Pavakkai Varuval | Karela Fry | Fried Bitter Gourd

Pavakkai Varuval | Karela Fry | Fried Bitter Gourd

pavakkai-varuval-karela-bitter-gourd-fry Does bitter put you off? You might want to re-consider with this vegetable. Sometimes, taking the not-so-favored route is not too bad, especially if it helps with the consumption of a new vegetable that you would otherwise not try at all. Now I’m not saying you should fry your veggies to no end, so it tastes wayyyy better.. but make the exception every once in a while and you’ll do just fine! I’ve never been that averse to bitter gourd, but then I guess that’s mostly cause mom used to make it one of 2 ways and both worked pretty well at masking the bitterness! This preparation of bitter gourd is my favorite, and the other way to make it that’s quite similar to this brinjal recipe which is quite good too. This recipe’s extra-special cause there’s a playfulness and an almost-snack-like quality to this dish that you’ll find hard to resist. In fact, I think it should be categorized along with vathals (fryums). Now I am pretty sure this could be made healthier by say, baking.. cause if you can make baked potato chips you sure can do the same with these. But that experiment’s for another day. For now, all I want to do is munch on these crunchy little goodies! So… still bitter about bitter gourd? pavakkai-varuval-bitter-gourd-fry Pavakkai Varuval | Karela Fry | Fried Bitter Gourd Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 4-6 Ingredients:

  1. 1 lb bitter gourd (pavakkai / karela), ends cut off and thinly sliced into rounds (yields approx. 6 cups)
  2. 2 tbsp red chili powder, adjust to taste
  3. 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  4. salt to taste
  5. oil for frying (about 1/4 cup for shallow fry)

Method: pavakkai-varuval-bitter-gourd-fry-step-by-step-picture-recipe (spice marinade)   pavakkai-varuval-bitter-gourd-fry-step-by-step-picture-recipe (frying method)

  1. Combine the chili powder, turmeric and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Check the taste to make sure its alright – this should be spicier than you want the end result to be, as the frying will mellow down the spices.
  2. Add the sliced bitter gourd to the dry spice mix and toss together until the spices have been evenly distributed and coated both sides of the vegetable.
  3. Heat the oil for frying in a pan (shallow or deep fry per preference, although deep frying is quicker). Let it reach 350 – 375 degrees F.
  4. Deep-fry method:
    • Add the spice-coated bitter gourd, in batches, to the hot oil.
    • Fry on med-high for 5-7 minutes, or until the sizzling of the oil almost dies down and the larger bubbles are gone. This indicates that the vegetable has lost most of its moisture and is crisp now.
    • Remove with a slotted ladle, draining off as much oil as possible, and let it rest on a paper towel for a few minutes to soak up excess oil.
    • Repeat with other batches until all the bitter gourd has been fried.
  5. Shallow-fry method:
    • Add the spice-coated bitter gourd to the oil (use a broad and shallow pan to expedite the process).
    • Cook on medium heat, for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally to distribute the heat on both sides across all the slices.
    • When the vegetable has shrunk and crisped up sufficiently, title the pan and gather the veggies to one side allowing the excess oil to drain onto the other side and remove the oil.
    • Lay on paper towel to soak up excess oil before serving.
  6. Serve immediately or store in air-tight containers / zip-lock bags for a few days.


2 Responses to “Pavakkai Varuval | Karela Fry | Fried Bitter Gourd”
  1. Deepthi says:

    Tried it 🙂 Sree loved it 🙂

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