Bittergourd contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It contains twice the calcium of spinach and beta carotene of broccoli. Bittergourd can naturally bring down blood sugar levels. It is good for skin, strengthens and improves immunity.

Bharwan karela is one of the most loved dishes prepared in north India. This is a unique and delicious side dish, where bittergourd is stuffed with an onion masala and stir fried till crispy. It’s better to prepare with small sized bitter gourd. This dish is paired as an accompaniment wih rice or roti ( Indian breads).

I prepared with small sized homegrown bittergourd. It tasted delicious and there was no hint of bitterness. The stuffed masalas were too good and it tasted so delicious.


  • karela/bittergaurd small size 8
  • Onion big finely chopped 1
  • Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
  • Kashmiri chilli powder 1 -2 tsp
  • garam masala powder 1 tsp
  • Oil 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Thread


Wash the bittergaurd. Scrape the outer part with a spoon. Keep aside the scraped pieces in a bowl.

Sprinkle salt and keep aside for half an hour.

Heat a tbsp oil in a frying pan add finely chopped onion and when it turns transparent add turmeric powder, chilli powder, asafoetida, coriander powder and ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute on low heat. Add the scaped bittergaurd pieces, garam masala powder, salt and two tbsp water. Saute for two to three minutes, mix everything well. Turn off heat.

Rinse the bitter gourd. Blanch for a minute in hot water. Drain water completely.

Slit the bittergourd vertically on one side, remove the seeds. Add the masala inside each bittergourd and tie with a thread so that masala doesn’t come out.

Heat a tbsp oil in a frying pan, add all the stuffed bittergourd, on low flame. Cover it for sometime, turn and stir, cover and cook till done.

Enjoy with rice or Indian breads.

2 Responses so far.

  1. Pretty! This was a really wonderful article. Many thanks for providing these details. Sabine Deck Hyacinthie

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