|Indian Bitter Melon on the right|
|Fresh Curry Leaves|
Pakistani Masala Stuffed Bitter Melon! Food is medicine!
Bitter melon reduces blood sugar levels. Curry leaves are also anti diabetic. As any Indian, Pakistani or asian chef will explain, food is medicine! This plate of food helps to controls diabetes, by controlling and lowering blood sugar levels and it tastes great!
If you happen to be on insular diabetic medicine, then check with your doctor before trying any anti diabetic food. If the doctor does not have an answer to your inquiry or the doctor gives a generic answer that sounds like he is a pharmaceutical company representative, then it is time to shop for another doctor that is well educated about anti diabetic foods!
There are several types of bitter melon. Chinese bitter melon has a smooth skin. Indian bitter melon has an interesting coarse texture. The Indian bitter melon's origin seems to be the sub tropical Americas, but it is extensively cultivated in India and asia. Indian bitter melon is the most bitter of all bitter melons. Native Americans used this type of bitter melon as diabetic medicine and for other medicinal purposes for thousands of years, but it was not typically eaten as a food. The ripe melon turns yellow and it opens like a flower to release red color seeds.
Warning! There is a fine line regarding the consumption of the seeds. There is possible toxic side effects if the seeds are consumed! Avoid eating the seeds or the seed pulp to be safe! It is best not to serve bitter melon to children or pregnant women!
Indian Bitter Melon Benefits:
- Lowers blood sugar levels.
- Regulates glucose uptake.
- Lowers blood glucose concentrations.
- Increases insulin sensitivity.
- Insular appetite suppressant.
- Slows and stops colon cancer growth.
- Slows and fights the spreading of leukemia.
- Slows and fights breast cancer.
- Cures stomach aches and helps to kill nematodes.
- Prevents and cures malaria.
- Fights Chicken Pox, Measles and Herpes Simplex.
- Offsets negative effects of HIV infection drugs.
- Helpful for fighting scabies and skin ailments.
- Fights dysentery and colic.
- Fights fever.
- Has been used to treat burns.
- Helps to treat painful menstruation.
- Has been used for birth control.
- Has been used to aid childbirth.
- Used as an abortifacient for domestic animals.
Indian Bitter Melon Warnings and Negative Side Effects:
- The bitter melon seeds are removed before cooking. The seeds contain vicine and they can be harmful to people who are susceptible to favism (glucose 6 phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency).
- The red arils of the seeds can be toxic to children and they certainly should not be consumed during pregnancy!
Curry leaves are required for this Pakistani recipe, but if none can be found, then treat them as an optional ingredient. Curry leaves are also called sweet neem leaves, meethi neem, fogli di cari, kariveppila or black neem. The word Kari refers to curry leaf in most cases. Curry leaves are used in almost every recipe in Sri Lanka, South India, West Coast India and India's surrounding countries. Cambodia has curry leaf recipes too.
Fresh curry leaves have a short shelf life and they do not refrigerate well. Fresh is best! Dry curry leaves have very little good aroma.
Curry leaf does have nice flavor characteristics of its own. The aroma, to me, is similar to roasted peanuts with a small squeeze of lime.
Curry leaves help to treat blood disorders, hemorrhoids, skin boils, morning sickness, iron deficiency, calcium deficiency, nausea and constipation. Curry leaf infused oil fights premature gray hair and it strengthens the ends of hair. (No, this is not an old scam artist hair tonic pitch! It is fact.) Curry leaves are commonly chewed to help control blood sugar levels.
For many ailments that curry leaves are used as a cure, the curry leaves require that the curry leaves be prepared with other common specific ingredients such as ginger, fried black chickpea (black gram) and salt. For control of blood sugar levels, curry leaves only need to be chewed or consumed. I am not writing a natural medicine journal, so for treating ailments other than blood sugar levels, do some research of your own!
If you are already on insular medicine, check with your doctor before going crazy for curry leaves. The only known major side effects of eating too much curry leaf is that curry leaves help to cure constipation with it's laxative-like qualities! That could be dangerous! Ha ha ha ha!
