Pavakya / Bittergourd /Karela Fry

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Sometimes the most tastiest things are the most simple things to prepare. For instance .. lemonade. Whats so special about water, lemon and juice? They are among the most  simplest ingredients in the world which comes together to make the most favored drink in the world.  Same with the humble bitter gourd too. 

I like to think of the bitter gourd as the underdog among all other fruits and vegetables. It has been disliked across most ages for its intense bitterness, frowned at for its ragged and uneven looks and scowled at for its unappetizing look and taste when cooked. So why this post now?

My family mealtimes are like the advertisement for Ashirwad atta.. complete with the sniffer dog and the eagle. Every vegetable is scrutinized, color checked, licked and then discarded . I have tried hiding it in sandwiches, in pizzas, pulaos etc only to have plates of uneaten vegetables left. It is after much trial and error and numerous vegetables later that this simple fry clicked with both kids and adults alike. Further more the health benefits of  karela  are numerous . Right down from increased blood sugar to early stages of cholera, to decreasing eyesight to treating skin diseases bitter gourd is the natural medicine to turn to.  It is simple and effective. And hence what better for a simple and fast post..??

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I  have used the large light green to white bitter gourds. The have small yellow seeds inside. If the seeds are too big and hard, discard them. I often slice the gourds with the seeds in them. Once fried the seeds have a nice nutty flavor. It is of prime importance that the  karela be cut into very thin circles. A few thick pieces are OK but not all. The easiest way to get nice thin circles is to slice it like you would slice an onion. The marinated pieces can be refrigerated for 2 days in airtight containers. Fry them before you serve.

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PAVAKYA / KARELA / BITTER GOURD FRY

  • 2 medium sized bitter gourds
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt to  taste
  • handful of curry leaves
  • Oil to fry

Prepare

  • Slice the bitter gourds into small thin circles. It is not necessary to remove the small seeds. However make sure you remove seeds if they are big and very hard.
  • Marinate the sliced bitter gourds with chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and curry leaves. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan. Fry the marinated gourds in small batches till they are a nice golden brown color and crisp.
  • Enjoy with rice and gravy.

This is a nice bachelor dish to enjoy. Adjust chilli powder to your taste, if you need it more spicy.  Don’t add water to the mix while marinating it. Also wash the karela before you cut it. Do not wash the slices after cutting them. I have known some people to do that.

Enjoy your karela now.!

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