Culinary experiments with cranberry & bitter melon – an unlikely combination
In Indian Auyervedic medicine, bitter melon (bitter gourd) is highly valued for its medicinal properties. Auyervedic doctors routinely suggest to diabetic and pre-diabetic patients to include as much bitter melon as feasible, in their meals. However, due to the intense bitter taste of this vegetable, most people will find preparations with bitter melon unpalatable. In the cooking methods described in A Short Course in Culinary Experiments suggestions were made to mitigate the bitter taste of bitter gourd by the addition of vegetables like tomato or onion.
Cranberry has a similar dilemma – it is highly valued for its medicinal properties, but is very sour. Check the summary about cranberry in the link here. Now, what would happen if we were to combine bitter melon with cranberry? The intuitive guess will be that the combination will produce an even less appealing vegetable curry than either one of them separately. However, surprisingly, the combination of these two vegetables produced a very palatable vegetable preparation. This is a variation of the preparation B9, from the ebook. Bitter melon is usually available in Indian/Asian grocery stores. There is also a photo in the “Materials List Photos” to help you identify this vegetable, while in the grocery store.
Suggested ratio of main ingredients:
Bitter gourd – 1 lb
Cranberry – ½ lb.
The spices required can be increased slightly as follows:
Chili powder – 2 teaspoons
Turmeric – ¾ teaspoon
Salt – ½ teaspoon
The sequence of preparation can be same as described in B9, Method-1. You can add cranberry as whole. At the end of the cooking process, this will meld with the bitter melon. Be sure to leave your comments at the bottom of this post, if your findings are similar (or different?).