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How to use Bitter Melon (Bitter gourd)
What is Bittergourd
India is a land of Ayurveda. Bittergourd (Bitter melons), a vegetable bitter in taste, is widely used by Indians. It is also called as Karela, and some parts it is called as Parkka Pitla.
The scientific name of bitter gourd is Momordica charantia. It is among the most bitter of all vegetables and splits into segments which curl back dramatically to expose seeds covered in bright red pulp. Apart from India, it is also cultivated in Srilanka, China, Malaysia and the Caribbeans.
This bitter vegetable contains essential minerals such as calcium, potassium, copper, iron, and also vitamins A, b1, and b2.
Therapeutic Uses of Bitter gourd
Bitter melon has many therapeutic properties. It is packed with nutrients and health benefits.
1. Diabetes mellitus
Due to the nutrients in the bitter gourd, bitter melon is quite widely used in the treatment of diabetes mellitus. Research studies have shown that bitter gourd contains hypoglycemic principles in it and thus it helps to lower the blood sugar levels just like insulin.
It is useful in reducing hypertension,
3. Eye disorder
5. Enhancing digestion, metabolism and immunity.
6. Constipation - The juice of bitter guard is used for relieving constipation.
7. Rheumatism and Gout
Bitter melon is noted to be an effective component in herbal medicine, and the fruit is known to help treat, or alleviate the symptoms of rheumatism and gout and ailments of the spleen and liver.
8. Bitter gourd is a blood purifier, activates spleen and liver.
Recipes with Bitter gourd
This vegetable is available in two varieties, dark green variety and the oblong pale green variety.The green bitter melons are more bitter, when compared to the white color melons.
For cooking, it is better to choose fresh bitter gourd as the old ones taste even more bitter.
Bitter melons are seldom mixed with other varieties of vegetables due to its strong bitter taste. The young ones are best for cooking.
In South India, various tasty dishes are made from it, such as pavakkai theeyal, pavakkai fry, pavakkai upperi, pavakkai kolumbu, pavakkai thoran, pavakkai pacchadi, pavakka pickle, pavakka stuffed etc.
To reduce its bitterness of Bitter gourd
1. The bitter melons can be cut into small slices, and blanch for 3-4 minutes in boiling water to which a little salt has been added. Then drain it and use for your recipes.
2. They can be cut into small slices and immerse them in salt water for sometime. Drain and use for the desired recipe.
Bitter gourd products
For Preservation of Bitter gourds
During the season, bitter gourds can be bought in bulk and preserved for future use.
Cut the vegetable into half lengthwise, and remove the seeds.Then cut them into thin pieces, and steam for 3-5 minutes. Dry them in the hot sun.
It may take 2-3 days for proper drying.Once dried well, they can be preserved in airtight bottles, and can be used for various dishes as and when required. They can be also fried in the oil and use, with or without adding any spices.
The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies.
Availability in the Market
Bitter Melons are available fresh from April to September in most Asian markets and can occasionally be found in larger supermarkets. They are also available as ayurvedic capsules in the market.
More information on Bitter Melon http://www.revolutionhealth.com/articles/bitter-gourd/ns-bottomline-bittergourd
- Pavakka Theeyal
Recipe for Pavakka Theeyal, a South Indian dish. Pavakkai Theeyal is a traditional South Indian Dish which is made using bitter melon and and fried Coconut. In Tamil it is called as Pavakkai theeyal, and in Malayalam Pavakka or Kaypakka theeyal. It