Kavi Choudappa Satakam (rendered into English) -(6)
veayaaru vagala kuuralu
gaaya laneakamulu dhaatrigala vaMdulaloe
kaayalu mari kuMdavarapu kavichouDappaa.
వేయాఱు వగల కూరలు
గాయ లనేకములు ధాత్రిగల వందులలో
కాయలు మఱి కుందవరపు కవిచౌడప్పా. (Poem 22) (In Telugu font)
a thousand and six varieties of vegetables
and fruits so many are there on this earth,
amongst them the foremost is the vegetable
bitter-gourd, Oh Kundavarapu Kavi Choudappaa.
It is a centuries old belief that the vegetable bitter-gourd has some medicinal qualities in it. In herbal medicine and Ayurveda medicine, bitter-gourd is used to cure and control the advancement of some ailments. It is mostly believed to be useful for controlling diabetes and a spoonful or two of its juice obtained by squeezing some tender raw fruits of this vegetable is commonly advised to be taken early in the morning before taking any other food, as a domestic medicine for persons affected with diabetes so that it may help in controlling the increased level of sugar in blood.
It is understandable that Kavi Choudappa had this in mind while telling this poem in praise of the bitter-gourd. Also, there are two or three most popular varieties of recipes prepared with this vegetable; in dry form as a curry prepared by boiling it in oil after adding salted chilly powder and other seasoning material, which will be taken with cooked rice adding a little quantity of ghee at the time of eating; and in juicy form as a soup prepared by systematically adding all seasoning material to tamarind juice and boiling it till it becomes thick with pieces of bitter-gourd in it. In spite of its bitterness, these varieties of recipes of this vegetable are very tasty and form part of their menu in many a Telugu-speaking household in reasonable regularity, if not too frequently.