I is a tropical vine that belongs to the gourd family and is closely related to zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and cucumber.
The Indian variety is more narrow and has pointed ends with rough, jagged spikes on the rind.
It derives its bitterness from the chemical momordine. Scientifically known as Momordica Charantia, belonging to the genus Momordica and the family Cucurbitaceae, the vegetable deserves a regular presence on the menu due to its health-giving and controlling properties. Immature gourds are less bitter because the astringent levels go up as they mature.
A clever cook can overcome the handicap of this vegetable by cooking it with any souring or mildly sweetening agents. Tamarind pulp, raw mangoes, star fruits, dry mango powder, hog plums, etc could be used for the purpose.
A tiny piece of jagger or some honey, too, balances the taste.
Drying it in the sun, marinating in curds, smearing with salt and squeezing out excess water are also effective methods of decreasing its bitterness in the preparations.
The fruit could be pickled. It could be had as an accompaniment to rice and breakfast items.
A pinch of black pepper and ginger can also decrease the tartness.
Bitter gourd juice mixed with amla juice is a great cure for many illnesses. Amla juice helps reduce the bitterness and also enhances the curing properties of the concoction.
A good source of nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, folate and vitamin A.
Bitter melon has been shown to improve several markers of long-term blood sugar control. polypeptide-p, a plant insulin, controls blood sugar levels.
Low in calories yet high in fiber.
The low-sodium and high-potassium content in it is beneficial for high BP patients