7 Creative Ways To Incorporate Bitter Gourd In Your Diet!

The bitter flavour of bitter gourd, sometimes referred to as karela, may not be to everyone's taste at first. Nonetheless, it plays a huge role in our diet. The bitter gourd has a high nutritional content, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, despite its bitter taste. It is well recognised to support general health, improve digestion, increase immunity, and assist in controlling blood sugar levels, as also mentioned in a study from the National Institute of Health. 

A balanced and nutrient-dense diet can greatly benefit from the inclusion of bitter gourd, which can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Some of these ways include stuffed bitter gourd, stir-fried bitter gourd, and bitter gourd juice.

Here is a list of bitter gourd dishes that one can include in their daily diet:

1. Khatta Mitha: 

Khatta Mitha is a dish made with bitter gourds that has a good balance of sweet, sour and bitter flavours. To make it, chop the bitter gourd and sauté it with tomatoes, onions, and a mixture of sweet and sour seasonings such as dried mango powder, jaggery, and tamarind paste. Add fresh cilantro as a garnish and cook until soft. It is a tasty and wholesome side dish that is usually served with roti or rice to balance its sour and bitter-sweet flavours.

Video credit: YouTube/ Swadisht

2. Bitter Gourd Curry: 

Sliced bitter gourd cooked in a hot, sour sauce is the base of the delectable dish known as bitter gourd curry. To make it, fry slices of bitter gourd with onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste, and a mixture of cumin, coriander, and turmeric. When the bitter gourd is soft and the gravy has thickened, add water and simmer. For a filling dinner, pair this delectable stew with steamed rice or Indian bread like roti or naan.

3. Bharwa Karela: 

A traditional bitter gourd meal called Bharwa Karela is made by stuffing bitter gourd with a tasty blend of spices, onions, and occasionally potatoes. Cut the bitter gourd lengthwise, take out the seeds, load it with the spice mixture, and cook it until it's soft. The dish is typically served hot with parathas or chapatis and a side of pickle or yoghurt to balance the pickle's bitterness and improve the flavour.

4. Bitter Gourd Chips: 

A thinly sliced bitter gourd is used to make the crunchy and tasty Bitter Gourd Chips. Thinly slice the bitter gourd, toss it with salt and spices, and deep-fry or bake it until it becomes crispy. They are usually served with a tart dip, such as tamarind chutney or mint yoghurt sauce, as a snack or appetiser. Bitter Gourd Chips are a delicious way to take advantage of the health advantages of bitter gourd. They have a distinct flavour and a great crunch.

5. Pavakkai Poriyal: 

Pavakkai Poriyal is a South Indian bitter gourd dish prepared by sautéing thinly sliced bitter gourd with onions, spices, and grated coconut until tender. To prepare, wash and slice the bitter gourd, then sauté it with chopped onions, green chillies, curry leaves, turmeric, and grated coconut. Cook until the bitter gourd is soft and serve hot with steamed rice or as a side dish with chapati or dosa for a delicious and nutritious meal.

6. Tetor Dal: 

A popular Bengali dish called tetor Dal is made with lentils and bitter gourd, or karela. To make it, cut a bitter gourd into chunks and fry it till it turns golden brown. Then, add it to cooked lentils and mix with mustard seeds, cumin, and turmeric. The dish is cooked until the flavours are nicely combined. For a well-balanced and savoury lunch, tetor Dal is usually served hot with steamed rice, a dollop of ghee (clarified butter), and a side of veggies or achar (pickle).

7. Karela Nu Shaak: 

A well-known Gujarati curry made using bitter gourd is called Karela Nu Shaak. The bitter gourd is prepared by slicing, seeding, and sautéing it with tomatoes, onions, spices, and either jaggery or sugar to counterbalance the bitterness. It is usually served with rice, a side of dal (lentil curry), and roti or chapati. Karela Nu Shaak is a tasty and wholesome complement to any meal because of its blend of sweet, spicy, and bitter flavours.