Bharli Kaarli is what Suffed Bitter Gourds are called in the Marathi language. This is a very common dish in India, though one may find a variety of different recipes for the same from different regions. Small bitter gourds are generally preferred for this recipe.

One such general stuffing used in Maharashtra is made from coconuts. But it can be a drawback for people with certain lifestyle diseases where consumption of coconut might be limited or even restricted. In such a case, this recipe might prove useful. Also, cooking the bitter gourds with kokum in salted water helps do away with it’s bitterness. For those who prefer having them just as they are, this step can be completely omitted.

This recipe has been passed down to me by my elder sister. The day I tried it, I instantly fell in love with it!

For more such delicious recipes, do take a look at the following recipes too….

1. Bharilli Vaangi In NKGSB Style

2. Bharli Bhendi

3. Kaarlyachi Aambat Goad Bhaaji

4. Maharashtrian Masaale Bhaat

5. Daal Tadka

Here’s the recipe for the delicious and healthy Bharli Kaarli….


  • 8 Small Bitter Gourds (Kaarli/Karela)
  • 5 tbs Oil
  • 15 – 16 Kokum
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

For The Stuffing :

  • 3/4 cup Chickpea Flour (Besan)
  • 3/4 cup Chopped Onions
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bedgi Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Corriander Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp Garam Masala Powder
  • 1 tsp Tamarind Pulp
  • 2 tsp Jaggery …. Grated (can be substituted by stevia powder)
  • Salt to taste


  1. To make the Bharli Kaarli, first rinse the bitter gourds well with water.
  2. Scrape away the outer rough surface lightly, using a diaper or peeler.
  3. Make a vertical slit in the bitter gourds to create a pocket.
  4. Clean away any seeds from the pocket. Stuff each of the bitter gourd with 1-2 kokum.
  5. Transfer the gourds to a pressure pan and add water so as to cover the gourds. Add half a teaspoon of salt and close the lid.
  6. Cook for about 2 whistles. When the pressure releases naturally, drain the cooked gourds and set aside in a sieve to cool down a bit.
  7. Do not discard the kokum. Keep them stuffed inside the gourds itself.
  8. In the meantime, prepare the stuffing for the gourds.
  9. In a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients mentioned for the stuffing and prepare a thick mixture using water as required. Take care that the stuffing does not become too loose.
  10. Fill each bitter gourd well with the prepared besan stuffing.
  11. Heat a pan and add the oil to it.
  12. When it heats up, add the stuffed bitter gourds to the pan keeping the stuffed side downwards. Cover and cook for a while.
  13. Open the lid and sprinkle a little water on the bottom of the pan. It will be immediately soaked up by the besan mixture. This helps cook the gourds with less oil.
  14. Cover and cook again for some more time.
  15. When the bottomside as well as the besan are well cooked, flip the gourds and cook well on the other side too.
  16. When the gourds are cooked well on both sides, switch off the heat.
  17. Serve these immensely healthy and delicious Bharli Kaarli with some hot phulkas as well as with hot steamed rice and Daali Toay.
  18. Serve some Paalak Raita and Sukki Lasni Chutney too, for a complete healthy meal!

Author: tastyrecipesfrompooja

An artist by nature, I love painting, travelling to different places and photographing nature, gardening, crochet, reading, etc. It's my nature to give my best to anything and everything I do. From a person who could cook very few dishes..... I have converted myself to a person who now can cook varied dishes! I like perfection in all my work. Reading a lot of recipes, watching different famous chefs' cooking shows on television and observing their methods, techniques and tips very closely and studiously what has made me a very good cook today. Though there are numerous recipes I haven't tried my hand at..... there are many other in which I have gained exerpertise only by trial and error! I still watch all interesting cookery shows on TV to gain more knowledge on cooking techniques of other cultures from here and abroad!! Nowadays, I have started adding healthy twists to my dishes as and when I can without compromising on their original taste. Started this blog to share a few recipes of mine with all other cooking enthusiasts! Happy cooking to all! 😃


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