Monday, April 27, 2009

What to do with Indian Bitter Melon?

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Indian Bitter Melon

My mom heard that bitter melon helps lower one's blood sugar level, and because she tries to control her blood sugar levels naturally, she has been juicing bitter melon every morning...yuck! Actually, she goes one step further than that, she throws the entire melon in the blender, and drinks the puree...double yuck!

This is a vegetable that tastes just like the name implies, bitter! It is a crunchy vegetable, and admittedly, there happens to be some great Chinese stir fry dishes that incorporate bitter melon.

On our recent trip to Tdot, we picked up an unusual looking variant of the bitter melon, the Indian bitter melon.

This is the Chinese phenotype bitter melon that I am used to (photo from wikipedia):

And this is the Indian bitter melon that we bought. It resembles a spiky reptile in vegetable form.

Indian Bitter Melons

While my mom has been madly blending these babies, I am trying to figure out what to do with them so that I can taste one. If you have any ideas, please let me know!

3 comments

Anonymous said...

It's called Karela in Hindi and used in quiet a bit of cooking. Here is one recipe
http://www.themahanandi.org/category/indian-vegetables/karela/

Zain said...

It's called karela in Hindi. Try googling 'karela recipe' and you'll find lots of options; I've never liked the stuff, though :p

Akriti said...

Khatta-Meetha Karela(Sour N' Sweet Bitter Gourd)
Recipe #17706 | 1 hour | 25 min prep | add private note
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By: Charishma Ramchandani
Jan 21, 2002

This is nice. Gur(jaggery) gives it a sweet flavor and tamarind pulp gives it a sour flavor. Very nice dish we enjoyed for dinner tonight. Got the recipe from a cookey show on Star Plus called 'Mirch Masala'.

SERVES 4 (change servings and units)
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Ingredients

* 1/2 kg karela (bittergourd)
* 2-3 tablespoons tamarind pulp
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 3-4 teaspoons coriander powder (I use 3tsp)
* 2 teaspoons saunf
* 2 tablespoons oil
* 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 pinch hing
* 3 tablespoons crushed gur
* salt
* cilantro (for garnishing)

Directions

1.
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Wash bittergourd.
2.
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Scrape it nicely.
3.
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Make a long slit in the center.
4.
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Apply salt in the slit.
5.
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Remove seeds of the bittergourd.
6.
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Now add the stuffing.
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Stuffing-------------.
8.
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Put tamarind pulp in a bowl.
9.
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Add 2 tsp salt, corriander and chilli powders and saunf powder.
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Mix well.
11.
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Fill the bittergourd with this stuffing.
12.
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Heat oil in a pan.
13.
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Add cumin seeds and hing.
14.
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Allow to crackle.
15.
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Add bittergourd.
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Cook on all sides on low heat.
17.
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Remove from heat once cooked.
18.
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Add water.
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Cover with a lid.
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Occasionally stir.
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Cook on low flame for 15-20 minutes.
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Uncover.
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Add gur.
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Mix well so as to let it melt.
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Garnish with cilantro.
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Serve hot with rotis.