Grandmother Azra Syed’s Recipe for Stuffed Bitter Gourds With Mincemeat

Mrs. Azra Syed simplifies the complex Pakistani-style keema bharay huay karelay, making it achievable for all.

Raw bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Karela (Bitter Gourds)

Loved or loathed, the bitter gourd is a unique ingredient in the South Asian kitchen. Commonly found all over the sub-continent and China, recipes abound for this ancient vegetable ranging from simple crispy fried karela to the more elaborate stuffed karela with vegetarian or non-vegetarian fillings.

Ingredients prepped and ready for cooking stuffed bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Ingredients

500 g /1 pound bitter gourds
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tbsp tamarind (soaked in 200ml warm water)
500 g/1 pound minced beef or lamb
1 ½ tsp ginger puree
1 tsp garlic puree
2+2 onions (sliced)
½ cup oil
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala 
4 tbsp fresh cilantro
5/6 chopped green chilies
2 tsp sugar
½ cup yogurt

Peeling bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 1:

Scrape the bitter gourd (karela).

Seeds being scooped out of raw bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 2

Slit and remove the seeds. 

Salting bitter gourd vegetables (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 3

Rub in with salt and keep for one hour.

Stuffing the bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Method.

Step 4: After washing bitter gourds thoroughly, boil with tamarind and squeeze till dry. Add oil in a pan to prepare for cooking.

Parboiled bitter gourds, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Oil being added to a cooking pan, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Step 5: Add onions and fry till golden brown, then add garlic and ginger paste.

Bitter Gourd in the making: Sliced onions being added to a cooking vessel, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Onions being sauteed in a pan, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Ginger and garlic puree prepped for cooking, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Step 6: Next add coriander powder, turmeric and cook. Add water as needed to prevent the spices from burning.

A teaspoon of cumin is added to a cooking pan, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Stuffing for the bitter gourd in the making: Spices and minced meat being sauteed in a pan, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Step 7: Once the spices have cooked through, add yogurt and cook until water dries up. Then add the minced meat along with 1/2 cup of water, and cook till meat is cooked through.

Fried onions and spices and yogurt are sauteed and cooked down, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Raw mince being fried in a pan of spices and brown onions, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Spices and onions are cooked down in a pan with minced meat, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Prepared minced meat stuffing for bitter gourds (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 8

Remove the cooked meat from the pan, and set aside to cool.

Chopped coriander and chopped chillies being mixed with minced meat stuffing (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 9

Add chopped cilantro leaves & green chilies to the mixture.

Stuffed Bitter Gourds sealed with thread and ready to be cooked further (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

Step 10

Fill the bitter gourd with the mince meat and secure with cotton thread.

Step 11: Complete the dish by adding the rest of the onions to the pan, cooking them thoroughly. Next, introduce the stuffed karelas, followed by returning the remaining cooked mince to the pan. Enhance the flavor by incorporating a small amount of sugar.

Stuffed Bitter Gourds are added to the cooking pan, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Parboiled bitter gourds are added to a pan with spices and yogurt and cooked down, 2020, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Stuffed bitter gourds served on a plate (2020)SOCH Outreach Foundation

The stuffed bitter gourd dish is now ready to be served with your choice of flat bread or rice.

Grandmother's Recipe: Stuffed Bitter Gourds, 2023, From the collection of: SOCH Outreach Foundation
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Credits: Story

Produced by SOC Films 
Project Director: Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Producers: Syed Ayub , Sameer Khan
Project Manager: Huma Shah
Director of Photography: Murtaza Ali
Photography: Karim Baig , Murtaza Ali
Photography Editor: Karim Baig
Additional Video & Photography: Khurram Victor
Exhibits Writer: Nazia Latif , Sameer Khan
Exhibits : Syed Ayub , Sameer Khan
Art Direction : Rahat Niazi  
Associate Producer : Asad Pabani
Video Editors: Nina Zehri, Farhad Jamali 
Color Grade: Sourath Behan
Additional Video Editing: Mishal Adhami 
Sound Design: Sameer Khan
 
 
 
 

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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