Stuffed Karelay


This is one of my husbands absolute favourite but its a dish very much like liver curry .. You either love it or hate it – both the husband and I love it, but I hardly ever make it as it’s a dish that my kids are guaranteed to turn their noses up at which to be fair this isn’t a dish that many a child would like. 

Since i had a real craving for them the last couple of days I just had to make them and this time I even took step by step pictures which are up on my Facebook page @foodymama 


To serve 4 people you will need :

4 large karelay (1 per person)
1 lemon 
2 tsp salt 
6 large onions
1 1/2 tsp salt
3  green chillies
2 -3 tsp garlic paste/ 2 frozen cubes 
3-4 tsp ginger paste/ 4 frozen cubes 
1 tin chopped / plum tomatoes 
2 tsp curry powder 
Oil for shallow frying 

  • Start by taking one karaela at a time and with a knife lightly scrape off the outside skin. I don’t tend to scrape it all off only bits that are really knobbly and lumpy. Then carefully slit each karela in half down the middle – you dont want to cut all the way through as you won’t be abe to fill them.
  • Taking one karela at a time again, carefully open it up and remove the seeds and as much pith from the inside as you can. I find using a teaspoon makes it quick and easy and saves you getting bits of the pith stuck in your fingernails.
  • Place all the karelay in a bowl, squeeze over the juice of a whole lemon and sprinkle the 2 teaspoons of salt all over. Mix the karelay together ensuring they are well coated with juice and the salt. Set aside
  • in a heavy based pan, slice the onions and cook in a little oil till soft, add in the garlic ginger and salt. Cook until the onions are golden brown, add in the chillies, curry powder and tomatoes
  • Continue cooking through until the chillies have softened and slightly darkened in colour- this way they will be cooked all the way through- and the oil separates from the masala. 
  • Set the masala aside to cool completely. While the masala is cooling, the karelay should have released all the bitter juice. You should be able to see the juice at the bottom of the bowl, remove them from the bowl but as you remove them, gently squeeze them to remove any juice that hasn’t released, and fill the karelay once the masala has completely cooled.
  • To fill them, take teaspoonfuls of the masala and add to the inside of each karela being careful not to overfill as when you seal them with the toothpicks you’ll find it will spill out.
  • Once they are all filled seal each one by pushing a tooth pick from one side through to the other, i found 4-5 toothpicks per karela was right. You can also use string to tie them up, simply tie it at one end, wind the string tightly all the way round and tie up at the other end.
  • You should find that you have some left over masala which will be used also- set it aside and next step is to fry the karelay.
  • Fill a large heavy based pan with oil.. I didn’t really measure it out, i just filled my pan till it was about 2-3 inches fill. Heat up the oil on a medium heat and carefully place the karelay into the oil. I managed to fit all mine in at once, if not just add them in batches.
  • Fry the karelay till they are dark brown almost charred (but not black and burnt) all over. Carefully remove and place on a plate or dish with kitchen paper to drain any excess oil.
  • Drain all the oil from the pan that the karelay were fried in (if all your karelay don’t fit you’ll need a bigger pan ) and add in the left over masala. Carefully add the fried karelay back in, and on a medium heat, simmer the karelay and masala on a low for about 10-15 minutes just to ensure it  is heated up all the way through and serve. 
  • As an extra just before serving, garnish with fresh chopped coriander and crispy fried onion, remove all the toothpicks and place on to a serving dish . Serve 1 karela per person with the karela sitting ontop of the masala or serve as a main with chapatis.  

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