Hope you enjoyed the last detailed memo on bitters! Now let’s get into some food resources. I have SO many for you!! I’ve broken it down into veggies, herbs, roots that can be eaten/imbibed as a concoction, the citrus family, and sweets 🙂 And then scroll to the bottom to get a family recipe using bittermelon!
Leafy greens (salad formula, salads) such as arugula /kale/ brussels sprouts (easier to get and qualify as crucifers) . Less easy to get and less easy to acquire the taste of: endive and dandelion greens and radicchio. Here’s a recipe for radicchio that everyone in our cookbook club loved.
Bittermelon….see recipe below. This is a vegetable also used in the Blue Zone of Okinawa Japan. Who knows about whether it alone truly causes increased longevity (doubtful–it’s never just one thing!). It is purported to be a blood sugar regulator though as well. Consider using it in Japanese-style stir fries like this recipe!
Bitter Herbs: peppermint, parsley, lemon balm, lemon verbena, lavender, ginger, fennel, clove (all have bitter properties of varying degree and also a multitude of other phytochemicals)
Bitter Citrus: lemon/lime/grapefruit, including the white pith…this works when you make for example easy-peasy preserved lemons or when you consider tossing a quarter or a half a lemon into a fresh juice.
Bitter Chocolate: Yes bittersweet chocolate but check the label….we are looking at 70% or above cacao…if you have found an 85% or so, try a square but don’t expect it to taste sweet like a chocolate dessert….think of it as a polyphenol-rich, bitters-full “medicine”.
An Andhra-style Family Recipe for Bittermelon pickle/chutney
This recipe has not been transcribed. I thought this time it would be lovely to see a “oral transcription” of a typical way an older person may teach a younger person how to cook something 🙂 This recipe is courtesy of my cousin-in-law Sravani!
– cut 3 bitter melon 1-2 inches long (peel and cut into pieces)
– deep fry in the oil (not exactly deep fry but use lot of oil)
-make garlic paste with chili’s powder and salt. (1 to 1.5 tsp chili powder with 3-4 garlic cloves plus ½ tsp salt up to 1 tsp salt)
– add this to deep fried pieces.
– add more chilli powder per taste.
– separately, in very hot oil add brown mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves fresh garlic, turmeric powder. (my add on: just a 1/4 tsp mustard seed, 1/2 tsp cumin seed, 2 stems of curry leaves, 2 sliced fresh garlic cloves, and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder)
– add this to the curry and mix well.
– if eating immediately squeeze a lemon and mix. That will cut the heat a bit too.