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What Is Ampalaya? Things To Know About The Bitter Vegetable

AMPALAYA – In this topic, we are going to learn and discuss about the vegetable that taste bitter called ampalaya.


It is a tropical and subtropical vine of the Cucurbitaceae family and is widely grown in Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean because of its edible fruit.

It is known officially as Momordica charantia and is known in English as bitter melon; bitter apple; bitter gourd; bitter squash; balsam-pear.

Ampalaya is the Tagalog term for this fruit and is known in different languages as:

  • Malayalam
    • pāvaykka ( പാവയ്ക്ക)
    • kaippaykka (കൈപ്പയ്ക്ക)
  • Hindi
    • karelā (करेला)
  • Urdu
    • karelā (کریلا‎)
  • Gujarati
    • kārelũ (કારેલું)
  • Punjabi
    • karelā (ਕਰੇਲਾ)
  • Nepali
    • karelo (करेलो)
  • Kashmiri
    • karel (करेल)
  • Marathi
    • kārlī (कारली)
  • Konkani
    • kārāte (कारांतें)
  • Assamese
    • kerela (কেৰেলা)
  • Bengali
    • kôrôla (করলা)
  • Sinhala
    • karavila (කරවිල)
  • Haitian Creole
    • asosi
  • Seychellois Creole
    • margoz
  • Telugu
    • kākara (కాకర)
  • Kannada
    • hāgalakāyi (ಹಾಗಲಕಾಯಿ)
  • Tamil
    • pāgarkāy/pāvakāy (பாகற்காய்)
  • Mandarin
    • kǔguā (苦瓜)
  • Cantonese
    • loeng4gwaa1 (涼瓜)
  • Korean
    • yeoju (여주)
  • Japanese
    • nigauri (苦瓜)
  • Okinawan
    • gōyā (ゴーヤー)
  • Odia
    • kalarā (କଲରା)
  • Indonesian
    • perai
    • pare
  • Malay
    • peria
  • Sranan Tongo
    • sopropo
  • South Vietnamese
    • khổ qua
  • North Vietnamese
    • mướp đắng
  • Thai
    • mara kheenok (มะระขี้นก)
  • Burmese
    • kyethinga (ကြက်ဟင်းခါး)

The ampalaya is a herbaceous, tendril-bearing vine which grows up to 5 meters or 16 feet in length and bears simple, alternate leaves that are 4 to 12 centimeters or 1.6 to 4.7 inches across.

Each plant has a separate yellow male and female flowers which, in the Northern Hemisphere, occurs during June to July and fruits during September to November.

Its fruit has a distinctive warty exterior and an oblong shape and is hollow in cross-section, with a relatively thin layer of flesh surrounding a central seed cavity filled with large, flat seeds and pith.

Ampalaya is usually eaten while its green or as it turns yellow. Its flesh, when eaten, is crunchy and watery like cucumber and tastes bitter.

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