There are some vegetables that I did not like while growing up and without a doubt Caraili was one of them. It was bitter, and tasted awful. Then, as I grew older I observed all the adults eating it; saying it was good to eat. How could something sooo bitter be good for you? Anyone who eats caraili knows that its taste takes some time getting used to, but soon you get accustom to its taste and learn to enjoy it.
The Bitterness of Karela
While rummaging around the internet, I came across a delightful story about how the bitter gourd got its taste. It was really interesting. Even though it was of Filipino origin, I enjoyed the story thoroughly. Want to read it? Check it out here. I hope you find it a good read. It's a nice story to read for your children as well since there is a moral at the end.
Anyhow, I am surprised how this bitter vegetable loses most of its bitterness when fried with onion, garlic and pimento pepper. It seems that the fire tames him a bit. The dish presented on this page makes a good complement to any meal, especially with its unique look. It adds an interesting taste to any dish as well.
So, my good readers, don't shy away from eating this healthy vegetable just because it is bitter and looks strange. Just know that it is good for you. This recipe is my second for caraili (karela). The other recipe is called kalounji. On that page I went into a little more of the health benefits with links.
Fry Caraili (Karela) Recipe
1 large Caraili
2 pimento peppers
2 cloves garlic
1 small onion
salt to taste
pepper to taste
Here I'm having it with bodi, stewed chicken,
stuffed potato and sliced tomatoes.
Fry Caraili (Karela)
- 1 large Caraili
- 2 pimento peppers
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small onion
- Salt to taste
- Pepper to taste
- Chop the Caraili into rings. Cut up the pimento peppers, onion and garlic and set aside. In a frying pan, over a medium flame, heat the oil. Add the chopped onions etc. and saute until golden brown.
- Add the chopped caraili rings and mix in with the seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I LOVE caraili!! It is very hard to find in Cincinnati Ohio, but when I do... I stock up so I could have caraili for days! Here I can find it under the name "bitter melon".
Yes that is another name Caraili is called. hope you enjoyed the post.Thanks for the comment. 🙂
My mother absolutely LOVES it. I am going to try your recipe because it looks delicious. Thanks for the background information as well.
No problem Pommecythere. Enjoy! 🙂
This is the way my mom would cook it! When she came to visit me last year in Germany, I asked her what she wanted to have in the fridge & she said "bitter melon"! I couldn't find any, but I wish I could! I've loved it since I was small...
I'm happy to hear that. I'm now starting to like it myself. Thanks for the comment.
hey felix....i knew trini culture is almost similar to indian culture.....but the names of veggies n spices are same too.......that;s a surprise for me.......nice blog and i am following it.
The names of veggies and spices have not changed for hundreds of years and now it is part of trini culture along with influences of the other races as well. Thank you sangeeta for you comment.
I bought one today at the Berkeley farmers' market. This was a Sunday morning staple in my house growing up, but I've never cooked it myself. I googled "caraili" and this is the first recipe that came up. Exactly the Trini recipe that I was looking for! Now we'll see if my peppers are good enough.
For People's Living in Europe you Can find bitter melon in Asian shops