Bitter gourd (also called bitter melon, or karela), is a vegetable thats takes a little getting used to, if you don’t come from a culture with the habit of eating bitter foods. Once you eat it a few times, you will start to like it, and you may even start to love it! And even if you don’t, it is worth eating time to time becuase of its many health benefits: it is good for the liver, kidneys, blood, and to help control/prevent diabetes. Starting you meal with a small portion of bitter vegetables is indeed a very healthy habit.
There are many ways to prepare bitter gourd. Here are two very simple ones, which are also a little less bitter, to get you started. It is worth noting, that there are a few varieties of bitter gourd: the Indian varieties are darket green and more knobbly, and the Chinese varieties are light green with shinier skin. They both have the same benefits and can be prepared the same way.
BITTER GOURD AND MASHED POTATO
-Boil one bitter gourd and one medium/large sized potato in a pressure cooker, until completely cooked.
-Remove the skin from the potato. Smash the vegetables together, with some salt, and olive oil, butter or ghee. You may also add black pepper, or any other spices you want.
-If you prefer, you can also roll the mashed potato mix into round balls. Because the bitter gourd is mixed with potato, the taste is much milder.
BITTER GOURD WITH SOY SAUCE
-This a one of the simplest ways to cook bitter gourd, and does not require any oil. Cut the bitter gourd in half, and then cut into thin slices. Place in a frying pan or pot, add a dash of soy sauce (depending on how salty you like it- the salty taste also makes the bitter taste milder), and then a little water. The water should be just enough so that when the bitter gourd is completely cooked, the liquid had evaporated. Boil, stirring time to time, until cooked. Note that it should be well cooked, and not crunchy.