a nonstick pan on low heat till it emits a nice aroma. Remove from heat, transfer into a plate and allow to cool.

Step 3

Add one chopped onion, two tablespoons chopped fresh coriander leaves, salt,half teaspoon red chilli powder, one fourth teaspoon garam masala powder and one teaspoon carom seeds and mix well.

Step 4

Stuff this masala mixture into each bittergourd and set aside. Heat oil in pan, add onion and sauté till light golden brown. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and sauté for two minutes.

Step 5

Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and mix well. Sauté the masala till it emits a nice aroma. Add the stuffed bittergourds, half a cup of water and salt.

Step 6

Cover and cook on high heat for three to four minutes. Reduce heat and cook for ten to twelve minutes, stirring gently at regular intervals. Add tamarind juice and mix well.

Step 7

Cover once again and let it cook for another ten to fifteen minutes till the bittergourds are properly cooked. Serve hot.

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