Scientific name: Momordica charantia
Bitter gourd is a tropical and subtropical vine of the family Cucurbitaceae, widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean for its edible fruit. There are many varieties of bitter gourd, which differ substantially in the shape and bitterness of the fruit. Bitter gourds require a very hot and humid climate to grow well. Plant bitter gourd seeds in a location that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight every day. Seeds will take 8 to 10 days to germinate in soil temperatures ranging from 15 to 20℃. Bitter gourds will take around 55-60 days to mature. You can harvest bitter gourds once they are 4-5 inches in length and are of dark green colour. If the fruits are left to ripen on the vine longer than this, they will start changing colour to pale orange and become unpalatable.
Harvest the bitter gourd at the right time. It is the right time when the fruit is neither too small nor too young, nor too hard and fibrous. Bitter gourd fruit ripens twice as fast in warmer zones than cooler zones. Bitter gourd has a sharp flavor that works well in many dishes. To prepare it, start by washing the fruit and cutting it lengthwise.
Then use a tool to scoop out the seeds from the center and cut the fruit into thin slices. Bitter melon can be enjoyed raw or cooked in various recipes. It is a popular plant used for the treating of diabetes-related conditions amongst the indigenous populations of Asia, South America, India, the Caribbean and East Africa. Bitter melon is especially rich in vitamin C, an important micronutrient involved in disease prevention, bone formation, and wound healing. It’s also high in vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that promotes skin health and proper vision.