Bitter Gourd (Karela)
Bitter gourd, aka Karela In Urdu, is relished for its benefits and despised for its bitter taste – not many people like this veggie, but I die for it.
Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karela)
Here are some Benefits of Mr. Bitter Gourd (Aka karela)
Bitter gourds have many nutritional and health benefits and one of them is they are good for diabetes. It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
As my Chronic illness forces me to transform eating habits, I’ m always on the hunt for natural antioxidants ingredients and Bitter Gourd (Karela) is one of them. I try to eat bitter gourd at least twice in a month because of its antioxidant benefits. It is very good for you, specially if you are diabetic. This reduces your blood sugar level a lot than you can imagine..So try to include it in your everyday diet.
The people who have never had bitter gourd, I still know what you all must be thinking.
Doesn’t it taste bitter??
How can one eat it??
Actually it is very much edible and likable. Truth is that there are numerous ways in which Bitter gourd is prepared in Pakistan. It can be stuffed with tasty spice mix, it tastes delicious when deep fried with mince stuffing( Bharwan Karela ), it can be used to make a dry curry and my mommy makes amazing curry of bitter gourd (Karela Gosht) which doesn’t taste bitter at all. It just depends how it is prepared. So at times it depends on which ingredients and technique you use and also on individual preferences.
Karela Gosht (Meat with Bitter Gourd)
Karela Gosht (Bitter gourd cooked with meat) is a traditional Pakistani dish. Yet, there are many Pakistani’s who flee from the very name of Karela. 😛
Today, I am presenting one of the tried recipes that gained appreciation among random people. Signature style of using minimum ingredients to make a mouth-watering dish is again used. I am using mutton meat in this recipe, but if you like you can use beef or chicken too.
In my home, everyone loves bitter gourd and its diverse dishes. It tastes savory, tangy, wonderfully spicy and slightly bitter at the same time. Karela Gosht is my all time favourite. As I mention above, I make them quite often and each time they turn out great.(Alhumdulillah)!
It tastes great with roti / hot chapati or with tandoori roti along with zeera raita.
How to make Karela Gosht
Learn how to make easy and simple Karela Gosht by following the step by step instructions as shown in pictures. The recipe is simple and very easy to follow. You would successfully cook it in first attempt. (InshaAllah)
Bismillah Let’s Begin!
Ingredients you will need:
- 1 kg bitter gourd/ karela (peeled, cleaned and sliced)
- 1 teaspoon salt, for sprinkling
- 750 gm mutton or lamb meat
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 4 medium onion, thinly sliced, (divided into two parts)
- 3 medium tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
- 1 garlic bulb, peeled & minced
- 4 green chilies
- 2 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon garam masala powder (all spice powder)
- salt to taste
- 4 cups water for meat tenderness
First wash bitter gourds thoroughly in cold running water. Now Scrape the outer peel of the bitter melon with a sharp peeler or paring knife to remove a thin layer of peel.
Cut the bitter gourd in half length-wise. Slit from one side to remove seeds and fibrous core using a teaspoon or a paring knife.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon salt over the peeled bitter gourds, toss together to mix evenly and keep it in sunlight for an hour, it will help to reduce its bitterness.
After one hour, You would see salt and sunlight is doing its magic and bitter gourd has started perspirating. Now rinse thoroughly with tap water and keep aside for 10 minutes in a strainer to dry access water.
Now take the bitter gourd and squeeze it in your hands, the juices will come out and try to remove as much bitter juice out of it as possible. Squeeze and Squeeze…. don’t give up!!!
Cut the bitter gourd into cubes, thin slices, rings or lengthwise. (any desired shape or sizes).
Heat some oil and fry the bitter gourd (in batches) on medium heat for few minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain and set aside.
Heat 1/2 cup oil in a large pot over medium heat. Saute onion until transculant. Add garlic and ginger and cook for 30 seconds or the garlic aroma to hit its peak.
When onion starts getting golden add meat and cook on high flame until meat change its color and turned brown, continuously stir.
Now add chopped tomatoes and spices (turmeric, red chili, coriander, etc). Stir and cook on low flame until tomatoes soften.
Add 4 cups of water. Heat to boiling, covered with a lid and simmer for 1 hour on low flame or until meat become tender and juicy.
When meat gets cooked properly at this stage increase the flame and cook on high flame for 5 to 7 minutes or until oil comes on top and meat is tender fully. Now add leftover 2 onions and fried bitter gourd. Stir and cook on medium flame for 10-15 minutes or until onion turned caramelized and oil separates.
Sprinkle garam masala and add green chillies and adjust seasoning to taste.. Its ready to serve. Take it out in a serving dish. Serve hot with Homemade Chapati or Roti.
Tip to First timers: Tasting is important before the final dish is served so that you can adjust the flavour. ENJOY 🙂
Check it out the Karela Gosht (Meat with Bitter Gourd) recipe and printable version below.
Do try the recipe, and let me know how you find bitter gourd. Also there are many varieties and I will keep posting new recipes of bitter gourd in future. Till then see ya all!!!
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