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Gutti Kakarakaya ~ Stuffed Bitter gourds

Print version of Gutti Kakarakaya ~ Stuffed Bitter gourds
Gutti Kakarakaya – Stuffed Bitter gourds

We visited a friends farm recently and came back loaded with farm fresh vegetables. I plucked a few tender bitter gourds off the vine keeping in mind a favorite recipe that calls for slender gourds. The recipe in question is an Andhra classic – Gutti Kakarakaya. Its a simple dish and my favorite go-to recipe for special occasions. The roasting process intensifies the flavor of the stuffing while charring and softening the bitter gourds. The unmistakable bitterness of kakarakaya is balanced with the spiced, tangy-sweet stuffing comprising of onions, garlic, jaggery, tamarind and red chilies.

Gutti Kakarakaya Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 1 hr

Serves: 3-4

Cuisine: Andhra



6-7 tender bitter gourds, make a slit length wise and remove the seeds

small lemon sized tamarind, extract pulp

For stuffing:

1 large onion, sliced

4-5 garlic cloves

1″ cinnamon stick

1 tsp red chilli pwd

1/4 tsp cumin pwd

pinch of roasted methi pwd

1 1/2 tsp coriander pwd

1 tbsp grated jaggery or sugar (adjust)

salt to taste

For poppu/tadka/seasoning:

1 1/4 tbsps oil

1/4 tsp methi seeds

a sprig of curry leaves

1 In a vessel, add 1/4 cup buttermilk, pinch of salt and 1/2 tsp turmeric pwd and combine. Place the partially slit whole bitter gourd in this mixture for 10-15 mts. Remove any trace of liquid off the bitter gourds. Keep aside. [Note: This process helps in removing bitterness of bitter gourd. You can skip the soaking in buttermilk process if you want.]
2 Prepare the stuffing by heating a tsp oil in a cooking vessel, add garlic and cinnamon stick and saute for a few seconds. Add the sliced onions and saute till rawness disappears. Approx 4 mts. Keep aside to cool.
3 Once cool, make a coarse paste. Remove the paste into bowl, add salt to taste, red chilli pwd, jaggery, coriander pwd, cumin pwd and methi pwd. Combine well and stuff the bitter gourds with this paste.
4 Add the remaining oil in a vessel, add curry leaves and toss them for a few seconds. Add the methi seeds and let them turn brown. Place the stuffed bitter gourds in the oil along with any left over stuffing and cook on medium high flame for 2 mts. Now, cover with lid and let them cook on medium low flame for 15 mts. Keep checking in between and stir fry to ensure they don’t burn or stick to the pan.
5 Add the tamarind extract along 1/4 cup of water. Reduce flame and place lid and cook over low flame for another 10-12 mts. The water content should reduce. Remove lid and cook over low flame and let the bitter gourds roast well and it appears like a dry saute (mudda kura). It should take about 8-10 mts for them to be well roasted. Turn off heat.
6 Serve with rice.

Gutti Kakarakaya ~ Stuffed Bitter gourds Recipe

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 45 min
Yield: 4
Main Ingredients: bitter gourd onion tamarind

Gutti Kakarakaya aka Stuffed Bitter gourd (Karela) is a simple dish and my favorite go-to recipe for special occasions. The roasting process intensifies the flavor of the stuffing while charring and softening the bitter gourds. The unmistakable bitterness of kakarakaya is balanced with the spiced, tangy-sweet stuffing comprising of onions, garlic, jaggery, tamarind and red chilies.

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By • Oct 25th, 2010 • Category: All Recipes, Andhra Recipes, Indian Curry Recipes, Indian Vegan Recipes, Indian Vegetarian Recipes, Recipes Vegetable Dishes

  • Nishi

    Awesome recipe as usual sailu!!!

  • divya

    why should we put in buttermilk?never heard of this—can u plz let me know?

    • Sailu

      To remove bitterness of the bitter gourd. Its optional, though. You can use the gourds right away for stuffing by skipping the step of soaking in buttermilk mixture.

      • divya

        thank u sailu—i’m abig fan of andhra food n ur recipes r too tasty n its a huge hit in my house–thank u so much for sharing n keep blogging

  • Madhu

    Very nice recipe. I generally dont like bittergourd but after reading this recipe, I want to try out this dish. Lovely photos, as usual.

  • Priya

    Wow wat an irresistible stuffed bitter gourds..yumm!

  • Harika

    Wonderful recipe sailu garu….The pics that you post for any recipe are just awesome.

  • sudha

    hai sailu garu, chinna kakarakayalu dorakkapote peddavati to ela cheyyocho cheppandi please. recipe chaduvu tuntene tempting ga undi..

    • Sailu

      Try to use tender, slender bitter gourds as far as possible. If not available, you can use slightly mature bitter gourd by following the same procedure. Just remove the seeds.

  • Shivani

    I like Bitter gourd and your recipe looks yummy

  • Vikas

    hi sailu,

    in step 3 how do you make a coarse paste of this partially done seasoning. i mean what do you use for that?

    • Sailu

      I use my Sumeet blender (small jar) to make a slightly coarse paste. To this ground paste, add salt, chili pwd and rest of the spice pwds and that is the stuffing for bitter gourds.

  • meena

    hope things are fine with you. waiting for ur recipes since a long time. this is one of my fav, going to make tomorrow.

  • r.punitha

    Hi Sailu, i’m punitha from Chennai.
    Your bitter gourd recipe looks yummy !!!!!

  • surekha

    kakarakayi stuffing ila kuda cheyachu,besan,chillipowder,salt ,vamu dry powder mix chesi small kakarakaya nu centre lo cut chesi dry powder ne fill chesi daramtho tie chesi koncham oil lo fry cheyali it soo yummy u can also try. mee recipes chala, chala bagunayi nenu koni try chesanu naku cooking ante chala istam mee fan aypoyanu,

  • Sayana

    LOVE your recipes! They are simply authentic and delicious! Growing up Andhara I did not learn these from my mom but crave the food now!:-) Thank you!

  • Sam Kumar

    Hi SailuJi,

    i am trying ur dishes, they r delicious, Hmmm i should Thank U, and I wanna thank U soo much

    So, Thank U

  • VeeraVanitha

    Mmmm…. looks yummy. I know only one recipe with bitterguard, the deep fry. Have to try this new version. Thanks Sailu…you are awsome.

  • Himabindu

    Hi sailugaru new recipes Chala baguntai nenu mee fan ni aipoanu

  • Rajesh

    Hi Sailu garu, awesome recipe. May I suggest you add a print button so I can take the recipe print out… it would be hugely helpful :)

  • Hima Bindu Dupakuntla

    sailu garu me vantalu chala baguntayi!!!!!!!

  • Mca Vidhya

    yummy dissh… loved it… hope my kid will love too…