Awadhi Karela Ka Dulma

Awadhi Karela Ka Dulma (Stuffed Bitter Gourd In Yogurt sauce) is an Awadhi vegetarian dish. Bitter Gourd is a very popular summer vegetable in Lucknow, though it requires great expertise to cook due to its inherent bitterness. In Awadh it is made so well that it really is hard to imagine that the vegetable was ever so bitter.


2 Bitter Gourd (Karela), cut cylindrical, center scooped

3 tablespoon Yogurt (Curd)

For the filling

3 onions , chopped

6 cloves garlic , chopped

2 teaspoon coriander Powder

1 teaspoon turmeric powder (Haldi)

1 teaspoon dry mango powder (amchur)

To grind

2 teaspoon Kalonji (Onion Seeds)

2 teaspoon Shahi jeera

5 almonds , blanched and peeled

Salt, to taste

Cooking oil, for cooking


  1. Clean and cut the bitter gourd into cylindrical shape, scoop out the inner part (seeds and flesh) and keep it hollow.

  2. Soak the cut bitter gourd in salt water in order to reduce its bitterness.

  3. To prepare the stuffing, in a heated flat pan, add kalonji, fenugreek seeds, cashew nuts and almonds – dry roast it for about 2 minutes. Then using a hand blander, blend it into a coarse powdered-mix.

  4. Heat another pan with a little oil and add ginger, garlic, onions and chilies into it. Sauté till the onions are translucent.

  5. Now add powdered nuts and seeds to this pan and stir well. Once done, stuff the mixture inside the karela (Bitter Gourd), packing it tightly.

  6. Stir-fry the stuffed karela along with the remaining stuffing material in the pan and stir fry it all together for few minutes.

  7. Now add curd slowly and fold it evenly, making sure that the karela does not break. Allow it to simmer for 2 minutes by closing the lid of the pan.

  8. Serve Awadhi Karela Ka Dulma with Indian unleavened bread