What is Bitter Gourd?
Bitter gourd is a staple food that first originated from Africa before it later spread to other continents like Asia. Ancient cultivators first discovered these bitter vegetables approximately 6 millenniums ago. Bitter melon varies in both shape and size depending on the variety.
What Does Bitter Melon Taste Like?
If you’ve never eaten these vegetables, you probably don’t know the bitter gourd taste. Usually, bitter melon is relatively bitter; especially if you fail to squeeze out the lemon juice. We can attribute the sour taste to cucurbitacin: a bitter compound.
Surprisingly, this biochemical compound has multiple health benefits. For instance, cucurbitacin tends to impede the growth of cancerous cells in the body.
5 Irresistible Yet Delicious Bitter Melon Recipes
1. Bitter Melon Chips With Lemon Juice
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Round bitter melon chips
- Besan or Gram flour
- Chili powder
- Peel the bitter melons and slice them into uniform circular slices. Gauge out the seeds from the fibrous.
- Add water to a bowl and add the gram flour to it. Mix the two ingredients carefully before you soak the sliced karela.
- Add two teaspoons of table salt to the mixture.
- Soak the bitter melon for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lemon seeds and squeeze the lemon into the liquid mixture.
- Add all the remaining ingredients excluding olive oil to the bowl containing the bitter melons.
- Mix the ingredients with your clean hands.
- Heat up the mixture in either an oven or an air fryer at 188 degrees Celsius.
- Add more oil to the stainless tray if necessary
2. Bitter Gourd Juice
Bitter melon juice is a green mouth-watering drink with limitless health benefits. Kindly read on to learn how to make karela juice.
- Bitter melons
- Table salt
- Honey or lemon for extra deliciousness
- Clean your bitter melon thoroughly
- Slice the lemons into relatively large sizes
- Remove the bitter melon seeds if they’re tough.
- Put the lemons in a juice extractor
- Add more water to the juicer and extract more juice.
- Pour your juice into a serving jar.
- Add the other ingredients and stir uniformly.
- Serve and enjoy your flavorful karela juice
3. Stuffed Bitter Gourds
Besan or Gram flour
Slice all your bitter melon into two halves
Gorge out the bitter melon pulp
Warm the cooking oil in a clean pan
Chop some onions and add them to the heated oil
Add masala, cumin powder, lemon for tangy taste, and salt to the pan
Fill the mixture into the bitter melon and let them cook for a while
Add 0.5 cups of water to the pan and cover the pan
Flip over the bitter melons and let them cook for 5-10 minutes
Serve your sweet-smelling stuffed bitter gourds
4. Dahi(Curd) Karela
Dahi Karela is a predominantly Indian dish that is prepared in a maximum of 45 minutes. This meal is only delicious if you prepare it the right way. You’re super lucky, as we have the easiest Dahi Karela Recipe for you.
5 – 6 karela(depends on serving)
Yogurt or curd
- Peel a few karelas and cut them open to remove the seeds from them.
- Rub some salt over each of the karela slices to alleviate the bitterness.
- Heat some cooking oil in a stainless-steel frying pan.
- Shallow-fry your bitter gourds for 3-5 minutes.
- Cut a few onions and tomatoes.
- Fry your cut-up onions and tomatoes in another frying pan.
- Add all your spices to the pan and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.
- Whisk your yogurt and add it to the frying pan
- Keep stirring the mixture for 2-3 minutes.
- Add your fried bitter gourds to the pan containing the yogurt and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.
- Serve your meal and enjoy it with your friends and or family.
5. Masala Karela
Masala Karela is a popular Indian dish prepared in under 35 minutes. Don’t be deceived, this meal isn’t bitter at all. We strongly urge you to squeeze out the lemon juice if you’re bitterness intolerant. You’ll love it to death!
- Green chilies
- Besan or Gram flour
- Cooking oil
- Coriander powder
- Masala powder
- Karelas (As per needs)
- Cumin seeds
- Bitter gourds
Wash your onions and green pepper and chop them into reasonable pieces.
Wash all your bitter melons and chop them into smaller pieces.
Heat three tablespoons of cooking oil in a stainless-steel frying pan.
Add your cumin seeds to the heated oil and keep stirring for 2-3 minutes.
Now add your chopped green chilies and onions to the frying pan.
Add coriander powder, salt, and turmeric to the frying pan and pan-fry for 3 minutes.
Add your sliced bitter gourds to the mixture and stir for 2 minutes.
Cover the pan using the lid and let the food cook for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle enough masala before serving.
Healthy Benefits of Eating Bitter Gourd
Perhaps, you’re wondering why we’re encouraging you to consider this vegetable. Pay attention as we’ll list down the top advantages of including this palatable food in your diet.
Some of the benefits of bitter gourd are as below:
1. Highly Nutritious
Here’s some quick fun fact: bitter melon contains multiple basic nutrients required by the human body. Below is a list of some of these fundamental nutrients.
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin A
Nutritionists can confirm that vitamin C is an essential nutrient for fighting against disease-causing microorganisms.
2. Helps In Fighting Cancerous Cells
Unfortunately, most types of cancers have no specific cure, especially if they advance beyond level 3. Thankfully, bitter gourds are efficient in weakening cancerous cells. A study proved that extract from bitter melon kills any harmful cells in your lungs, colon, or stomach.
3. Helps In Who Lose Excessive Weight
Are you struggling with obesity? Cheer up, as we have the best remedy for your problem. Technically, a bitter gourd contains low calories; hence reducing the risk of excessive weight gain.
Additionally, it contains two grams of fiber which helps normalize one’s appetite. Therefore, you should aim to include these in your meals at least thrice a week.
