Thursday, February 6, 2014

Karate( karela/ bitter gourd) phodi( fry)

Karate is known as karela in other parts of India and bitter gourd or bitter melon in other parts of the world,This is one of my favorites. It is also one of my rare indulgences. I don't make this often as it is fried. There is no getting around it. I have tried baking it too, comes okay. It just doesn't taste that good. So, once in a while I make a small batch of this to be eaten over a few days with our lunch/ dinner.

Servings: 6


Karela ( Karate) : 2 medium sized.
Haldi ( turmeric powder): 1 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Red Chili powder( Kashmiri chilli powder): 1 tsp
Coriander pwd: 1 tsp
Hing : pinch
Rice flour: 1/4 cup
Water: 1/4
Oil for frying

Slice karate ( karela) into 0.25cms thickness rings. Sprinkle salt and
turmeric powder, mix well and keep aside for at least 30 mins.

After 30 mins, gently squeeze the karela with your hand and remove the excess water and keep aside.

In another bowl mix rice flour, chili powder, coriander powder, hing and a pinch of salt. Add water little by little and make a thick batter.

Now add the drained karela to this and mix well till the batter coats the karela well.

Heat oil in a small wok and deep fry the karela on medium- to-low flame until crispy turning over once in between. Generally takes about 4-5 mins on each side.

Enjoy with rice and dal.


Since salt has already been added during the initial marination, taste the batter for salt before adding more.

Getting the karela to be crispy takes a little while. I generally make this when I am in the kitchen for a longer period of time cooking something else as well.

Store in an airtight container. Stays fresh for almost 5 days.

Cooking made easy:

While waiting for something to be done on the stove, you can do the dishes or clean up around the kitchen. This way you will not have a huge pile of dishes and cleaning to do at the end of cooking.

Tip for Healthy living:

While karela/ bitter melon is nutrient-rich vegetable, for centuries in India karate/ karela/ bitter melon has been used for it's medicinal properties. The most significant being the insulin like properties of it's juice which is used in diabetics to keep their blood sugar levels under control. Research however has shown inconclusive results.

Karela is also used as a blood purifier. It is supposedly helpful in people with toxemia, and helps boost the immune system. There have been also other claims like its use in people with gout, piles etc, but there has been no scientific evidence to support it.


Food for thought:

Health is wealth ( unknown).