Bitter Gourd fries (Paavakai varuval)

My family is not great fan of Bitter gourd. Though it has many health benefits, we used to keep it aside because of its bitterness. But this recipe " Paavakai varuval" solves all bitterness in it. Last week I bought a packet of Bitter gourd from the nearby shop. I tried Paavakai Thoran and we enjoyed with rice. I had some left over bitter gourd in my fridge. Thought I can make some curry or some varuval (fry) type. I am great fan of " Aananda Bhavan" bitter gourd fries. Yes whenever we dine there, I used to get 2-3 packets. Somehow we cannot find the bitterness taste in those varuals. Today finally I found the secret to get less bitterness and crispy fries. As well my friend suggested me to add Mint leaves, Fennel leaves and tomato puree to add more flavour to the fries. I tried with different ingredients and it came out really well. I thought to post this recipe for my own reference as well for my fellow bloggers. Lets check the recipe.

Ingredients :

Bitter gourd - 2 Big
Besan Flour - 1/4 cup
Rice flour - 1 1/2 tbsp (optional)
Corn flour - 1  tsp
Tomato Puree - 3 tbsp
Mint leaves - 10 leaves
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Crushed Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida /Hing - 1/4 tsp
Lemon juice - 3 tbsp
Oil -For deep frying
Salt to taste

Method :

Wash and remove the pith and seeds of bitter gourd. Cut this into thin slices. Keep it aside.

In a wide pan, add besan flour, corn flour, rice flour (optional), tomato puree, Mint leaves, Ginger garlic paste, crushed fennel seeds, all masala powders (turmeric powder, Garam masala and chilli powder) and a pinch of Hing. Mix everything sprinkling bit of water (around 1-2 tsp). Now add the thin sliced bitter gourd. Mix it completely so that the spices get coated to it. Finally add the salt and squeeze lemon juice. Allow this mixture to marinate for atleast 30 mins. Dont add too much water.

In the mean time, take a pan and add oil enough for deep frying. Once the oil become hot, throw the bitter gourd in sprinkled manner. Deep fry it until it become golden brown. (or the oil sound ceases). Drain out the excess oil using paper towel. Store it in air tight container and use it for 2-3 days. It can taste great with any variety rice especially sambar rice and curd rice. I am sure you never find the bitterness of paavakai anymore. The crispy, spicy, mint flavoured fries is ready to eat.

Enjoy the nice snack !! 


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