Well, they don’t call it the bitter gourd just for kicks! Unfortunately, they are as good for us as they are horrific to taste. But fear not! There are several simple solutions to mask that bitterness to get to that healthy body.
I don’t despise anything more than being forced to gulp down a glass of bitter gourd juice and its bitter after-taste enveloping my mouth for hours. You know that feeling – when the bitterness of the fruit hits your taste buds hard, gives them a mini shock and washes down your throat, further attacking your food pipe? Repulsive. Well, I have nothing against bitter gourd but its name doesn’t exactly entice the appetite. I don’t blame children for not being fans, they are just being instinctive. The gourds derive their bitterness from a chemical called momordicin.
Bitter gourd must be included as an essential part of diabetes patient’s diet due to its innate ability to reduce blood sugar level. So how can you reduce the bitter taste and persuade your family members to eat it?
10 Tips to Remove the Bitterness from Bitter Gourd
➦ Cut bitter gourd into pieces, rinse and soak in tamarind juice for 30 minutes. However, remember that this can make it soggy.
➦ This method is the most appropriate for a stir fry recipe. Slice bitter gourd into thin pieces. The thinner the slices, the better. Scrape off all the seeds and leave for 10 minutes. Now, squeeze out all the juice and rinse. Fry them until they are light brown.
➦ Boil bitter gourd for 2-3 minutes before use. Add salt to boiling water. After boiling, drop it in cold water for a while.
➦ Slice and clean out the seeds. Cut into small pieces and sauté in olive oil. You can add garlic or onions to the oil if you like the taste to counteract the bitter taste.
➦ The simplest and the most popular way is to marinate the slices with lots of salt and keep aside for some time. Later squeeze out the juice drawn due to osmosis. Don’t forget to rinse the slices. You can also parboil to make them soft if you like.
➦ Another way is by adding a sweet or neutral tasting ingredient to your dish like sugar, potatoes and cheese. You can add a bit of jaggery while preparing the dish if you like your bitter gourd candied.
➦ Dehydration and deep-frying works like a charm.
➦ For non-vegetarian dishes, sauté your bitter gourd pieces in turmeric powder, salt, onions in sesame oil and then add the meat.
➦ Boil equal parts of sugar and vinegar. Pour this mixture on bitter gourd.
➦ You can also soak bitter gourd pieces in diluted yogurt for at least an hour before use.
How to Buy a Bitter Gourd
Most of the above tips demand getting rid of the seeds as they are the major contributors to the taste. When you are out grocery shopping the next time, make sure that you buy young, new and fresh bitter gourds that are light green because the more mature the seeds get, the bitter the taste of bitter gourd becomes. Immature bitter gourds have white colored seeds while the mature ones have yellow. Also, they should be blemish free. The Taiwan variety is mildly bitter but the Indian type has a strong taste. Some people also prefer smoothing out the rough shell of bitter gourd with a scraping knife. Let me share a tip with you that one of my friends suggested, while buying bitter gourds look for those that have shallow lines and are wider apart. They indicate the ripeness of the bitter gourd.
Bitter gourds are a major part of Asian cuisines. They go well with onions, potatoes, tomatoes, beef, strong spices and sauces. The high nutrition content of bitter gourd makes it rich in folate, zinc, vitamin c, vitamin b, niacin, magnesium and anti-oxidants. If you plan to drink bitter gourd juice, mix it with apple juice and honey. If you suddenly find yourself become a bitter gourd maniac after using any of these tips, do not eat in large quantities as it can lead to toxicity in the blood due to high alkaline level. If you are serving a diabetic patient, do not scrape off the seeds as they contain momordicin that controls blood sugar level.
When you are trying to reduce the bitterness of bitter gourd, the vegetable may also lose its nutrient content too. So you should be careful while practicing any of the above tips. Go ahead and have bitter gourd, it purifies blood and gives you an amazing skin with the additional benefit of fat loss.