Kalounji is one of the rare East Indian dishes I have stumbled on over the years. Everyone is accustomed to the roti and choka etc., but this one you don't see often. Kalounji is made using Caraili or Karela (Momordica Charantia), better known as bitter melon or bitter gourd. And yes it is bitter, very bitter for some. But for me it is not as bitter as a bush we use as medicine called, Zebapique - ask any grown Trini about this bush, they know what I'm talking about 🙂
I hope you are prepared to eat some caraili this week. If you are not, maybe a little information on its nutritional value would interest you.
Nutritional Value of Caraili/Karela
Beside the bitter taste of this vegetable, it is really good for you once you get used to it. It has many medicinal properties, ranging from treating diabetes mellitus, to digestive problems. It is also rich in vitamins and minerals and helps raise the body's resistance against infection. Look at that, we get all these benefits from just this one plant...I guess I'll have to eat it more often!
After reading about this wonder vegetable and it's numerous benefits, I believe I will have to plant it in my backyard, together with the Zaboca. Ha Ha!. I'm used to eating Caraili either raw with salt and pepper or fried, but one thing remains the same, it is still bitter when cooked. Over the years I've grown accustomed to eating it, so the bitterness doesn't bother me; it's a taste you get used to after a while. I hope you do too! So without further ado here's Kalounji.
KALOUNJI (STUFFED CARAILI / KARELA)
The caraili could be stuffed with just about anything, such as mango kuchela, meat, fish, shrimp, etc. The recipe is basically straightforward. All you do is stuff the caraili and fry it. So here goes...
Boil the caraili for about 5 minutes in salted water. Boiling it in salted water takes out some of the bitterness.
When finished boiling, slit lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Stuff the caraili with your favorite stuffing. In my case, I am using mango kuchela.
Tie the caraili with strings to keep the stuffing from falling out while frying. Fry the caraili until brown.
Drain on paper towel and cut into 1" pieces and serve.
Here ends another exciting recipe. Hope you all visit the links I have placed in the post and learn a lot more about caraili.
Kalounji (Stuffed Caraili / Karela)
- Caraili Karela
- salt to taste
- mango kuchela
- Boil the caraili for about 5 minutes in salted water. Slit lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.
- Stuff the caraili with the mango kuchela. Tie the caraili with strings to keep the stuffing from falling out while frying.
- Fry the caraili until brown. Drain on paper towel and cut into 1" pieces and serve.
Note: If you like this recipe, please leave your comment below.