Kam's Stuffed Karela

Karela, also know as Bitter Gourd or Bitter Melon has a strange appearance.

 vegetable karela

Fresh Karela

It is green, sort of an oval shape with soft ridged spikes on the outside. It's long tendrils gives it a mouse like appearance. There are a few varieties of this vegetable with spikes being sharper or somewhat rounder but the taste appears to be no different. I used to avoid eating this vegetable because it tastes quite bitter & I did not have much success in cooking it well, until I tried Kam's recipe.

Like me, you will most likely enjoy eating this vegetable after you have tried Kam's version of stuffed Karela. It has flavors of cumin, cilantro, garlic and other spices that blend together to mask most of the bitterness while retaining its own unique taste with the slightest hint of bitterness. Eat it with other curries, rice or roti and you will find that the meal is enhanced with this tasty dish.

Kam suggests that one could use the same stuffing with baby brinjals, also known as eggplant or aubergines.

Karela has remarkable health benefits and is used in a number of Asian and European cuisines. Research indicates that this vegetable has an action similar to insulin, helping in glucose metabolism. It is used for treating diabetes mellitus. It is also regarded as a good appetizer as it stimulates the digestive juices. For more information on research on the medical benefits of this vegetable check, RESEARCH.

Kam's version of this dish is delicious and is enjoyed by the family. My late mother, herself an excellent cook enjoyed Kam's Stuffed Karela. Here is the recipe


  • 3-4 Karelas
  • 2 tsps. mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek (methi seeds)
  • 1 green chilli
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 3 tsps. crushed garlic
  • salt to taste
  • ½ tsp. chili powder ( optional)
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1 tsp. fennel powder
  • ¼1 tsp.turmeric powder
  • ping pong ball of tamarind
  • 6 tblsps. canola oil


  • Wash the Karela in salt water and scrape ridges
  • Wipe dry and slit lengthwise, remove seeds if hard
  • Apply salt and allow to sit for an hour
  • Roast cumin, coriander & fenugreek seeds. Then grind in a coffee grinder. This step may be done ahead of time
  • Mix with garlic & rest of ingredients except tamarind
  • Soak tamarind the size of a ping pong ball with a little water. Mix to a thick liquid. If using the tamarind concentrate use a full teaspoon of tamarind.
  • Add the tamarind juice to the seed mixture, with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt
  • Fill karela with mix, cook in medium oil until soft.
 cooked stuffed karela

stuffed Karela

 baby eggplants/brinjals

Baby Eggplants/Brinjal

 stuffed cooked baby eggplants/brinjals

Cooked Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Baby Brinjals/Eggplants

Use this basic stuffing mix with baby brinjals/eggplants. Wash 4-6 brinjals and cut of green stems. Slice in middle and microwave for about 5 minutes until soft to the touch. When brinjals are cool, scoop out the flesh. Mix the soft eggplant flesh with the stuffing mix. Fill the shells with stuffing mix & sandwich together. Heat oil and fry gently on a medium temperature. Turn, to fry the other side taking care to keep brinjal intact. When eggplant is soft remove from pot. Serve with other curries or with just roti.

For more of Kam's recipes check
Kam 1: Tamarind Carrot Chutney
Kam 2: Kam's Hot Roasted Jacket Baked Potatoes with Pesto
If you have problems accessing these products or have any questions at all, email me, Nirmala, at
email address.
I will be happy to help in any way I can. The site will be regularly updated with tasty recipes and hints and tips. If you would like to submit a recipe you will find my contact information at Contact

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