Stuffed Karela (Bitter Gourd) (source: Jiva Newsletter  July 2010)
Indian name: Bharwa Karela Stuffed Karela (Bitter Gourd)
Ayurvedic Properties of Bharwa Karela
Taste: Tikat, Katu
Quality: Light and Dry
Potency: Warm
Post-digestive effect: Katu

Medicinal Properties of Bharwa Karela
Bharwa Karela is difficult to digest and is bhrigan in nature, which means that it strengthens the body tissues. It is good for lowering blood sugar and improving functions of liver and pancreas. Bharwa Karela is not easily digestible therefore people with low digestive fire should go for smaller helpings.

Dosha Analysis
Bharwa Karela pacifies Kapha and Vata dosha. It increases Pitta; thus Pitta persons should use this in moderate quantities.


  • Four medium sized Karelas.
  • Salt: 1 teaspoon


  1. Cooking oil: 1 Tablespoon (Traditional cooking oil for this recipe is Mustard seed oil)
  2. Onions: 2
  3. Garlic Cloves: 4 (peeled and minced)
  4. Fresh Ginger: 1" (peeled and chopped)
  5. Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
  6. Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
  7. Turmeric powder: ˝ teaspoon
  8. Salt: ˝ teaspoon or to taste
  9. Amchoor (Mango powder): 1 teaspoon
  10. Water: 1 Tablespoons
  11. Roast besan: 4 teaspoon
  12. Seeds of Karela
  13. Karela skin
  14. Anise seeds: 2 teaspoons

Cooking / Frying

  1. Thread to wrap and tie
  2. Cooking oil: 2 teaspoon
  3.  Water: 2 tablespoons


Step 1: Preparing Karela
Wash Karela and scrape its skin with a knife. Cut a slit vertically in the belly of the Karela. Rub the skin and the insides of the Karela with salt. Set aside for about 20 minutes. During this time you can prepare the stuffing.

After 20 minutes, you will see the Karela releases water as a result of salting. Squeeze out as much water as possible. To control salt, you may wash rinse, squeeze out water, and pat dry.

Step 2: Stuffing

  1. Make a paste of Karela seeds and Anise seeds using the grinder

  2. In a heavy pan, heat the cooking oil

  3. Add onions, and salt. Sauté till onions are clear

  4. Add garlic, ginger, and stir well

  5. Add paste

  6. Roast this well and then add besan

  7. Add Cumin, Coriander, Turmeric powder, and Amchoor. Stir well. Sauté about two minutes.

  8. Add water and sauté another two minutes. Turn off heat.

Step 3: Cooking

  1. Boil Karela

  2. Fill the belly of the Karela with stuffing

  3. Wrap Karela with thread so that the stuffing does not fall out

  4. In a heavy bottom pan, put cooking oil, pinch of asafetida and Bharwa Karela

  5. Turn on heat. Cover the pan with the lid, and turn the heat to medium low and cook about 5 minutes.

  6. Turn over the Karela, cover and cook another 4 minutes

  7. Your Bharwa Karela is ready to eat.