Crispy bitter gourd chips | Karela chips | How to make pavakkai varuval with step by step photos.
This crispy and crunchy chips is a deep fried chips are mildly spicy, bitter and salty in a balanced way to make it addictive.
This bitter gourd chips recipe is a gluten free one with rice flour and the karela (bitter gourd/ pavakkai) also is coated with spices.
Bitter gourd - I used bitter gourd from Malaysia, Indian karela works too. Usually the long variety or medium length variety works well than the mini / tiny midhi pavakkai.
How to choose (buy) bitter gourd pavakkai? Choose green and firm ones and avoid yellow/ orangish and soft ones. A young bitter gourd works best than old one because the later has hard seeds and will be tough to slice.
Flours - I use only rice flour and corn flour, no besan in this as we always make varuvals with rice flour and corn flour alone.
Because of it, the chips are light, airy and stays crisp longer.
Despite the flour used, the crispiness depends on how the mixture is coated with spice and the method it is deep fried.
Spices - You can add chilli powder and coriander powder with turmeric. But I use my sambar powder which is mostly the above.
If you are using red chilli powder, make sure to use a spicy one, not the reddish Kashmiri chilli powder.
This pavakkai/ bitter gourd/ pavakkai is Malaysian variety. If you are using Indian karela, and depending on the variety you get, it may be too much bitter.
Here are some ways to get rid of bitterness:
- Soak in sour buttermilk. Then wash off and squeeze the excess moisture away.
- Marinate with salt, turmeric and lemon juice / tamarind extract and later squeeze out the extra water that leaves out from karela.
- After mixing the flour I make immediately or keep it refrigerated and fry within 2-3 hours maximum.
- The fried karela chips must be store only after cooling down in an airtight container. I refrigerate so that it stays crisp longer.
Here are some tips to make perfect karela chips:
- Firstly slice the bitter gourd thin and even. Use a mandoline slicer if you have a sharp one. this ensures uniform thickness.
- Secondly coat the slices with spices and flour just right. Neither too dry nor watery/ too gooey. You should be able to sprinkle easily over oil.
- Thirdly, deep fry patiently. First in high flame and once the sound ceases, in medium or low flame to make it crisp.
- Last but not least, do not over crowd the oil. For an optimum temperature, you should always add the bitter gourd (pavakkai) according to the oil amount. So that it will fry freely and evenly.
Vj used to say that the key is to slice thinly and evenly. But I never had a hope to get it perfect.
Last week he bought bitter gourd and he himself sliced and showed me. I didn't do any so called processes to remove the bitterness. Just made it simply and the result is…
Crisp, evenly fried, very very mild bitterness that is a plus for the chips. I was so happy and wanted to record this recipe here.
One of my reader also requested to post Karela recipes, so I thought I should try and post here.
So today I did to share with you all and keep this recipe recorded here!
Step by step photos
- Wash bitter gourd firstly and remove both the tapering ends of the bitter gourd. Slice as thin as possible, mainly all should be even in thickness, so that it gets cooked perfect. You can also use a slicer to do this.
2. Mix rice flour, corn flour, turmeric, sambar powder, salt with the sliced bitter gourds.
Sprinkle water and mix evenly. Do not add more.
3. After that, heat oil in kadai and when it is hot, add the karelas in sprinkled way. Furthermore, make sure none of them are stuck to each other.
Cook in medium flame until the bubbles and sounds ceases. It should be golden in colour and light in weight. Finally drain in paper towel.
Serve as accompaniment for rice or enjoy as such as chips! You can store it in airtight container and use for 2-3 days.
Crispy bitter gourd chips
- 5 Bitter gourd karela / pavakkai
- 3 tablespoon Rice flour
- 1 tablespoon corn flour
- 1.5 teaspoon Sambar powder red chilli powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric
- Salt - As needed
- 1 tablespoon Water approx.
- Oil - To deep fry
- Wash bitter gourd firstly and remove both the tapering ends of the bitter gourd.
- Slice as thin as possible, mainly all should be even in thickness, so that it gets cooked perfect. You can also use a slicer to do this.
- Mix rice flour, corn flour, turmeric, sambar powder, salt with the sliced bitter gourds.
- Sprinkle water and mix evenly. Do not add more.
- After that, heat oil in kadai and when it is hot, add the karelas in sprinkled way. Furthermore, make sure none of them are stuck to each other.
- Cook in medium flame until the bubbles and sounds ceases. It should be golden in colour and light in weight.
- Finally drain in paper towel.
- It was not at all bitter in-spite of the fact that I dint do anything special to remove the bitterness! May be deep frying method wont have much bitterness. Instead, when I tried to so something to remove the bitterness, they were not that crisp!
- Frying in medium flame is must to get cooked evenly and crisp without getting dark in colour.
- Add water only a little to just make the rice flour hold over the bitter gourd.
- Remove any big hard seeds if any in the bitter gourd after slicing. If its tender then no need to worry.