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Monday, December 13, 2010

Karlya Che Kaap - Bitter Gourd Chips

Karela/Karala/Bitter Gourd, are all names for a green color gourd which has a spiny skin and tastes very bitter. It is supposed to have medicinal value and I have heard that it  helps reduce blood sugar levels. Surprisingly, although it is so bitter, it tastes great when it is cooked. Though, I must note here that it is an acquired taste for most people. As a kid, I used to enjoy the fried version. This dish definitely certifies that everything tastes great when fried, even something so bitter!! Eventually I developed a taste for other gravy preparations too. Bitter gourd is definitely something you should try if you haven’t and start off with the fried version.


Ingredients
1/8 tsp mustard seeds
1/8 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
4-5 bitter gourds, diced into thin slices
1 spoon of sugar
¼ tsp mango powder/amchur
salt to taste
2-3 green chillies, slit lengthwise
8-10 curry leaves
2 tbsp oil


Method
Heat the oil in a flat open pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add the chilli, curry leaves and then the bitter gourd slices. Stir well and let it cook till the slices are well fried. Since we are not deep frying it, it will take about 30 minutes on medium heat for the slices to get crisp. They will turn brown. Then season with mango powder, salt and sugar. Serve with chapati.


Tips
To reduce the bitterness, apply salt over the bitter gourd slices and keep aside for 10-15 minutes. They will release a lot of water, then rinse these slices and pat them dry. You can also peel away the larger spines, before slicing. Cook it in an open large pan. This will help the slices to brown faster and get they will get the crisp fried texture.

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