Cook's Hideout: Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic (Kakarakaya Vellullikaram)

February 06, 2015

Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic (Kakarakaya Vellullikaram)

I am always looking for new ways of cooking bitter gourd, so when I saw this recipe on a Telugu cooking show I promptly noted it down. Then my sister asked me a recipe for stuffed karela and I gave her this recipe and they totally loved it. After hearing the feedback I decided to make it myself and she was right, this is a delicious stuffed karela recipe.
Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic
One thing I learnt from this recipe is we don't need baby bitter gourd to make stuffed curry. Just use regular sized ones and cut them into chunks. Remove the seeds from the middle and hollow out the centers, then stuff them with spicy ground masala.

Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic
Masala is made with roasted peanuts, garlic and few other spices. Original recipe didn't have tamarind in the masala, but I thought adding a little bit of sourness to it, will balance the bitterness in karela. It tastes great served with steamed rice. A must-try for all bitter gourd lovers or anyone who's looking for a new way to cook he old veggie :-)
Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic
Ingredients: Serves 2~3
Bittergourd/ Kakarakaya/ Karela - 3 medium
Dry red Chilies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Curry leaves -8~10

For the Filling:
Urad dal - 1tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1tbsp
Dry red chilies - 3~4
Garlic - 6~8 cloves (adjust as per your taste preference)
Roasted unsalted Peanuts - ¼cup
Tamarind pulp - 1tbsp (optional)
Salt - to taste

  • Cut the bittergourd into 2" pieces. Remove the seeds and carefully hollow out the middle.
  • Boil or microwave bittergourd with some salt and 2tsp tamarind paste. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.
  • For the Masala: Dry roast urad dal, dry red chilies. coriander seeds and cumin seeds until fragrant. Cool slightly and then grind into a smooth paste along with garlic cloves, roasted peanuts, tamarind paste (if using) and salt. Masala needs to be quite thick, so add just enough water.
  • To make the Curry: Stuff the masala into the cooked bittergourd pieces. Reserve the leftover masala to use later.
  • Heat 2tsbp oil, add dry red chilies, mustard and cumin seeds, dry red chilies and curry leaves. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the stuffed bittergourd pieces. Fry for a few minutes. 
  • Then add the reserved masala along with some water, mix well, cover and cook till all the flavors have a chance to meld together, about 5~6 minutes. Serve with steamed rice.

Stuffed Karela/ Bittergourd Curry with Garlic

Linking this to Valli's 'Cooking from Cookbook Challenge: February -- Week 1'.



  1. Really nice Pavani ...will try soon

  2. Awesome curry pavani. We love bittergourd as such and with that drooling masala, it will definitely be a big hit here!!!

  3. Am not a fan of bitter gourd but my family will love this .. Bookmarking to try soon !

  4. The flavors are so tempting & delicious, Pavani.


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