Bitter gourd fry or pavakkai fry recipe – I can’t believe I am posting a bitter gourd (karela, pavakkai) recipe. TH and I avoid the vegetable like a plague and although those small, very green, very bitter variety is available here in Singapore, I hardly ever give it a second glance. In Kerala, bitter gourd, or pavakka, is fatter, a very light green, and significantly less bitter than the darker green ones we see everywhere else.
But I’ve never seen bitter gourd like this before. It was white and very chubby. These are from Taiwan and they were so cute that I had to pick them up, even if its pavakka and TH was gasping at the idea!
I used the same strategy on this bitter gourd that I do on another vegetable that we don’t like much – okra. I fried it. It was delicious and for once I didn’t mind the bitterness, although TH still didn’t have more than one spoon.
- 1 medium-sized bitter gourd, cut into thin 2" pieces (about 3 cups)
- ½ tsp salt
- 3-4 tbsp rice flour
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- A generous pinch of hing / asafoetida /perungayam
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp garam masala
- ¼ tsp pepper powder
- Oil for deep frying
- Rub salt into the cut bitter gourd pieces and set aside for an hour. Once the hour is up, squeeze all moisture from the bitter gourd pieces and transfer to another bowl.
- Add rest of the ingredients to the pieces and stir well to dredge. There should be enough rice flour to coat all the pieces well (not too thickly) so if you feel you need more, adjust the quantity. The initial salt you added should be enough but add more to taste if you feel you require it.
- Let the dredged bitter gourd pieces rest for 15 mins or so while you heat up the oil to deep fry. Fry in batches until dark brown and cooked through. Drain on kitchen towels. Its important that you make sure the pieces are thin, otherwise the inside won't be cooked.
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