Very few of us cook bitter gourd / Karela in our kitchens. I can imagine how you or your kids hate the bitter taste. I mean why would any of us have Karela when there are so many other delicious dishes to savor.

However, bitter melon has a lot of health benefits. The best way to eat karela in our household is by making Karela chips. I’m sharing my Karela chips recipe that is enjoyed by my 3 year daughter as well. Not to say that the chips are not bitter, they are. But the bitterness is at a minimum. I was quite surprised when Misha finished one whole batch of karela chips saying that they were yummy. She has a wide palate as far as food is concerned but I would urge you to try this karela chips recipe on your kids as well. If not kids, the adults are sure to like it and enjoy the karela chips health benefits.

Karela Chips Recipe for pressure frying (OPOS)

Ingredients

  1. 2 karela (Bitter gourd / Bitter Melon)
  2. 1/2 cup ghee (you can use any oil of your choice)
  3. 2 tsp salt
  4. Water for boiling
  5. 1tbsp rice flour (simply churn 3 tbsp rice of your choice in a mixer till finely powdered, if you don’t have rice flour)
  6. 1tbsp gram glour (besan)
  7. 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  8. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  9. 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  10. 1/4 tsp ginger powder

Method for preparing Karela Chips

  • Cut the karela into medium thin slices. Keep the smaller slices to make a sabzi later as they will not fry well as karela chips. 
  • Deseed the slices
  • Put the slices in a pan and cover with water. Boil in 1 tsp salt water for 2-3 minutes.
  • Drain out the water and spread the slices on a plate as shown in the picture and sun dry for half a day.

Method for preparing the coating

  • In a container, mix 1 tbsp rice flour, 1/2 tsp ghee or oil, 1 tbsp gram flour, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp coriander powder, 3 tbsp water and 1/4 tsp ginger powder. Mix well. It should not be too clumpy or runny.

Fry the karela chips traditionally like you would for frying pakodas or any other fried snack. You would of course use more ghee or oil for this method. After fried and crispy, take out and sprinkle chat masala and extra spice for adults as per taste.

The OPOS pressure frying method I use allows me to fry two batches in just 1/2 cup of ghee. You can follow my pressure frying karela chips recipe method in a pressure cooker if you’re well versed with it. If not, please follow the traditional method otherwise it can be dangerous. OPOS pressure frying method below.

Method for frying Karela chips – recipe for Pressure Cooker frying or OPOS pressure frying method

  • Put 1/2 cup ghee or oil in a 2 ltr pressure cooker. Time of cooking will vary if you have a different sized pressure cooker.
  • Spread each chip individually, can put 2 layers on top of each other after one layer is immersed in ghee / oil.
  • Close pressure cooker, fix weight on it. Cook on high for 4 minutes. Time it exactly otherwise they will burn.
  • Switch off the gas and release pressure.
  • Take out karela chips, leaving the oil in the cooker.
  • Sprinkle with chat masala (optional) and extra chilli for adults as per taste.
  • Enjoy the crunchy perfectly fried karela chips.
  • You can fry the leftover slices of karela in the same ghee / oil. If using immediately or warm oil, use the same steps but cook for 3 and half minutes as the oil is already hot.

Let me know how the karela chips turned out and if your kids and family members liked them.