Bharli Karli / Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Bharli Karli is popularly known as a stuffed bitter gourd. This is made in so many different ways from a dry sauteed dish to a curried version. This stuffed bitter gourd is balanced by the sweetness of caramelised onions and blended with taste spices. This makes an excellent side dish with some roti, paratha, naan or with a vegetarian meal.

Bharli Karli / Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Bharli Karli / Stuffed Bitter Gourd

Recipe by Ushakal GroupCourse: Main Course, Veg, Veg BreakfastCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 4 medium-size bitter melon/karela

  • 2 tablespoon roasted peanuts

  • 2 tablespoons grated / thinly sliced dry coconut

  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds/ til

  • 4-5 cloves of garlic

  • 2 tablespoon jaggery powder / gud

  • Small gooseberry size tamarind

  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds powder

  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala

  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

  • Salt to taste

  • 2 tablespoon oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

  • Pinch of asafoetida

  • A hand full of fresh coriander leaves


  • Wash the bitter melon, pat dry. Tip-off both ends and make 3-4 pieces of each melon. Slit each piece in such a way that it remains intact, but has a cut on one side.
  • For the stuffing, make a coarse paste of roasted peanuts, dry coconut, toasted sesame seeds, garlic in a grinder jar. Add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt to the paste. Add finely chopped fresh coriander leaves also to the stuffing.
  • Stuff the filling inside each bitter melon piece. Heat oil in a wok. Add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds crackle, add the stuffed melon pieces and stir-fry for 2-3 minutes on low to medium flame.

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