I was diagnosed as being at risk for diabetes. I control my diabetes with my diet. I have found many natural foods that help to control diabetes and I like to pass the information on.
My referenced information for the medicinal uses of bitter melon and curry leaves was found in medical journals and encyclopedias. The information is not new or ground breaking. The medicinal information is simply overlooked by most people. I study natural medicine on my own and I have no degree in this field, but I do know what is real and what is not! You won't find miracle cures in curry leaves or bitter melon, but you may find these foods to be helpful with what ails you. Bitter melon and curry leaves are old ancient natural medicine and food. Food is medicine!
Qeema Bhare Karele Recipe:
The masala is used as the stuffing and the sauce in this recipe.
Wash 2 medium size Indian bitter melons. The melons can be peeled or served with the coarse skin intact for more character.
Cut a slit through the flesh in each melon from nearly end to end.
Gently pry the melon open a little.
Use a spoon to scrape out all of the seeds and seed pulp. (Important! The seeds can cause illness!)
Boil enough water in a pot to cover the bitter melons.
Add sea salt.
Add the bitter melons.
Boil till the bitter melons start to become tender.
Cool the bitter melons under cold running water.
Pat the melons dry with a towel.
Heat a saute pan over medium low heat.
Add 2 ounces of vegetable oil.
Add 2 teaspoons of whole cumin seed.
Add 2 teaspoons of whole mustard seed.
Shake the pan occasionally, just like making popcorn! The seeds will make popping noises.
When the seeds no longer make popping noises, add 2 teaspoons of ginger paste.
Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of garlic paste.
Add 1 small handful of small chopped bermuda onion.
Add 1 small handful of small chopped spanish onion.
Raise the temperature to medium heat.
Saute till the onions turn clear in color.
Add 2 small chopped Roma tomatoes.
Saute till the tomatoes start to become tender.
Add sea salt.
Add 1 tablespoon of garam masala.
Add 1 teaspoon of hot red chile powder. (Chinese chile pwder, Indian chile powder or cayenne pepper is fine.)
Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric.
Saute till an aroma develops.
Add 1 cup of water.
Simmer and reduce, till a thick dry sauce is formed.
Reduce the temperature to very low heat.
Spoon some of the masala sauce into the open slits on the bitter melons.
Use a string to tie each melon closed.
Add 1/2 cup of water to the dry masala sauce in the pan to wet it, so it returns to a medium thick sauce consistency.
Heat a saute pan over medium/medium low heat.
Add 1 splash of vegetable oil.
Add 10 to 15 small curry leaves.
Fry the leaves, till no sizzling sound is heard.
Remove the fried curry leaves from the pan and set them aside.
Place the 2 stuffed tied melons in the hot oil.
Pan fry the melons, till the become tender and light brown highlights appear.
Remove the melons from the hot oil and set them on a cutting board.
Cut the strings and carefully remove the strings.
Spoon the sauce on a large platter as a bed for stuffed Indian bitter melons.
Place the stuffed Indian bitter melons on the sauce.
Sprinkle the fried curry leaves over the stuffed bitter melons and masala sauce.
Serve with small ramekins of coriander chutney, Korean coarse red serrano hot sauce and thin goats milk yogurt. (Pre made coriander chutney is available in Indian markets.)
Serve with rice or roti chapati bread. (I purchased freshly made roti chapati at the Indian market in Las Vegas.)
Delicious! This Pakistani recipe tones down the bitterness of Indian bitter melon nicely! Being prone to diabetes, I felt fantastic after eating this entree, even though my sugar intake has been minimal. The flavors of this entree are warm, comfortable and satisfying. Warm comfortable garam masala is not a curry blend of spices. It can be if curry spices are added in other recipes. The fried curry leaves add an interesting flavor and texture!
This is a great Pakistani recipe! Do the required step of heating and popping the cumin and mustard seeds for the best flavor! Yum! ... Shawna