Crispy Bitter Melon Fritters is a irresistible, crunchy vegan and gluten free finger food prepared using bitter melon, rice flour and red chile powder.
This is popularly known as karate podi in konkani or Bitter gourd in India and can be served as snack / appetizer or as side for lunch / dinner. This is also prepared in coastal Karnataka during festivals like Ganesha Chaturthi. Not many people like bitter melon and I was one of them, until I had these fritters / podi prepared by my mom.
If the preparation is done correctly, mainly the frying part and served I am sure your family will love this and this will become a frequent item. This is not one recipe that you can do in hurry. The frying time for this fritters is a little more than any other fritters and you need to do it on medium flame. But once its done, it will get over in no time even before your next batch of fritters are ready.
For more information check the tip section below.
Preparation time : 45 minutes
Serves : 3 to 4
Ingredients for Crispy Bitter Melon Fritters
Bitter Melon / Karela / Karate - 2
Rice flour - ½ cup + little more for coating
Red chile powder - 1 to 1 ½ tsp
Asafoetida / Hing powder - ¼ tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - for frying
Water - approx ½ cup
Steps to prepare Crispy Bitter Melon Fritters
- Wash the bitter melons and chop them into circles of around 2 to 3 mm thick.
- Sprinkle salt over this chopped melons and keep it aside for 15 minutes.
- Add rice flour, hing, red chile powder, salt and mix well. Now add water little by little to make thick smooth paste.
- Add the bitter melon to this paste and mix well so that the slices are well coated with the paste prepared.
- Heat oil for frying. At least 40 % of pan should be covered with oil.
- Add little rice flour in plate and coat each slice of the melon with the rice flour.
- Once the oil is hot, add the melon slices and cook in medium flame and flip it occasionally till it becomes crisp and brown on both the sides. That is the fritters should come up and start floating.
- Transfer it to paper towel to absorb any excess oil and repeat the process for remaining melon slices.
- Crispy Bitter Melon Fritters are now ready. Serve hot and enjoy.
- If you want to avoid the bitter taste and make it taste like a chips, then you can chop them into very thin circles.
- If the paste is dry, adjust water and if the paste prepared is thin, then add more rice flour.
- Do not over crowd the pan. It will stick to each other and will not cook uniformly.
- If you like the bitter taste, then remove before it turns crispy.
- If the oil is too hot, it will become dark soon and if its too cold it will absorb excess oil.
- To check if the oil is hot, add a piece of melon and check if it sizzles and comes up.