Saturday, August 28, 2010

My version of Bharwan Karele ;)

Well, Pras loves his Karela. However, he loves them the south-indian way - with the skin not peeled and only the hard seeds removed, as a poriyal. I had other things on my mind when I picked up these tiny baby karelas from the store last week - yes, Bharwan Karela. ;)

I got home on Friday evening with plans of making this dish but had a customer feedback session by 6:30pm and I was sure that I would not be able to make the dish in time. Fortunately, Pras and I had a fight and we both went to bed hungry ;) Come Saturday morning and I was all set to make the dish.
It turned out real good that things were back to normal between Pras and me... So,here's how I made it :)

You will need :
Baby Karelas - 5 (preferrably soaked in salted water for a few hours)
Onions - 1 medium sized chopped finely
Tomatoes - 3 pureed
Garlic pods - 3 crushed
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Oil - 3 table spoons

For the stuffing :
Besan/Gram flour - 1 cup
Red chilli powder - 3/4 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Onion - 1/2 finely chopped
Water - to bind into loose lumps
Salt to taste

Method :
1. Scrape the skin of the karelas. Slit the karelas lengthwise - make sure that you don't go all the way through. Scoop out the seeds et al. I discarded the peels as well as the insides. Some people suggest using them in the stuffing.
2. In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the stuffing. Add just enough water to bind the ingredients together till they resemble coarse bread crumbs
3. Fill the empty karelas with the prepared stuffing
4. Heat oil in a wide skillet. As the oil heats, add the crushed garlic pods and cumin seeds.
5. When the cumin seeds crackle, add the chopped onions and fry till they turn golden brown.
6. Throw the red chilli powder and fry for a minute.
7. Put in the tomato puree. Fry for 3-4 minutes. Add garam masala powder and salt to taste.
8. Place the stuffed karelas in this tomato chutney. Pour some water till the karelas are partially covered. Cover the vessel and cook on low heat. Every now and then, you can turn the karelas around to make sure that they are cooked evenly.
9. Garnish with coriander and serve with hot rotis.

I loved it and so did Pras. The karelas were a bit bitter but the sweetness of the besan and the sourness of the tomato chutney blended with it well.