Zhunka Bhakar and the House of Your Dreams
Spain and the World Table

Stuffed Bitter Gourd- Karela Sabzi a la Asha


In Bombay recently I visited an old friend where I was lucky enough to catch Asha cooking lunch.
It is a pleasure to watch her cook, very calm and collected and precise. Without making a mess in a four foot area for preparation and cooking ,she  produced three dishes in precisely half an hour. They were all simple recipes, without chilli and just delicious with red rice and a glass of buttermilk.

6 small karelas/ bitter gourd
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp amchur / raw mango powder
1 tsp jeera powder/ cumin
1 tsp dhania powder/ coriander
1/4 tsp haldi / turmeric
2 tbsp vegetable oil


Wash the karela well and grate the peel down. Add the salt, mango powder/amchur, the cumin and coriander powder and haldi / turmeric  and mix with the grated peel. Slit each karela down the side and scoop out the flesh and seeds. Mix with the grated peels and spices.Stuff each karela with the mix.
Heat a  3 litre pressure cooker and add  the oil.When hot fry the karela in the oil for a few minutes. Add one and a half cups water and shut the pressure cooker putting on the weight.Let it cook for three whistles then turn fire to low and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Take the cooker off the fire and check if cooked/. If there is too much water cook until the water evaporates.