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Bitter Gourd | Kerla | பாகற்காய்

Bitter Gourd | Kerla | பாகற்காய்

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Bitter melon, also known as bitter gourd or karela (in India), is a unique vegetable-fruit that can be used as food or medicine. It is the edible part of the plant Momordica Charantia, which is a vine of the Cucurbitaceae family and is considered the most bitter among all fruits and vegetables. It is also known that bitter melon contains a lectin that reduces blood glucose concentrations by acting on peripheral tissues and suppressing appetite - similar to the effects of insulin in the brain.

Bitter Gourd Juice

  1. Take fresh bitter gourd and get a few lemons as well. To make the juice more effective, add a little bit of turmeric.
  2. Wash the bitter gourd and peel its top skin. If it does not bother, you can simply let it be. Many people do not skin or peel the top skin away.
  3. Cut the karela into fine pieces and apply salt properly by rubbing it with turmeric. Keep it for some time, and then extract the bitter juice out of it.
  4. Once you see the water strained out of the bitter gourd, you can then crush the pieces in the mixer properly.
  5. Sieve it if you want. Just have the full juice with the fiber after adding a little bit of fresh lemon juice for taste and tangy flavor.

Karela Sabzi Recipe (Karela Stir Fry).

  • 250 gms tender karela/bitter gourd/bitter melon
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder/haldi
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • ½ tsp cumin powder/jeera
  • 1 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder/saunf powder
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • ½ or 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
  • 1 tbsp gram flour/besan
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt as required
  1. rinse the karela in water first.
  2. slice the karela into thin round pieces.
  3. you can lightly peel the skin if you want before you slice them.
  4. heat oil in a frying pan or kadai.
  5. add the karela slices and saute on a low or medium flame till the slices
  6. become lightly browned. takes about 8-10 minutes. stir in between.
  7. now add all the dry spice powders and salt.
  8. stir and saute for 5-6 mins more on a low flame.
  9. lastly add the besan and saute for some minutes till the rawness of the besan or gram flour goes away. takes about 4-5 minutes more.
  10. garnish karela sabzi with coriander leaves.
  11. serve karela stir fry with dal-rice, kadhi-rice or sambar-rice.

Additional details

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