Medicinal Food Recipe- African Bitter Leaf

Medicinal Food Recipe- African Bitter Leaf



Dry Spice Mix

5-6 allspice

½-1 inch cinnamon stick

4-5 cloves 

1 tsp black pepper seeds


Mace 1 

1/8th tsp nutmeg powder/ piece

½ tsp sichuan pepper

⅛ tsp anise powder/piece

1 tsp Fennel seeds

1 tsp Cumin Seeds

1 tbsp Coriander Seeds


Green Paste

5-6 cloves of garlic

½ inch ginger

5-6 green chillies

1/4th cup of cilantro leaves

1 tsp of lemon juice


Main Ingredients

1 lb Mutton/ Meat of your choice

10-15 bitter leaf leaves

Cooking the Meat


  1. Wash the mutton thoroughly and add some salt and turmeric/turmeric to it. If you are a vegetarian, then you can replace meat with the protein of your choice like with paneer or soy chunks. 
  2. Next, add the green paste- a paste of green chilies, garlic cloves, ginger, and some cilantro or coriander leaves. This paste is used in almost every Indian curry. If you hate the smell of cilantro or garlic, feel free to skip that ingredient.
  3. If time allows, put this mixture marinate for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator to tenderize and remove the gamey taste of the meat.
  4. Take 2 tablespoons of oil of your choice in a heated pan and the marinated mutton to it. Keep roasting the mutton in the oil until all the water disappears and the mutton looks shiny. It takes about 8-10 minutes of roasting depending on the pot that you are using. 
  5. Once the water has all evaporated and the mutton is fried well, add one cup of hot water to the pressure cooker and cook the mutton for exactly 8 minutes once the pressure cooker lid is locked. Set a timer to remind you, or the mutton will be overcooked.


Preparing Bitter Leaf Leaves

  1. While the mutton cooks, wash the bitter leaf leaves thoroughly and chop them up into small pieces. Then add some water to the chopped leaves and crush them with your hands. This removes the bitter taste in the leaves. The bitter taste is due to antinutritional factors in the leaves. The leaves need to be washed at least four times to remove the bitterness. 
  2. Then add some green chilies and salt to the washed and crushed leaves. Make a paste of the leaves in a grinder. 


Preparing Curry

  1. Mutton is fully cooked now and you can eat it just like this at this point. 
  2. Add one tablespoon of oil  to a heated pan and once the oil is warm add some bay leaves and grated ginger for added flavor. Then add the bitter leaf juice and mutton. Let the mixture cook well. 
  3. In a heated pan, take one tablespoon of oil and once the oil is warm add some bay leaves and grated ginger for added flavor. Then add the bitter leaf juice and mutton. Let the mixture cook well and the medicinal bitter leaf extract to get into the mutton.  
  4. Once the gravy is half ready, add the dry spice mix. If you like to make a red curry then you can add red chili powder. 
  5. Let the entire mixture simmer until the desired consistency is attained. 
  6. Once the dish is ready, garnish it with chopped cilantro and lemon. It can be served with any type of bread or rice.
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