4. To Manage Diabetes
All endocrinologists advise their patients to include karelas in their diet to manage diabetes. Unknown to some, bitter melon consists of rare compounds like saponins that decrease sugar levels.
Aside from that, these vegetables facilitate the liver to process glucose properly. Therefore, you get to manage your condition naturally.
5. Improves Immune System
The truth is that nobody would want to be sickly as it’s not only financially draining but emotionally exhausting. Fortunately for humanity, bitter gourds contain multiple vitamins that boost your white blood cells. Consequently, your body manages to fight off any disease-causing microorganisms.
6. Prevents Some Ear Problems
Opticians say that most eye problems stem from a lack of specific nutrients in the body. Bitter melon contains vital vitamins such as vitamin A that enhance the health of your eyes. For this reason, you have no reason to worry about eye conditions such as cataracts.
7. Prevents Blood Clotting
Vitamin K contained in bitter melon, triggers the production of prothrombin. This protein is essential for blood clotting to prevent excessive blood loss. Contrary to popular belief, vitamin K doesn’t predispose people to the risk of thrombosis.
8. Enhances Hair Growth
By now you’re aware that bitter gourds contain nutrients such as vitamin C that vivifies the hair follicles. Subsequently, it triggers the growth of hair not to add it prevents hair conditions like dandruff.
Surprisingly, bitter gourds play a vital role in lightening the hair. It has an effective oxidant that lightens one’s hair through a chemical reaction.
9. Reduces Inflammation
A bitter gourd contains polyphenols: special compounds with intense anti-inflammation impact on the body. That explains why bitter melon is the best food for patients suffering from obesity, diabetes, and endometriosis.
Most body inflammations result from subjection to excessive toxins and autoimmune disorders. In some cases, inflammation may result from an untreated infection or a wound.
10. Lowers Cholesterol Levels
High cholesterol levels may predispose you to deadly health conditions such as stroke or heart disease. For this reason, it’s extremely important to keep your cholesterol levels in check. Fortunately for us all, karelas decrease these levels significantly.
Multiple animal studies proved that these bitter vegetables stabilize one’s cholesterol levels in no time. Bitter melon has the same impact on the human body whether you eat raw or cooked bitter melons.
1. I Suffer From Type 2 Diabetes. Is Bitter Melon Safe For Me?
Yes, they are! Endocrinologists say that bitter melon comprises several chemical compounds that help reduce a diabetic person’s blood sugar levels. These vegetables allow more glucose to get into the cells hence decreasing the sugar levels in your blood.
2. Can Squeezing Lemon Juice Into Bitter Melon End Their Bitterness?
Yes, it does! You start by cleaning the bitter gourds thoroughly before squeezing them. After that apply some salt and keep squeezing to get rid of any remaining bitterness. Don’t forget to gorge out the lemon seeds too as they are extremely sore.
3. Are There Any Side Effects Of Eating Too Many Bitter Gourds?
Yes, there are! Medics say that bitter gourds can cause numerous side effects. These include:
- Stomach upset
- Intestinal complications
4. Are There Any Benefits Of Drinking Bitter Melon Juice?
Yes, there are! Here are 3 proven benefits of karela juice.
- Lowers Blood Sugar Levels: most diabetic patients are encouraged to consider this drink to normalize their blood sugar levels. Karela juice comprises compounds that help to regular sugar levels in the body.
- Stabilizes Cholesterol Levels: karela is rich in potassium hence enabling the body to absorb undue Na in your body system. Apart from that, the juice will help decrease your cholesterol levels.
- Enhances Skin Health: it’s not in doubt that bitter melon is rich in nutrients. Examples of such nutrients include vitamin C; a very powerful oxidant. An antioxidant triggers skin repair hence enhancing your overall skin health.
5. Are Bitter Gourds Safe For My Kidneys?
Yes, they are! Bitter melon is especially good for patients suffering from extreme kidney stones. Health experts say that these vegetables help to break down kidney stones. Apart from that, karela triggers a slight reduction in urinal sugar excretion over time.
6. Are Bitter Melon Capsules Safe For Consumption?
Yes, they are! Bitter gourd capsules contain no harmful substances like gluten, preservatives, or yeast. The product only has healthy plant compounds such as charantin that alleviate the effects of diabetes. However, please note that these capsules may be harmful to expectant women.
7. Can I Eat Raw Bitter Gourds? Are They Harmful?
Yes, you can! Doctors opine that you can either eat a raw or a cooked bitter gourd. Although raw karelas aren’t harmful, cooked bitter melons are much more flavorful than raw ones. It’s up to you to decide since there’s no potential health risk of eating it cooked or raw.
8. Do Bitter Gourds Purify The Blood?
Yes, they do! Bitter melon is a powerful antioxidant hence rids the blood of toxins. As a result, these vegetables help prevent blood disorders such as hemophilia and sickle cell disease. Similarly, since a bitter melon is an antimicrobial agent, it impedes the growth of cancerous cells.
9. I Suffer From Severe Sunstroke. Will Bitter Gourds Help Me Remedy This Condition?
Yes, it will! As mentioned before, bitter gourds contain sodium that replaces the much-needed electrolytes. As a consequence, it guards your body against this condition.
10. Do Bitter Gourds Help In Controlling Blood Pressure?
Yes, they do! The sodium in karelas helps normalize one’s blood pressure. However, the unfortunate truth is that over-consumption of bitter gourds is counterproductive.
Hundreds of people dislike bitter gourds the first they eat them. The indisputable reality is that this food is extremely rich in crucial nutrients. You won’t believe that doctors instruct some of their patients to eat this food. For example, patients suffering from conditions such as diabetes, constipation, and hemophilias.