Pakistan – Keema Bhare Karely (Mince Filled Bitter Gourd)
by Dahiza Umar
INTRODUCTION TO THE DISH
As from the season like this summer, bitter gourd is used as the famous vegetable cooked. This dish is very delicious when cooked with meat, mince and also with some lentils. Because of the bitterness, bitter gourd is usually neglect by many people. If you the exact steps to get rid of this bitterness you would have an amazing dish with some bitterness, richness, and texture of the vegetable. This dish is very simple but has many steps to cook the meat and bitter gourd separately and then assemble them together and put it into the gravy. The frying of the bitter gourd to remove its bitterness is very important but you would have an amazing dish.
This dish is basically from the Punjab region but cooked in every province as the national dish and loved by people. It is said that bitter gourd has a hot effect and fastened up your metabolism when eat. So during summer, it is not good to get a vegetable that fasts your metabolism. But the people of Pakistan have so much craze about this vegetable so they cook it during summer and enjoy this feast amazingly.
NAMING OF THE DISH
Name of this dish came into existence by the two main ingredients of the dish and the technique used in this dish. Like
Keema is known as Mince in English so in this dish we can add any kind of mince but in Punjab, Beef mince is an all-time favorite to add to this dish. So Keema is ”Beef Mince”
Karele is a urdu language word for ”Bitter gourd”.
So the full name of this dish is Keema Bhare Karely that means, Mince filled bitter gourd.
COMPONENT OF THE DISH
There are following components add on to this dish:
Mince is the main component that must be spice up with traditional Indian, Pakistani spices like garam masala, cumin, coriander powder, chat masala, some chopped vegetables like onions, green chilies, and garlic ginger paste. Then this spicy mince is filled into the main vegetable, bitter gourd.
This vegetable is the main component to which spicy mince is filled. Then this is fried and put into amazing traditional curry. This is very unique way to cook any vegetable but is very tasty and amazing. So remove the bitterness of bitter gourd, we have to follow some step like peeling, rinsing, washing, salting, frying to get exact texture and flavor of the vegetable.
The gravy is made to add stuffed fried bitter gourd into it is usually different from the usual gravy. This gravy has huge amount of julienne cut onions and tomato with some spices and yogurt to make it look like gravy. This gravy is not thin, it like a masala of onion, tomatoes, green chilies, garlic, ginger paste and spices.
This is a dish that goes well with all kinds of breads and roti like the following:
- Sada roti
- Sada Naan
- Roghani naan
- Roghani roti
- Khameeri roti, etc.
NUTRITIONAL ASPECTS OF THE DISH
- Calories: 750
- Fats: 60 grams
- Total carbohydrates: 40 grams
- Protein: 40 grams
- Fiber: 16 grams
- Preparation time: 20 minutes
- Cooking time: 40 minutes
- Total time required: 60 minutes
INGREDIENTS OF THE DISH
- Bitter gourd: 6
FOR MINCE MARINATION
- Beef mince: 250 grams
- Onions chopped: 2
- Green chilies: 4 chopped
- Cumin powder: 1 teaspoon
- Coriander powder: 1 teaspoon
- Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
- Green coriander : 1 bunch
- Mint : 1 bunch
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Red chili flakes: 1 tablespoon
- Onions slices: 4
- Tomatoes: 4
- Green chilies: 4
- Garlic paste: 2 tablespoons
- Ginger paste: 4 tablespoons
- Oil: 1 cup
- Yogurt : 1 cup
- Salt: 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
- Red chili powder: 2 tablespoons
- Cumin powder: 1 teaspoons
- Coriander powder: 1 teaspoons
- Garam masala: 1 teaspoon
DIRECTIONS TO REMOVE BITTERNESS OF KARELA
- Take bitter gourd and peel the skin off. Thin skin is peeled by removing the outer dark green color of grooves.
- Now wash them completely with cold water.
- Cut one side of the bitter gourd vertically to remove seeds so we can stuff mince into it.
- Seeds are removed completely, then wash it again.
- Ass 4 table spoons of salt over the bitter gourd and let it set so the bitter juice releases out the vegetables.
- After 30 to 40 minutes, the juice release and then wash it again.
- Now dry the bitter gourd completely by dabbing with towel to air dry it.
- Take beef mince and add all the spices into the mince.
- Mince must be finely coursed so make it more creamy texture.
- Chopped onions and green chilies are added to mince and mixed them properly.
- Beef mince must be dried, having no moisture or water into it.
- Let it rest to add into the bitter gourd.
STUFFING OF MINCE
- This spicy and marinated mince is stuffed into the bitter gourd.
- The side cut of the bitter gourd is the way to add minimal amount of the mince into the vegetable.
- Then secure it by applying thread to the end of the opening.
FRING OF THE BITTER GOURD
- This stuffed bitter gourd is then fried into oil.
- This is the step to secure the mince meat, then necessary to the bitter gourd to remove the bitterness.
GRAVY COOKING METHODS
- Take oil and add onions into the pan and start frying them.
- When onions are slightly browned, add tomatoes with spices and garlic ginger paste.
- This is cooked on low heat so the water of tomatoes releases and make it little soft.
- When moisture is absorbed, add yogurt and fried bitter gourd.
- Let this put on low heat for 20 minutes.
- And ready to serve.
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