Ayurvedically, a balanced healthy diet should include all the six tastes – sour, sweet, salty, pungent, bitter and astringent. The last two tastes are not so appealing so we try to avoid these. Karela has both bitter and astringent tastes.
Karela or bitter gourd pacifies kapha and pitta and doesn't allow vata to increase. It has warm properties so Pitta dosh can be reduced by taking karela with ghee.
Karela has many health benefits. It lowers blood sugar and is very beneficial for treating diabetes as it stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Karela enhances digestive juice secretion and improves appetite. It increases fat metabolism and thus is very effective in weight loss. It works against worm infestations. It is rich in anti-oxidants and minerals and has anti-aging properties. Karela acts as a natural detoxifying agent and purifies blood and cleanses internal organs and acts as the remedy for liver disorders. Karela is anti-viral, anti-malarial and anti-helmintic. It has high dietary fiber and helps in building our immunity strong.
Karela is not so good in taste but due to its many healthy properties, it is very good for our body. We can include this healthy vegetable in our diet by making a tasty vegetable curry of karela.
- 4 – 5 karela or bitter gourd
- 1 medium sized chopped tomato
- 1 medium-sized chopped onion
- 4 tsp anardana or powdered pomegranate seeds
- 2 tsp saunf or fennel seeds
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tsp dhaniya or coriander powder
- ½ tsp haldi or turmeric powder
- ½ tsp red chili powder
- finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- cooking oil or ghee
- Wash the karela and cut into small pieces without peeling it. Sprinkle some salt on it to reduce the bitterness of karela. Keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat some oil in a pan and add cumin seeds.
- Once they start sputtering, add fennel seeds and onions to the pan, and fry till onions turn pink.
- Add the chopped tomato and turmeric powder, red chili powder, dhaniya powder, anardana, and salt.
- Mix all the spices well and keep on stirring until nice rich gravy of tomato and onion is prepared.
- Add the chopped karela and add enough water to cover the karela.
- Cover the pan and let it cook until karela is soft.
Enjoy this curry with hot chapati