Karela is one of those vegetables that you either like or dislike... there is no middle ground. I want to highlight a few health benefits from eating karela in an attempt to create awareness. Firstly, it is said that Karela is very low in calories but dense with nutrients. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1 B2 and B3, C, magnesium, zinc and has high dietary fibre. It is rich in iron and contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli,twice the calcium of spinach and twice the potassium of banana. For all those Karela fans and non-karela fans out there here is a recipe that you must try.
4-5 medium Karela (bitter-gourd)
4 Red Chillies whole
1 tbsp dhania (coriander) seeds
1 tsp jeera (cumin) seeds
1 tsp white sesame seeds
1 1/2 tsps oil
2 medium onions chopped
5 garlic cloves peeled
1 inch ginger peeled
1/4 cup tomato puree
2 tbsps jaggery (gur)
2 tbsps tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
1. Wash, cut and scrape karela lengthwise.
2. Remove seeds and slice. Apply salt and leave aside for 10-15 mins.
3. Wash and squeeze out the excess water.
4. Grind ginger and garlic to a fine paste.
5. Roast red chillied, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and white sesame seeds on a medium hot tawa until they are light brown, stirring continuously.
6. Cool the mixture and then ground to a fine powder.
7. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add sliced karela and stir-fry for 4-5 minutes or until brown.
8. Add chopped onions and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes.
9. Add ginger-garlic paste and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
10. Add tomato puree and cook for 2 minutes.
11. Add ground powder, grated jaggery, tamarind pulp and salt.
12. Mix well and add a cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat.
13. Cover and simmer for five minutes and serve hot.