Bitter gourd is a healthy food option all the way
Its bitter taste repels most of us. Green in colour, tapering at both ends, Momordica Charantia, or the bitter gourd or bitter melon has a ridged surface. But what lies hidden behind those ridges are a host of medicinal properties.
It carries within itself some nutritional benefits. Dr. Pratima Grover, a dietician in New Delhi, states, “It's very good for diabetes. It helps in detoxifying our body. However, there is a general myth that its juice helps in diabetes, the fact is that juices alone won't do.”
Bitter gourd is enriched with dietary fibre. It has a high content of iron and potassium, explains, Tapasya Mundhra, a nutritionist associated with the Gold Gym and is also engaged in sports nutrition for players. “Bitter gourd is high in iron, potassium and vitamin C and also has an alkaline effect on our bodies. It contains a substance which is like insulin and lowers our sugar levels, so it is good for diabetes patients too.”
Bitter gourd is also good for weight conscious people. It helps in weight loss, says Tapasya. “It is low on calorie count and can be effectively used for weight loss. The juice helps in providing relief to people suffering from fatty liver problems.” The vegetable is effective against jaundice, asthma, rheumatism and gout, informs, Tapasya, “It's a miracle vegetable if used properly.”
Chef Manju Monga who runs her cookery classes in Gujranwala, shares a mouth watering recipe of this bitter veggie with us.
Bitter Gourd Casserole
Bitter gourd - 1/2 kg
Potatoes - 1/2 kg (boiled and mashed)
Onions - 1 (finely chopped)
Coriander - finely chopped
Green chillies – finely chopped
Paneer - mashed
Salt - to taste
Black pepper - to taste
Tomatoes - 3 (cut into rounds)
Cream - 5 tbsp
Mozzarella cheese - 5 tbsp
Olive oil - 4 tbsp
1. Peel and wash the bitter gourd. Cut into round slices.
2. Heat olive oil in a pan. Shallow fry all the round slices till crisp and brown.
3. Mix mashed potatoes, coriander, green chillies, mashed paneer, onions, salt and pepper in a bowl.
4. Take an oven safe dish, grease with oil. Place all the fried pieces of bitter gourd at the bottom of the bowl.
5. Spread the potato mixture on each piece and cover it with the tomato slices.
6. Sprinkle cream and cheese on the top.
7. Bake in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes at 250 degree Celsius. Remove and serve hot.