- 7 small/medium bitter melons (karela)
- 2 potatoes (½ pound)
- 1 tablespoon amchur
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin powder*
- Handful cilantro leaves, chopped
To cook the potatoes:
- Add 1 cup water to the steel insert in the Instant Pot and place a steamer inside the pot. Add the potatoes on top of the steamer, secure the lid, close the pressure valve and cook for 10 minutes at high pressure. Quick release and dump out the water.
How to make stuffed karela:
- Peel some of the bumpy skin off of the bitter melons, then make a slit along the middle and spoon out any seeds. Set the melons aside for now.
- Add the cooked potatoes to a bowl along with the remaining filling ingredients and mix well.
- Spoon the filling inside the bitter melons then tie them with kitchen twine to hold the masala inside
- Pour 2 cups water into the steel insert of the Instant Pot, then place a steamer inside. Put the bitter melons in the steamer, seamed side up.
- Secure the lid, close the valve and cook for 2 minutes at high pressure.
- Quick release pressure.
- Remove the melons and set them aside for now. Dump out the water from the pot and make sure to dry it completely.
- Press the sauté button, adjust the heat to its highest setting, add the mustard oil and and wait for a few minutes to allow the mustard oil to get very hot (best if the screen says hot).
- Add the bitter melons to the pot with the seam side up (you will fry the seamed side at the end). Fry the melons on all sides, turning them once they turn brown – wait to fry the stuffed side until the very end. (When you fry the stuffed side, some of the potato may fall out and burn at the bottom of the pan – that’s okay! Scrape it up at the very end and eat it if you want – it’s yummy!). This step takes awhile – it should take a total of 15 or so minutes to get them fully browned.
- Remove the kitchen twine and serve.
- To make roasted cumin powder: heat a skillet over low heat and dry roast cumin seeds (I usually do 1 cup) for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the color of the cumin changes to a dark brown. Turn off the heat and allow the cumin seeds to cool down. Place the cumin into a spice grinder and blend until smooth. Store in an airtight jar and use within 6-8 months for the most flavor.
- I discard the bitter melon seeds but I save the peels. You can use the peels in this bitter melon peel stir-fry with potatoes and caramelized onions