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Recipes - Karela, Bitter Gourd


Bitter Gourd Pickle

2 medium bitter gourds, unskinned, sliced into thin rounds
1 tbsp.ginger peeled, julienned
8-10 flakes garlic, peeled
10 green chillies, chopped
1/2 cup lemon juice or white vinegar
1 tbsp. salt
1 tbsp. grated jaggery
1 tbsp. oil

Mix together:
2 tsp. red chilli powder
1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
1/4 tsp. asafoetida powder
1/2 tsp.(total) mixed crushed fenugreek seeds, aniseeds,
cumin seeds, mustard seeds
salt if required later

 Mix gourd slices, ginger, garlic, chillies, lemon juice and salt.Put in a sterile airtight jar, with nonmetallic lid.Shake well, keep aside. Shake twice a day for 2-3 days. Drain out all water in a dry colander.Spread out the veggies over a clean kitchen cloth to air out for 2-3 hours.Take veggies in a large bowl.
Sprinkle masala mixture, jaggery, mix well. Heat oil till smoky, in a small pan.
 Add a pinch or two of asafoetida, keep aside till almost cooled. Add to the mixture, stir and mix well. Bottle again in a sterile bottle, and allow to mellow for 2-3 days before using.

Bharwan Karela
4 medium karela (bitter gourd)
1-cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)
1 dried red chili
Garam masala:
4 cloves
2 cardamoms
1 inch cinnamon
2 medium onion (finely chopped)
2 green chilies (chopped)
1 tbsp ginger paste
2 medium tomato (chopped)
1 bunch cilantro (finely chopped)
Powdered masala:
1tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tbsp amchur powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
A pinch sodium bicarbonate
1.5 liters water

 Cut the ends of karela. Slit it open and remove seeds. Wash karela.  Add 1 tbsp salt, soda, and 1 tsp coriander powder to the water and let it boil. To the boiling water, add the karela that has its internals completely taken out. Boil the karela covered on medium flame 8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the oil, add cumin seeds, dried red chili and garam masala. When the cumin seeds begin to splutter, add onion and sauté for sometime over medium flame till onion turns transparent.  Add ginger paste and sauté for 3 minutes, then add all the powdered masalas and amchur powder. Add the chopped tomatoes and green chili. Sauté for 2 minutes and then cook everything covered on slow flame for 5 minutes. Put off the flame. The stuffing masala is ready. Take the karela out of the water, drain off the water well. Let it cool. When the karela reaches room temp, fill the karela with the stuffing. Then tie the 2 pieces of each karela together with the thread so that the masala does not spill off when the karela is fried. Heat 4 tbsp oil in a shallow pan. When oil is hot, empty the stuffed karela into the pan. Cook on one side on medium flame, then turn over put some more oil and cook it well from all sides. Put off the flame. Take the thread out of the karela.
7. Garnish with cilantro, lemon juice, and onion rings and sprinkle some amchur powder over the dish.

Baked bharwan karele

Bitter gourd 6 to 8 pieces
Ginger paste 2 tsp
Garlic paste 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Paneer/hung yoghurt 1/4cup
Peanuts 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Onion (large, chopped) 1
Ginger (ground to a paste) 2 inch
Garam masala 1 tbsp
Green chillies (chopped) 2
Fresh coriander (chopped) 1 tbsp
Tamarind pulp extract 2 tbsp
Jaggery (crumbled) 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Oil 3 tbsp
Cumin seeds ½ tsp
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds ½ tsp

Wash, slit, rub, salt and set side the karela for one hour. Bring water to a boil, add salt, ginger and garlic pastes and turmeric, add karela and blanch until soft. Drain and keep aside.
Ground peanuts, sesame seeds, cumin seeds and a roasted onion, to a paste. Blend the paneer/hung yoghurt, ginger, green chillies, coriander, jaggery, the garam masala and salt with the paste, mix well.
Heat oil in a frying pan add cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds, fry until they splutter. Pour over the paste and mix well. Pre-heat the oven to 275°F.
Put an equal portion of the filling in each of the karela, arrange these in a greased roasting tray, with the open end up, cover with foil, punch a couple of holes in the foil and cook for 30 minutes, basting at regular intervals. Remove and uncover. Alternatively, pan grill the karela on a non-stick pan with just a thin film of oil on it.

Karela Dahiwala


 6-8 karelas
1 tbsp salt
1/4 cup hung curd
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp roasted cumin
1/8 tsp asafoetida
1 tsp fennel seeds-roasted and coarsely pounded
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds-roasted and coarsely pounded
1/4 cup mustard oil

Method: Scrape off the rough surface of the bitter gourd; chop into rounds, rub all over with 1 tbsp salt and keep aside for about 30 minutes.Squeeze the bitter gourd to remove the bitter juice. Mix in the yogurt, turmeric, ginger powder, chilli powder, roasted cumin, asafoetida, fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds and keep for 1/2 an hour. In a pan, heat oil and add the bitter gourd. Turn over a few times on high flame. Reduce heat and cook them covered, till tender, stirring a few times so that they are cooked and browned all round, and fat separates.

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