Here's a very tasty, but lengthy recipe for stuffed Paavakka(Karela). People from North Karnataka are known to stuff every given veggie on the planet
. I learnt this from a native woman and have made it several times.
4-5 pavakka (make sure the pavakkas are as small as you can get)
1/2 cup crushed tomatoes;
2 medium sized onion-1 cubed and the other chopped fine;
tofu or paneer - 4-5 cubes;
3-4 green chillies;
cilantro or coriander leaves - half a fist;(the more the better)
1/2 inch ginger piece; (you can use paste of not available)
3 garlic cloves;
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder;
1 tsp chilli powder;
1 tsp dhania powder;
salt to taste;
oil to fry;
Scrape the skin off the pavakkas. Make a slit in lengthwise without splitting the pavakka into two. Scoop out the seeds if any. Sprinkle some salt and set the pavakkas aside for 45 mins in a bowl.If possible, set this aside in sunlight or keep it in a warm oven. Wash and dry the pavakkas and cut them into about 2 inch long pieces.
Heat 2-3 tbsp oil and fry the cubed onion with ginger, garlic, green chillies and tofu/paneer with salt. Cook for abt 7-10 mins. Cool this mixture. Blend the mixture into a rough paste and stuff it into the pavakkas.
Shallow fry the stuffed pavakkas and set aside.
Now saute the other onion in a little oil and add tomatoes, the nutmeg powder,chilli powder and dhania powder. Add salt to taste. Stir occasionaly and when the gravy leaves the sides of the pan, gently add the pavakka pieces into the pan and cook for abt 10 mins. Garnish with coriander leaves.
Serve hot with rotis.