- Bitter gourd is rich in fiber that helps in increasing energy levels, improves bowel movements and boosts the immune system. It also makes it ideal to be included in a weight loss diet.
- It contains vitamins and folates that promote hair and skin health.
- It has antioxidants that can remove free radicals and it also helps in purifying blood and detoxifying the liver.
- Cancer-fighting agents and healing properties are also present in bitter gourd.
- It can regulate blood sugar levels by promoting the secretion of insulin.
- The potassium and calcium content in bitter gourd help in lowering blood pressure levels and cholesterol supports arteries and prevents the risk of cardiovascular disease.
- It is loaded with magnesium which can help lower blood cholesterol and pressure levels thereby it promotes heart health.
- Antioxidants in garlic support brain health and help in reducing the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
- Karela contains compounds of cucurbitacins which gives it a bitter taste and also can act as a defense against herbivores.
- Other names of Karela include bitter melon, balsam pear, African cucumber, bitter apple, etc.
- Karela has medicinal properties and is used in home remedies to cure respiratory problems like asthma and diabetes. It also has anti-aging properties.
- Bitter gourd’s native is India and was used in Chinese cuisine from the 14th century.
- Another variation of Karela pickle is where the masalas are stuffed inside the half-cut bitter gourd or in the center of the circle slices after removing the seed part. This method is also similar to the Korean stuffed cucumber kimchi
Suggested consumable by age groups
- One or two tablespoons of Karela pickle can be consumed in moderation by all age groups.
Good times to eat:
- It is perfect for lunch.
Eat along with:
- It can be eaten alongside lunch meals like curd rice.
When not to eat or eat more often:
- It is advisable not to eat often.
- Pregnant women shall avoid consuming.
Story/History of recipe
Karela pickle or Karela achaar is an Indian pickle variety. Karela in English means bitter gourd. The general Indian spices used for pickle along with the bitterness of karela gives this masala a perfectly balanced taste. It is popular all over the country. It can be prepared and consumed quickly hence it is one of the common easy-to-make pickles of Indian cuisine. This masala can also be eaten alongside rotis and dosas.
Recipe Ingredients, Preparation Steps and Occasions Served
The following are the ingredients needed for preparing Karela Pickle,
- Bitter gourd / Karela - 3 medium sized
- Garlic - 5 numbers (Chopped)
- Tamarind paste/juice - ¼ cup or less
- Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
- Fenugreek seeds / Methi powder - 1 teaspoon
- Dry red chillies - 4 numbers
- Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
- Turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
- Asafoetida / hing - ½ teaspoon
- Salt - as required
- Oil - 5 tablespoons
- Rinse and wash the bitter gourd. Cut and remove both the ends of the bitter gourd and cut it into small pieces or slices or as preferred. Before chopping remove the seed part.
- Transfer the chopped pieces to a bowl, add a pinch of salt and a teaspoon of turmeric powder and let it soak in water for around 15-30 minutes.
- Heat a pan and add a few tablespoons of oil. Add mustard seeds, dry red chilli and chopped garlic and fry.
- Pour the tamarind juice and let it thicken. Add fenugreek powder, red chilli powder, asafoetida, and salt as required.
- Drain the soaked bitter gourd pieces, add them to the pan and mix well. Add oil if required. Once the oil starts to separate switch off the flame.
- This can be stored in an airtight container and can be consumed for a month. Make sure to use a clean and dry spoon.
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