Bitter Gourd Fritters (Pakodas) –These are mind bogglingly delicious. Crispy, crunchy with a hint of softness, a touch of sweetness and a slight bitter taste (the good kind) that lingers on the tongue.Do you like Bitter Gourd? I usually have them sautéed but have you tried them fried? Deep fried? Does the saying, “everything tastes good fried”, come to mind? In this case, it’s certainly true.
Bitter gourd/Pagarkai (Tamil)/Karela (Hindi)/Bitter melon, is one of those really green, good-for-you-fruits (yes, its a fruit not a vegetable), like kale, that your mother puts on your plate because they are chock full of iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamin C. Its juice is used in medicine for maintaining blood sugar, boosting the immune system, lowering bad cholesterol, cleansing the liver and many more.
They are very popular in Indian, Chinese and Japanese cuisine. In India, it is often accompanied by yogurt or coconut to lower the bitterness. This is my Mom’s recipe and I can say for sure, she’s been holding out on me. I am sure, it has been eaten deep fried, but this is the first time I have tried them like this.
I used to hate bitter gourd as a child and they are still not my favorite. My husband, on the other hand loves them (he thinks grapefruit is bitter though. Go figure!). I grew to tolerate them as I grew up, as in, if there is nothing else…….
These fritters, however, I couldn’t stop popping in my mouth. They are so so good! And pairs beautifully with Tomato Chutney.
I used a mandoline slicer Mandoline Slicer w/ 5 Blades – Vegetable Slicer – Food Slicer – Vegetable Cutter – Cheese Slicer – Vegetable Julienne Slicer with 5 Surgical Grade Stainless Steel Blades (White) to slice the bitter gourd and onions thin. A knife would the job too.
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