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Bharwan Karela

Bharwan Karela recipe| Learn how to make stuffed Karela or Bitter Gourd with spicy onion masala
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Resting time rubbed with salt30 mins
Total Time55 mins
Course: Main
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: Bharwan Karela
Servings: 3 portions
Author: Swati


  • 3-4 Karela/Bitter Gourd pieces
  • 1-2 Medium sized Onions
  • 1-2 Green Chilies(optional) depending on heat tolerance
  • 2 tbsp Raw Mango(Grated) when available


  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 tbsp Coriander Powder
  • 1 tsp Amchoor/Dry Mango Powder when not using Raw Mango
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • Red Chili Powder as per preference
  • 1/2 Turmeric Powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1-2 tbsp Any plant based oil(like Mustard Oil, Olive Oil)
  • Oil for deep frying or shallow frying
  • ΒΌ tsp Asafeotida/Hing optional


  • Wash Karela nicely and scrape off the skin using a knife/peeler.
  • Make slits in between lengthwise and take out the seeds from inside.
  • Rub salt in karela pieces and leave for about 30 mins-1hr

Make Onion Masala

  • Finely chop onions and green chillies.
  • In a pan/kadhai heat oil, add asafeotida(if using), cumin seeds.
  • Once seeds crackle, add onions and fry till light brown in color.
  • Add powdered spices along with raw mango and salt and mix well.
  • Fry on low flame for another 1-2 minutes.
  • Take off the flame and transfer to a bowl.

Filling Masala in Karela

  • After an hour, squeeze off water from karela pieces. Wash in water if you want. Pat dry on kitchen towel.
  • Fill in the onion masala and seal the slit with tooth pick or thread(preferably).

Frying Karela

  • Take a heavy bottomed pan or kadhai, heat oil and drop carefully karela pieces.
  • Fry on low heat till cooked from all sides and light brown.
  • Once done, take out on a kitchen towel.
  • Serve with Dal Rice or chapatis/paranthas. Cut in half if pieces are too big.Also remove thread before serving.