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Kheema Bharvaan Karela - Bitter Melon Stuffed with Minced Meat

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I've got to say, I don't like karela (bitter melon/ gourd). This dish however, makes for an unusual combination that tastes really good! The bitterness of the karela is removed (well almost) with a 'special treatment'!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium-sized karelas/ bitter melon
  • 1/2 cup vegetable/ canola/ sunflower cooking oil
  • 1 cup Masala Kheema (see recipe below)
  • Salt

Preparation:

  • Wash the karelas. Cut off top and tail. Slit them through lengthwise leaving 1/2" from top and bottom ends so that the two halves do not separate. Carefully, use a spoon to scoop out the pith. Discard the pith.
  • Put 4 cups of water in a deep vessel and add 1 tbsp of salt to it. Mix to dissolve salt. Put the karelas in this salt water and set up to boil. When water comes to a boil, simmer and cook till the karela skin begins to get soft. Remove from water, drain well and keep aside on a plate to cool.
  • Prepare Masala Kheema or used leftover.
  • Fill the cooled karelas with the Masala Kheema - use about 2-3 tbsps per karela. Tie with a string (to prevent filling from spilling out) and keep aside.
  • Heat 3-4 tbsp of oil in a pan on medium flame. Add the karelas to the oil and fry till crispy. Now turn and fry the same way on the other side. Add more cooking oil if required. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep on paper towels.
  • Serve with rice and Daal of your choice.
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