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Bharela karela nu shak | stuffed karela recipe | bharwa karela recipe

This is a simple and traditional gravy-based curry recipe made with karela and a special masala. The masala is made with peanuts, gram flour, and sesame seeds, which are stuffed into the karela to reduce its bitterness and develop all the flavors. It has a slightly sweet, sour, and medium-spicy taste, just like any Gujarati sabzi. This healthy, gravy-based side dish is not just limited to roti and chapati, but can also be served with rice variants. Do try this!

The key to making a tasty bharela karela nu shak at home is:
  • Firstly, choose fresh, medium-thick, and green karela for the sabzi. Remove its thick skin and seeds and boil it in salted water to decrease its bitterness.
  • Secondly, prepare a paste with peanuts, sesame, and gram flour, which gives a creamy and dhaba-style flavor to the sabzi. Also, prepare the masala a little spicy, sour, and sweet. You can adjust the amount of spices and jaggery according to your taste.
  • Lastly, bharela karela nu shak tastes great the next day, as it absorbs the masala well.
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Recipe Video

Bharela karela nu shak | stuffed karela recipe | bharwa karela recipe

Author Nehas Cook Book
No ratings yet
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Curry
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


For masala

  • 1 tsp oil
  • 3 tbsp gram flour
  • 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 3 tbsp crushed peanuts
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp jaggery
  • Some coriander leaves

For bharela karela nu shak

  • 300 grm or 4 medium size karela
  • Prepared masala
  • 5-6 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 chopped green chlli
  • 1 tsp chopped garlic cloves
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
  • ½ cup hot water
  • Some coriander leaves


Prepared karela for sabzi:

  • Take medium-sized karela and remove its tough skin. Cut it into medium-sized pieces and remove its seeds. Keep it aside.
  • In a pan, boil 3 cups of water and add salt. Mix well and add the karela pieces. Boil for 3-5 minutes until they are 80% cooked. Do not overboil.
  • Remove the water with a sieve and add cool water. Rub the karela slightly to remove its bitterness. Keep it aside.

Prepared masala for karela:

  • In a pan, add 1 tsp oil. Add besan and roast on medium flame until it slightly changes color.
  • Add fennel seeds and white sesame seeds and roast slightly.
  • Remove from heat and cool down slightly.
  • Add crushed peanuts, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, salt, cumin powder, garam masala, lemon juice, jaggery, and some coriander leaves. Mix well.
  • Add 2 tbsp oil and mix well. The masala is ready. Stuff it into the karela. Keep it aside.

Prepared bharela karela nu shak:

  • In a pan, add 5 tbsp oil. Add the stuffed karela and fry on medium flame until slightly crisp. Take out the fried karela onto a plate and keep it aside.
  • In the same pan, add the remaining 4 tbsp oil. Add cumin seeds, chopped green chilli, and chopped ginger. Saute.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and salt. Saute until the tomato becomes soft.
  • Add ½ tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder and saute.
  • Add the remaining masala and saute.
  • Add the stuffed karela and mix well with the gravy.
  • Add ½ cup hot water and mix well.
  • Cover and cook the sabzi for 5-7 minutes on low flame, so the masala gets absorbed into the karela.
  • When the oil separates from the sides of the gravy and the karela is cooked properly, the sabzi is ready.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with roti or rice.


  1. Cut the karela into medium-sized pieces and remove its seeds.
  2. Roast the besan on medium-low flame until it slightly changes color.
  3. The proportion of besan, sesame seeds, and crushed peanut should be equal.
  4. Addition of oil into the masala gives binding to it.
  5. Fry the stuffed karela on medium flame.
  6. Add slightly hot water to the gravy so the masala flavor and color should be maintained.
  7. Karela sabzi tastes great when it is slightly spicy.
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