My friend’s grandmother has a delicious recipe (as gradmothers often do) for a bharlela/stuffed kaarla.

I have of course simplified the prep. Minimized the effort. And amplified the taste. Check out the bastardized version of my bharlela kaarla.


-5-6 bitter gourds (karli)

-1 tsp white sesame seeds

-1 tsp goda masala 

-1 tsp garam masala

-1/2 tsp aamchur powder/chaat masala/lime juice (dry mango powder)

-½ tsp coriander powder

-½ tsp cumin powder

-1 tsp red chilli powder

-2 tsp turmeric 

-1 tsp mustard seeds

-1 tsp cumin

-2 tbsp fresh coconut

-2 tbsp oil

Salt to taste

How to:

  1. Without peeling the bitter gourd, slit them in the center and take out all the seeds, but hang on to the seeds (we’ll use them in the stuffing)

2. Boil the bitter gourd in water, turmeric and some salt. Once boiled, take them off the flame.


3. Heat some oil in a pan—add asafetida and mustard. 

4. Add rest of the powdered masalas(except the garam masala). Then, add the cumin and sesame seeds.

5. Once it’s all fragrant add in the fresh coconut and the saved gourd seeds. Lastly tip in the garam masala.

6. Sauté it all for 8 mins on medium flame

7. Once the boiled gourds have cooled down a bit, discard the water and pat them dry

8. Stuff the gourds with the sautéd masala

9. Sauté the stuffed babies on the pan till the become crisp-ish/slightly browned

10. Serve with hot rice and ‘amabat goad varan

OH. MY ❤ 

Posted by:Lalita Salgaokar

Butter-loving Mumbai bred New Yorker.

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