Stuffed Bittergourd (Bharva Karela) (Method I)
4 bittergourds or karela; peeled and edges cut,
2 large potatoes; boiled, peeled and coarsly diced,
1 large onion; finely chopped,
2 red chillies; finely sliced,
1 tsp mustard seeds,
15-20 curry leaves,
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger,
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic,
1/4 tsp turmeric powder,
Salt to taste,
2 tbsp maida (all-purpose flour),
2 tbsp cornflour,
Salt to taste,
Oil for frying.
Boil water with salt. Roughly peel bittergourd and cut its edges. Make a vertical slit in each bittergourd. Boil in water for 5-7 minutes. When done, drain and rinse with cold water. Then deseed them and apply some salt to them. Keep them aside till you prepare the stuffing.
Heat 2-3 tbsp oil in a skillet (pan) and add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add curry leaves, sliced red chillies, garlic, ginger and onion. Saute onion on low-medium flame till it turns pink. Then add diced potatoes and mix well. Cover and cook for 2 minutes, then add salt and mix well. Now let this cook till it turns light brown in color. Then remove from flame and let it cool.
Mix together maida, cornflour, salt and little water to form a batter of dipping consistency. Spread bread crumbs in a plate.
Pour oil for deep frying in a kadhai (wok) and let it heat. Meanwhile stuff the karelas with the prepared stuffing, then dip into the flour batter, then roll into the bread crumbs and coat them properly. Stuff all the karelas similarly. When oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium and then drop all the karelas into the hot oil. Cook them till they turn crisp and golden brown in color. Drain and transfer to serving dish.
Serve these potato stuffed karelas with parathas and dal tadka.