What is your motivation to grow bitter gourd plant in pot? I mean, what would be your reason to have a bitter gourd plant in your garden? Is it saving money or just getting fresh organic bitter gourd or spending time with green nature? I think many people will say all those are valid reasons to have vegetable plants. Am I correct? But for me it gives me the freedom to make karela based dishes anytime at home. I mean I do not need to think that whether I have that vegetable at my kitchen inventory or not. So for this purpose, I need to grow multiple bitter gourd plants in pots in my rooftop garden.
Growing bitter gourd plants in pots as well as on ground is very very easy. Those vines are the rapid grower. You can not imagine that how quickly just two plants can cover 4’*4′ trellis. If you are growing a healthy bitter gourd plant then you can easily expect 3-4 bitter gourds per week.
So how many plants do you need for your family?
Most gardeners who like karela based dishes will definitely grow these plants. Though I personally never bought its seeds till last year. But still, we always had those plants in our garden. During this season, I use to find bitter gourd plants here & there in our garden. I used to uproot those plants and replant in a proper location.
But since the last two years, I am buying those seeds and trying to grow in pots. This year, I sowed a few seeds but. But after one month, only two were germinated. Recently I sowed a few more seeds. But after 3 weeks only one germinated.
I used only kitchen/garden wastage as fertilizer for preparing potting mix and I am happy with the growth of my first two plants because those plants already started producing enough bitter gourd for us. I am also applying a liquid fertilizer (prepared with mustard cake, rice boiled water & a very small amount of mixed chemical fertilizers) every week. I had to apply chemical fertilizers due to lockdown because I have an only small amount of organic fertilizer in my stock. But chemical fertilizer is the best and it gave super result.
I prefer mixed chemical fertilizer because it has everything. So I do not need to bother about plant nutrients. Otherwise, most experts say so many things, do this at this stage, do that at that stage, don’t apply this, don’t apply that so many things. If I had to remember all those things then I probably lost the fun of gardening. The purpose of my gardening is to just get the opportunity to spend time with green nature. When you are living with so many vegetable plants then you will feel that you are actually experiencing a village lifestyle.
5 Bitter gourd (Karela) based dishes
Those are just a few plants. Now you may think why I am excited about those few bitter gourd plants?
I am excited because those plants are super healthy and producing more vegetables than my expectation. So probably it will meet my weekly demand what last year even when I had 5 plants still those were not producing this much. Apart from that, I sowed a few more seeds. I hope I will get more bitter gourds than my need in future in this season.
So here is a list of 5 wonderful bitter gourd (karela) based dishes what I love to make with those homegrown fresh bitter gourds.
I do not know how many of you actually like karela pakoda. But it is actually very delicious. If you like bitter gourd as a summer vegetable. Then You will definitely enjoy this snack.
This one is a very special dish. Though many people prepare this in different ways. Some people fry bitter gourds with potatoes whereas some people make it spicy. Crispy & hot bitter gourd fries are also popular.
Most Bengali people love this awesome dish. This such a popular Bengali dish which is super healthy too. Bengali people start a meal with this dish. Sometimes I prefer to add fresh bitter gourd leaves to this shukto instead of its fruits.
Uchche siddho (Boiled karela/bitter gourd)
Haha, such a unique dish what probably only Bengali people eat. Do you ever want to try this? Though I do not want to have this without boiled potatoes due to its bitterness. So when boiled potatoes & bitter gourd mashed together with salt & chillies then it becomes a special Bengali dish.
It takes time to prepare but it is very delicious and probably most delicious among the many other types of karela dishes. Many people use different types of stuffing items for this stuffed karela. Many people add besan, jaggery too.