Based on my research, Ampalaya is a vegetable grown throughout the Philippines. It is mostly cultivated, although wild forms can be found. It grows wild in the remote areas of Mt.Banahaw. As the English name suggests (bitter melon), the melon has a bitter taste due to the presence of momordicin. There has been much research done on the effectiveness of using Momordica Charantia in the treatment of diabetes. It has been shown to increase production of beta cells by the pancreas, thereby improving the body’s ability to produce insulin. It has been recommended by the Department of Health of thePhilippines, as one of the best herbal medicines for its ability to help with liver problems, Diabetes and HIV. It is a common herb used in Chinese herbology. In thePhilippines, the leaves are often used for children’s coughs. It is also used in the treatment of skin diseases, sterility in women, as a parasiticide, as an antipyretic, and as a purgative.
Anyway, I prepared ginisang ampalaya dish for my lunch; it is very simple dish for me. First step, Slice the ampalaya lengthwise then crape out the white membrane with spoon or with a knife. Second step, slice the ampalaya thinly, then rub the slices with rock salt and soak in water for 15 to 20 minutes. It helps cut the resentment of the vegetable. Then wash the ampalaya afterwards. I prepare the “sangkutsa.” Crush 2 cloves of garlic. Dice one small onion. Add ¼ kl. liver of chicken or its up to you if you want to add tomato. Pour oil in a heated pan. Slide in your onions. When transparent, stir in the garlic, followed by the liver. Stir in the ampalaya slices. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. I also add about 1/4 cup of water for a little broth. Then add a tablespoon of patis and pepper. When ampalaya is quite tender, stir in the beaten eggs and cook for another 5 minutes. Do not over cook the vegetable so it will still have a distinct crunchy taste when you eat. Then it’s ready to be served.
The other plants is known pandan leaves, it is a type of plant that grows in tropical areas ofAsia. Pandan leaves have a sweet, unique flavor that is commonly used in rice and to enhance both desserts and savory dishes. The leaves are long and bright green, and when pounded or ground, they lend a sweet taste and aroma to many desserts and some drinks.