Bitter Gourd is a small dark green vegetable with bitter taste. The skin is covered with blunt tubercles. The Chinese variety is oblong and pale green in colour.
Select firm green karelas with no visible signs of decay. Shades of pale green or yellowing on the ends are natural, and shows signs of ripening.
Kareals can be enjoyed when both ripe and unripe. When karelas are green or turning yellow, the bitter flesh and tender skin are edible. As the fruit ripens, the skin and flesh become too bitter eat, but the central seeds and pith become sweet and turn from white to red.
Karela is sourced year round from the Dominican Republic, the EU and Gambia.