I like the bitterness of bitter gourd and it helps in a low insulin situation. Almost every recipe I've seen, recommends frying it. My objective is to lessen the cooking time, but it's hard to find recipes for cooking bitter gourd in an ordinary pressure cooker. The recipes I found, use some kind of a cooker with a timer, and they cook it only for a minute (which I assume wouldn't cook it fully).

I'm accustomed to pressure cooking mixed vegetables until the first whistle. But is there any special reason for not pressure cooking bitter gourd for as long as the first whistle or a reason that people almost always fry it? Is it because of some loss in nutrition (polypeptide-p or p-insulin) or crunchiness?

I'd really appreciate an ordinary pressure cooker recipe for bitter gourd, where it can be cooked with some masala's added (for extra taste). The point of using a pressure cooker is to reduce the cooking time and to be able to cook a large amount of bitter gourd in bulk and keep it in the freezer so I wouldn't have to keep purchasing it and cooking it every now-and-then.

  • Hi Nav, we don't take generic "loss of nutrition" questions, because everybody has a different idea of what nutrition is. If you have a concrete nutrient in mind, you can add that part back. You have to define it in an objective matter, so that the question can be answered even if it weren't about nutrition. So if you say, e.g. "is there loss of calcium" (I picked a random component here, don't even know if there is calcium in gourds to start with), that can be answered. We cannot answer if you ask for "those chemicals which make it healthy" or similar.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 7:29
  • Ok. No problem. My query on nutrition was specifically about polypeptide-p and p-insulin, but also related to some info I read about not boiling broccoli for too long because it'd leach nutrients. Was just wondering if that'd happen with bitter gourd too when pressure-cooked. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4027280
    – Nav
    Commented Jun 4, 2019 at 12:49

1 Answer 1


Taking into consideration your purpose for eating bitter gourd, and your objective of cooking it quickly, to “lessen the cooking time”.

The fastest way to cook it is to stir fry it, with eggs, meat or just by itself with some oil, garlic and shallots. from prep to eat time is about 20 minutes. Or add it to a chicken broth for a quick blanch before consuming it as part of a soup.

From experience, pressure cooking it will not save any time, rendering the bitter gourd into something lumpy and not as palatable. Part of the older generations belief is that it also loses its “medicinal” and nutritional benefits.

  • Did an experiment today. Bought 2kg bitter gourd. Marinated it with salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir fried half of it on low-medium flame with 6tbsp oil (5 may have been enough). By 25 min it was done. Fried it 5min more anyway. The other 1kg, I put in a pressure cooker with 2 cups water. Same level of flame. It took 30 min until the first whistle. It lost most of the bitter taste. Frying is indeed faster and better in terms of preserving the taste.
    – Nav
    Commented Jan 22, 2021 at 16:29

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