From being a person who absolutely had nothing to do with bitter gourds what so ever, I am now this person who loves the bitterness of bitter gourds. When I made my Thengai Paal Sadham, the coconut milk Pulao – I wanted something to go on the side with it. While a vegetable Kurma or even Dal Makhani sounded delicious, I wanted something different. Sometimes, going all non-traditional is good. Like how I discovered this recipe!
Usually Amma makes stuffed bitter gourds – Guthi Kakarakaya especially with the small, baby bitter gourds. Growing up, I used to scrape off the masala stuffed within and secretly throw away the bitter gourd. Come to think of it, I was a bit of devilish kid may be 😀 We have never made bitter gourd fries at home. A few times, dad being the Kakarakaya (Bitter Gourd) lover in the family, would buy the fries at store. Even I have had a few from his plate and they are never that bitter. May be it is the deep fried stuff or may be it is how thinly these fries are cut – they are quite tasty.
So, when I was looking for a recipe to go with my Coconut Milk Pulav – these crispy fried bitter gourds seemed like a great idea. Within 15 mins, a batch of fries were done and guess what, they were crispy and crunchy too! The slight bitterness of the fries complimented the sweet coconut rice and we had a hearty lunch 🙂 I am sure this recipe would be a regular at my house. Although deep fried, these fries are hardly oily and not at all bitter. For someone who loves bitter gourds, these can be had a snack as well.
To make Crispy Bitter Gourd Fries | Pavakai Varuval | Kakarakaya Vepudu
What I used –
- Bitter Gourds, 2 long big ones
- Gram Flour, ½ cup
- Rice Flour, 3 tbsp
- Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Salt, as required
- Oil, for deep frying
- Water, a few tbsp
How I made –
1. Wash and cut away the ends of the bitter gourds. Cut into thin roundels, remove any large thick seeds as required. In a bowl, add the cut bitter gourd roundels. Add gram flour, rice flour, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
2. Mix everything together so that the bitter gourd slices are covered in flour. Sprinkle few drops of water until all the powders are wet and there is a thin coating of the batter on the bitter gourd pieces.
3. Meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying. Once the oil is hot, reduce the flame to medium. Gently drop a few slices of the bitter gourd pieces coated in batter. Keep frying them until golden brown. Remove onto a tissue paper. Repeat the same with the rest of the bitter gourd pieces.
4. Serve hot as a side for rice with Sambar, Rasam or even Curd. It tasted pretty great with Thengai Paal Sadham too 🙂 These can be served as a snack and stay crispy for few hours.
- Cut the bitter gourd into thin roundels – make sure they are as thin as possible.
- To reduce the bitterness, soak the cut bitter gourd slices in sour buttermilk/curd. And squeeze off the pieces to continue with the process.
- Adjust red chilli powder as per preference.
- Fine rice flour adds to the crispness of these fries and helps retain the crispness for a few hours.
- Make sure the oil is hot and then reduce the flame to medium. At a time, a bunch of bitter gourd slices can be fried. Don’t crowd the oil with too many slices – that way, they would absorb more oil.