From managing blood sugar levels and treating diabetes to reducing cholesterol and promoting weight loss, bitter gourd is a powerhouse of nutrition! Popularly known as karela in India, this is a rugged fruit with a distinctive bitter taste, making it the choice of few. However, packed with essential minerals and vitamins such as iron, magnesium, potassium and Vitamins A and C, this vegetable-fruit is the medicinal wonder you’ve been looking for.
Tips To Reduce Bitterness from Karela
The bitter gourd’s nutritional value comes at a price, its taste. Belonging to the cucurbitaceous family, it produces compounds that add to its bitter taste. But, there are ways you can gain all its health benefits without putting your taste buds through a ‘bitter’ experience. Follow these tips and tricks to reduce the bitterness of karela the next time you’re using bitter gourd in a recipe.
1. Scrape Off the Rough/Rugged Surface
With the help of a peeler, carefully scrape off the bitter gourd’s skin till it’s smooth. This will lessen the bitterness to a great extent. You can add the peelings to paratha dough for a pleasant and unique savoury taste.
2. Remove the Seeds
After scraping off the rough surface, slice the karelas and remove the seeds from it before cooking it.
3. Rub With Salt
Rub and marinate the karelas in salt for 20-30 minutes. Salt helps to draw out the bitter juices of the fruit. Squeeze out the juices, wash the pieces and you’ll be cooking bitter gourd without its bitter taste in no time! While cooking, you can add less salt as it would have soaked into the marinated karelas.
4. Soak in Diluted Yoghurt
You can also soak the karelas in diluted yoghurt for an hour or so before use, to make it less bitter and more palatable.
5. Soak in Tamarind Juice
After cutting the vegetable-fruit into pieces, you can also rinse and soak it in tamarind juice for 30 minutes.
6. Add Jaggery or Sugar
Balance out the bitterness of bitter gourd by sprinkling sugar or jaggery before taking it off the heat. Do keep in mind that this can give a hint of sweetness to your dish.
7. Cook Along With a Neutralizing Vegetable
Add onions, potatoes or any other vegetable with the karelas while it’s cooking. The combination of such vegetables can balance the taste and reduce the bitterness of the dish.
8. Boil in Salt Water
Boiling bitter gourd in salt water for 2-3 minutes before cooking is one of the easiest ways of removing the bitterness. After boiling the karelas, soak it in cold water to make it cool faster.
Tame the bitterness by extracting the juices and deep-frying the bitter gourd. This trick not only works like a charm but also results in a mouthwatering dish.
10. Soak in Sugar and Vinegar
Take sugar and vinegar in equal proportion and boil them to make a mixture. Pour this mixture on the fruit to reduce the bitterness.
Bitter gourd is the answer to a healthy yet affordable lifestyle. All the tips mentioned above have been used by people around the world and continue to be used even today. Use these tips to get your kids and spouse to eat bitter gourd without making a face!