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Meetha Karela

  • Duration:
  • Serves: people

Authenticity Slice

To experience authentic meetha karela, make sure the stuffing is tightly packed with the dal mixture filling.

Trivia Tadka

A delicious Kashmiri dish, meetha karela bursts with various flavours in every bite. It’s sweet, sour, slightly spicy and bitter in taste. The best part, it remains fresh for 1–2 days. 


  • Bitter gourd (karela) ( 10)
  • MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • MTR Lal Mirch/Red Chili Powder (1 tsp)
  • Green chili, finely chopped ( 1)
  • Onion, finely chopped ( 10)
  • Nigella seeds (kalonji) (1/2 tsp)
  • Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) (1/4 tsp)
  • Cumin seeds (jeera) (1/2 tsp)
  • Fennel seeds (saunf) (2 tsp)
  • Peppercorns (sabut kali mirch) (1/2 tsp)
  • Cloves (laung) (5–6)
  • Sugar (10 tsp)
  • Mango powder (10 tsp)
  • Ginger (adrak), grated ( 1 tbsp)
  • Mint (pudina) leaves (1 bunch)
  • Split Bengal gram (chana dal), soaked for 30 mins (1/2 cup)
  • Mustard oil (sarson ka tel) (1 cup)
  • Asafoetida (hing) (1/4 tsp)


  • Slightly crush fennel, cumin, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds and cloves one by one in a stone mortar and pestle. Set aside and do not mix them.
  • Peel the karelas and slit them lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and pulp.
  • Make a mixture of MTR Haldi/Turmeric Powder and salt and smear it over the karelas. Make sure to rub the mixture on the inside of the karelas as well.
  • Set them aside in a tilted position, for 1–2 hrs, to enable the bitter juices from the karela to drain out.
  • After 1–2 hrs, squeeze the karelas between your palms to drain the excess liquid.
  • To prepare the filling, mix onion, spices (except hing), sugar and mint leaves in a bowl. Divide this mixture into two equal parts.
  • Divide this mixture into two and in one-half of the mixture, add split Bengal gram (chana dal) and stir to combine in a separate bowl
  • Now stuff the karelas with this dal mixture and seal the mouth with a thread or pierce with a toothpick so that it does not open while cooking.
  • Heat mustard oil in a heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add hing followed by the other half of the onion mixture.
  • Arrange stuffed karelas, neatly one by one, over the layer of onion.
  • Cover the vessel with a tight fitting lid and cook on a low heat for at least 45 mins or till karela and dal are cooked through.
  • The delicious meetha karela is ready! Serve it hot with garma garam chapatis.


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