BITTERGOURD. Think of this vegetable and the first thought that comes to mind is its bitterness. Bitter gourd is believed to have many nutritive and medicinal values and great for detoxing. I have known that by consuming the bitter gourd juice regularly one can alleviate diabetes. Not sure about this. If any one have done this and have had improvement, kindly let me know.
There are a few types of bitter gourd. Normally I use 2 types depending on what I want to use it for. I have a daughter who from a very young age loves bitter gourd, surprising me too as I am not fond of this vegetable. I usually slice them very thinly and bake as chips for her to munch. My whole family loves bitter gourd done this way. I have grown to love this vegetable now. So I am dedicating this dish/salad to my daughter who simply loves this vegetable!
About 1 year ago, I learnt from my cousin of another way of using up bitter gourd and it was a delight to eat, I was very surprised because she did not cook it. She made it into a salad. Guess what! This is a raw bitter gourd salad with the end result so refreshing and not at all bitter.
I have some bitter gourd plants at home so whenever there is one ready to be plucked, this salad will be made. It is that simple to make too.
This salad is a fabulous accompaniment to fish or any curry dish. It is enjoyable as an appetizer too.
If you panfry a fish or bake it, you can have this bitter gourd salad as a side dish as well.
So get going with a raw vegetable that is surprisingly not bitter as the name says!
1 Bitter gourd or 5 small bitter gourds
3 cm piece fresh ginger – julienned
1 green tomato – sliced thinly
1 medium size onion – sliced finely
Limes – lime juice as required
Salt as required
Salted peanuts – crushed
Remove the pith if using the larger bitter gourd, if they are small ones, it’s not necessary to remove pith and then slice very finely.
Sprinkle a little salt. Keep aside for about 10 minutes.
Rinse quickly and spin dry and put the slices in a large bowl.
Add the tomato, julienned ginger, and onions. Sprinkle salt and ½ tsp sugar and squeeze lime. Mix to combine. Taste if need to add more salt or limejuice.
Serve as it is or chilled.
It is not necessary to spin, can use it after slicing it straightaway.
The use of the green tomato is because it gives a tangy taste, if not available can substitute with a not too ripe tomato.
Use young ginger, and julienne it very finely.
The taste of lime is dependent on your preference.
Sugar is optional but it balances the whole dish.
Other nuts can be used, I have used almonds and walnuts. OR just leave them out.