Bitter gourd, or “karela” in Hindi, is often relished for its benefits mostly despised for its bitter taste.
If you didn’t know already, it is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folate, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fibre. Karela is also rich in iron, and contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana, according to Health.com website.
Health Benefits of Bitter Goard/ Karela
- Blood purifier: The antimicrobial and antioxidant properties which are present in karela help in treating skin problems, blood disorders, removing toxins from the blood and purifying it. Karela also improves blood circulation, helps to cure issues like rashes, acne, blood boils and even it is considered that Karela hinders the growth of cancerous cells in our body.
- Weight loss: Eating Karela or drinking the juice of karela stimulates the liver to secrete bile acids, these acids are essential for metabolising fat in the body. Besides all this, a 100g serving of bitter gourd contains just 17 calories which makes it a great option for fitness enthusiasts.
- Improves immunity: Karela is an extremely rich source of vitamin C (though it is not Sour) which helps to boost immunity. It also has some powerful antiviral property, which stimulates our immune system and also aids in good digestion.
- Great for diabetes: We all might be aware of this benefit that karela has a certain insulin-like protein called polypeptide P that mimics the action of insulin which lowers blood sugar levels in diabetic patients. It is also good for pregnant ladies to avoid chances of Gestational Diabetes.
- Fights acne: Consuming karela can really help you get rid of acne, blemishes and skin infections, as it removes toxins from the body and gives a healthy and glowing skin.
We all know various recipes wherein the bitterness is also reduced to a major extent. But still we face a lot of trouble making our kids eat it. We better blame Karela for its bitter name. But have you tried karela paratha, it’s so easy to hide the karela in there and it tastes yummy too.
Ingredients for Karela paratha
- 1 ½ cup. Whole wheat flour
- Salt to taste
- Water as required
- 1 tsp Ghee/olive oil
- 1 medium-sized Bitter Gourd/karela- washed, peeled, finely chopped and mix with 1 tsp of salt
- 2 tbsp Mashed potatoes (optional)
- Salt to taste
- ¼ tsp. Garam masala powder
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1-2 green chillies finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Coriander powder
- ¼ tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ cup Onions finely chopped
- ½ tsp Ginger-garlic paste
- ½ cup dry coconut- grated (Optional)
Karela Paratha: filling preparation
- Squeeze the excess moisture and bitterness from the chopped & salted karela. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds, green chillies, onions, ginger-garlic paste and the grated coconut if you like, else you may skip it.
- Fry till fragrant and golden brown. Add salt, turmeric, coriander, garam masala.
- Now add the squeeze dried karela and continue to cook till the karela is cooked. Adda tbsp. of mashed potatoes for binding(optional).
Karela Paratha Preparation
- Make the dough for parathas, by mixing wheat flour, oil, salt and water. Knead the dough to form a smooth dough.
- Roll out two small balls of dough into small circular rotis and sandwich the filling in between and roll out the paratha. Repeat this to make more parathas.
- Roast on both sides on a tava and serve hot.
Serve hot with curd or pickle as you like.