Experts have always stressed the need to eat seasonal and local produce to maintain one’s health and boost the body’s immunity. But not many people know about the benefits of such foods. So when we recently spotted actor Neena Gupta, who is presently in Uttarakhand’s Mukteshwar, sharing her plans of making ‘meethe karele ki sabzi’, we thought you might want to know more about the vegetable that grows in the wild.
Meetha karela, also called spiny gourd or pahadi karela among several other names, is a popular green vegetable in the hills. As it usually grows in the wild, it doesn’t require much care and is often pest-free.
The little-known vegetable can be eaten in raw or cooked forms, and tastes like cucumber. As a native of South America, the karela belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family.
The vegetable is quite popular among the local people, and there are a few studies that have documented its nutritive values.
As per a Brazil study published in Food Chemistry in 2014, the vegetable is a rich source of calcium, magnesium, sodium (0.91 mg/100 g) and potassium (152 mg/100 g).
The Masaba Masaba actor showed us how to remove the vegentable’s black seeds and then chop them to make a curry.
How to make meetha karela sabzi?
500g – Fresh pahadi karela
2 – Medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
2 – Medium-sized onions, chopped
Slit green chillies
4 tbsp – coriander powder
½ tsp – Cumin seeds
1 tbsp – Turmeric
Mustard oil for cooking
Salt to taste
*Wash thoroughly and then keep aside for 30 minutes to drain any water residue.
*Slit the karela in half and remove the black seeds.
*Cut the pahadi karela into thin slices or as desired.
*Add a generous amount of mustard oil in a flat-bottomed iron kadhai. After it heats up, add cumin seeds, green chillies and onions. Cook until golden brown.
*Now add salt, tomatoes followed by coriander powder and turmeric. Allow the spices to cook. Finally, add the sliced karela and ook for 10-15 minutes till tender.
*Serve hot with roti or rice.
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