Stuffed Bitter Melon Recipes

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Falling In Love with Bitter Melon Recipe
Several months ago, I shared a bitter melon recipe (called karela in Urdu) that Baji (my husband's paternal grandmother) used to make very often for the vegetarians in the family. Unlike the Vietnamese variety (known as bitter cucumber), Indian bitter melons have a spiky outer layer. Shana from North Carolina (a regular reader) asked me a very good question. "What does karela look like?" I looked back at the published recipe and realized I hadn't taken a picture of the raw product. Better late than never, here's how the odd-shaped vegetable looks. So next time you visit an Indian grocery store, you might want to grab a few, deep-fry them and stuff them with meat or lentils. Bitter melon is an acquired taste but give it a try. You may love it!
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Stuffed Karela Recipe (Indian Bitter Melons with Chana Dal) Recipe

Bitter melon (also known as bitter cucumber, bitter gourd or karela) is an acquired taste. That's a polite way of saying a lot of people dislike it. As the name reminds you, it is bitter, but when cooked properly, it can be a delicious side dish. It is also very nutritious. One of bitter melon’s many properties is that it's supposed to lower your blood sugar, so it’s worth working it into your diet.

I've posted several Asian-style bitter melon recipes, but today I cooked it the way my father-in-law likes it. Compared to the Asian variety, Indian bitter melon (or karela) is much smaller and darker, and is covered with spikes. For this recipe, the karela is cut into chunks, fried and stuffed with chana dal. The fried rings of bitter melon are then simmered in masala tomato sauce. Fried onions and amchur, or dried mango powder, cut the bitterness and balance the flavors. You’ll still know you’re eating bitter melon, but you just might like it!


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