Bitter Melons (also known as Bitter Gourds) are packed with nutrients and have number of health benefit. It is widely believed that they help in controlling Blood Sugar and Cholesterol. It helps in controlling blood pressure. This vegetable is available in almost all the regions of the world. We can make lot many dishes with this vegetable. We will see here the methods to make a tasty Bitter Gourd Chips for the evening snack or as a side dish for Dal or Curd Rice. As the name suggests, this vegetable tastes bitter. But the initial marination would remove the bitterness to a great extent and one would not feel the bitterness while eating these chips. If there is a bit of bitterness left, it will be a tasty bitterness which one would like. Select tender Bitter Gourds for this recipe. I have used Corn Flour also as an ingredient. If you do not have, you can increase the quantity of Rice Flour and avoid Corn Flour.
Bitter Gourd – 3 (medium sized)
Salt – ½ tsp
Lemon Juice – ½ tbsp
Red Chilli Powder -1 tsp (adjust as per your taste)
Fennel Seed (Saunf) Powder – ¾ tsp
Turmeric Powder – 1 pinch
Gram Flour – (Kadalai Mavu) – 2 tbsp
Rice Flour – 1 tbsp
Corn Flour – 1 tbsp
Finely Chopped Coriander Leaves – 3 tbsp
Oil – for deep frying
Wash and wipe the Bitter Gourds. Cut them into slightly thick round slices. (Discard the Seeds).
Take the Bitter Gourd pieces, Salt, Lemon Juice, Red Chilli Powder, Fennel Seed Powder and Turmeric Powder and mix well. Set aside for 10 minutes.
Due to the Lemon Juice and Salt, you will find it moist after ten minutes. Add the Gram Flour, Rice Flour and Corn Flour. Combine them well. The Bitter Gourd pieces should get coated evenly with these flours. (You can adjust Salt and spice at this stage, if required). You can also add 1 to 2 tbsp of water, if required.
Heat the Oil for deep frying. Drop the coated Bitter Gourd pieces in the hot Oil. Do not over crowd with the pieces. They should remain evenly spread on the top of the Oil. Fry them in medium flame. Stir them occasionally. Fry them golden and crisp.
Transfer to a paper napkin so that any excess Oil will get absorbed by the paper napkin. Just before removing the chips from Oil, you can add some Green Chilli pieces and Curry leaves and fry them together with the chips. They will add taste to the chips while eating.
These Bitter Gourd Chips will go very well with Dal and Curd Rice as a side dish. You can also serve as snack with a cup of tea or coffee.
You can store them in airtight containers for 5 to 6 days.