Bitter gourd salad from my grandmother’s medicine chest.

bitter gourd
One of the predominant tastes and perhaps the most repulsed is bitter. The repulsiveness to bitterness happens as a mechanism to avoid poisonous substances by the body. Yet, among the bitter are also hidden some of the most powerful  medicines too, like the bitter gourd.

bitter gourd

A  popular vegetable both for its bitterness and it’s medicinal value is bitter gourd, Mormodica  charantia. It is a highly researched for its hypoglycemic effect, cancer properties and even for general health and well being.
The bitter gourd fruit  can  be juiced,  boiled or fried. Rarely you would have seen this as a salad.  Here is how I got this recipe.
This unique recipe was my paternal grandmother’s. This is perhaps the one recipe she relied on everyday to control her sugar levels to live a happy 90. Not often do I see her cook,  not much have I savored her cooking. She had a keen eye for things she wants used to and could very well spot it and use with minimal processing.  She is no  more but her recipe has left a good feeling.
bitter gourd

grated salad

 This recipe is almost done her way, minimally processed yet i have added a small twist to make it more palatable to us.  I would agree too that this bitter gourd recipe took a while for all our palates to adapt to.  Yet the kick from the chili , the tang from the lemon made it easier to adapt.
As we make life style adaptations to the  border line diabetic among us such recipes have become integral to simple eating.  With least effort it is a flavorful and filling vegetable salad portion on the plate.  With a touch of yogurt the kids too have learnt to wind their tongue around this salad. This is how they like it.
bitter gourd
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Bitter gourd salad Yum
Low glycemic index recipe
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.5
Rate this recipe!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Votes: 6
Rating: 4.5
Rate this recipe!
  1. Choose a bitter gourd which is firm. Squishy ones may be old and wilted or even have started decaying inside. Alternately choose one where the ridges or are firm and dont tend to fall off easily. Like wise for the cucumber.
  2. Wash, Trim the edges of both the bitter gourd and the cucumber
  3. Grate the cucumber to get one cup. You can keep the peel on as it is healthy and adds a bit to the crunch. Add it to your mixing bowl.
  4. Cut the bitter gourd lengthwise and scoop out the center. Now grate the outer thick rind to get one cup. If the bitter gourd is too small you may need one more bitter gourd
  5. Add this too to the mixing bowl.
  6. Pound the birds eye chili carefully with a pinch of salt. Add in the lemon juice to this to form the dressing.
  7. Scoop up the dressing and add to the grated veggies in the bowl. Please handle carefully as birds eye chili is strong and can burn your fingers .
  8. Toss well gently and adjust the salt
    bitter gourd
  9. Temepering the salad is optional. I like the way the oil masks the heightened bitterness so adding this along. In a small pan heat up the coconut oil and as it starts bubbling add in the mustard. When the mustard begins to splutter add in the cumin and red chili. remove from heat and let it stand for a minute.
  10. Add the tempering on the prepared salad and serve.
Recipe Notes

The clever use of cucumber to combat the bitterness is advantageous. You can swap it with other salad veggies of your choice too.

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Poonam Bachhav

Lovely recipe Seema. Have never tried eating raw bitter gourd. Will try this for sure.


This is great. Got to try this for sure. Thanks for sharing.