Bitter gourd or bitter melon might be unpopular because of its bitter taste but beneath the surface of bitter taste lies a treasure of nutrients that are extremely beneficial for the body. In Ayurvedic medicine, bitter gourd is used to prevent diabetes. This green vegetable/fruit contains naturally produced insulin in its white, soft part which helps to prevent diabetes. It acts as a hypoglycemic agent which helps in lowering blood sugar levels. Regular consumption of bitter gourd is also known to help with constipation and indigestion.
Many people still avoid eating bitter gourd because of its strong bitter flavor. But when cooked the right way, bitter gourd is not only delicious but also very healthy. So the next time you want to ditch bitter gourd because of its bitter taste, try out this salad instead. The sweetness of the carrots and apples balances out the bitterness of the gourd. Spicy, fresh, crunchy, and mildly bitter, this salad is the perfect health-boosting, quick-fix starter.
You can also enjoy this recipe with some Coriander Pesto on the side.
Bitter Gourd Salad
- 1 medium carrot, cut into diamonds, or cubes
- 1 bitter gourd, cut into1/4 inch thick slices
- 1 apple, diced
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder
- 1 tsp coconut butter or oil
- 1/2 lemon juice
- Salt to taste
- A dash of freshly ground black pepper
Melt the coconut butter in a skillet. Add the sliced bitter gourd and cook for 2 to 3 minutes till it's lightly brown on one side.
Flip the bitter gourd slices and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes till it's slightly crisp and evenly browned.
When the bitter gourd is fried, squeeze the lemon juice on top and set it aside.
In a wok, sauté the carrots over medium heat. Once the carrots are tender, season them with cumin powder, cinnamon powder, freshly ground black pepper, and salt.
Add the fried bitter gourd and smoked paprika and lightly toss. Turn off the heat and serve on a plate or bowl.
Add the apple slices and serve. Enjoy!
Optionally, you can enjoy this with some Coriander Pesto on the side.
In Asia, we normally eat the bitter food first as a starter then begin with the rest of the meal. According to Ayurveda, generally, bitter-tasting food is helpful to strengthen the heart but at the same time, avoiding bitter foods is an evolutionary mechanism that helps to protect humans from poisonous substances.