After having successfully grown the spiky bitter gourd with the seeds brought back from Fraser's Hill, and having enjoyed a good harvest, I was very encouraged to grow the next batch. I germinated the seeds I have collected from some ripen fruits from my own plants after the old plants were pulled out. They are easy to grow and easy to take care. If you are interested to read about what has been shared in my previous post concerning the spiky bitter gourd, you can click here and also click here for the Wild Indian Bitter Gourd post.
Some of the common names for bitter gourd are bitter melon, bitter squash, balsam pear or karela. Its scientific name is Momordica charantia.
The spiky bitter gourd seedlings are ready to be transferred to the big pots.
Indian bitter gourd is very much smaller than the Chinese bitter gourd and it is much more bitter than the Chinese bitter gourd.
The Indian bitter gourd or karela commonly sold in the market or stores are rounder, shorter with smooth ridges. The ones growing in my garden are longer and have jagged or spiky ridges.
You can see the spiky ridges and this fruit was about 8 inches long.
I get to harvest the karela or bitter gourds every 2 to 3 days. I have to watch for the colour to change from dark green to light green. Once it started to turn light green, it is harvested to prevent it from ripening further.
These bitter gourds have many health and medicinal benefits. Sometimes I will boil soup using these bitter gourd with pork ribs or chicken, carrot and goji berries or wolf berries or kei chee in Cantonese.
Besides soup, I also sliced them finely for frying egg omelette. I have also used them to fry with spicy prawn paste (sambal belacan).
Sometimes I will boil these bitter gourds with a little goji berries and red dates in water to drink.
The raw juice of these bitter gourds is claimed to be effective in lowering blood sugar. Sometimes, I will juice these bitter gourds with green apples for hubby and myself.
Look after each other so that not one of you
will fail to find God's best blessings.
Watch out that no bitterness takes root among you,
for as it springs up it causes deep trouble,
hurting many in their spiritual lives.
(Hebrews 12:15, The Living Bible-TLB)