It’s quite evident from the name bitter gourd (karela), that not many people would be a fan of this vegetable. Apart from the health benefits, if made well, it can be transformed into amazing snacks. When they take the form of crispy fries, the humble bitter gourd can become a delicacy. The mild bitterness blends well with the spices and makes it a good tea time snack or side dish along with dals, sambhar and rasam.
Recipe Details :
Serves: 3-4 pax
Time: 20 mins
- 4 small sized bitter gourds(karela)
- 4 tbsp rice flour
- 3 tbsp besan
- 1 tbsp red chilli powder
- 2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- Oil – to shallow fry
Bitter gourd/Karela Chips
- Wash the bitter gourd, discard the ends, and cut it into uniformly thin rounds. Then pat-dry the pieces using a cloth. I did not de-seed them, but you can choose to do so if you are using the longer bitter gourds.
Cut bittergourd pieces
- Once dry, take the cut bitter gourd pieces in a bowl and add all the spice powders and mix well. Add 1-2 tsp of oil so that all slices are coated with the spices. Alternatively, you can sprinkle some drops of water but you have to take care that the mixture doesn’t turn soggy.
Mixing the bitter gourd and spices
- Heat oil in a pan on medium low flame. Since the size of my bitter gourd pieces was small, I just shallow fried them. Add the pieces one by one into the oil in batches.
- Flip the pieces so that the pieces fry evenly on both sides. Remove them from the flame when they turn crisp. Drain the excess oil using a paper towel.
- Serve them hot to munch, as snacks or during tea time.
Bitter gourd / Karela Chips
- The older and bigger bitter gourds will have the more bitter seeds. I would recommend removing them.
- You can sprinkle some aamchur / chat masala on the chips once you take them out of oil while they are still very hot.
During the course of the day, sometimes I feel like having or making something (forgive the cliche)… different. This is largely the outcome of one’s moods or just to stock up on some munchies at home. On one weekend, I wanted biscuits for my cardamom flavoured tea – and the standard biscuits would not do. Then an idea went off in my head – why not make Nankhatais! These are eggless biscuits which are soft with just the right amount of bite and perfect for tea time. They are typically made using cardamom and cashew. Since I was already making cardamom tea, I decided to use another version to complement the tea. Rooting around my pantry revealed some hazelnuts. Perfect! This would go extremely well with the cardamom in the tea and add great taste to the biscuits. I baked two batches – one using all purpose flour (APF) and the other was with whole wheat flour. The APF version is tastier but the wheat version is healthier. So you can choose the route that you wish to take but either way you will enjoy these biscuits.
Recipe Details :
Makes: 10 biscuits
Time: 30 mins
- 1 cup APF / whole wheat flour
- 5 tbsp ground hazelnuts
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 cup melted ghee
- 1/2 cup finely ground sugar
- A pinch of salt (optional)
- In a mixer, pulse the hazelnuts to a fine mixture and keep it aside.
- If you are using table sugar, use the mixer to make it a fine powder. Alternately, use powdered sugar.
- Take the ghee in a small bowl and melt it on a low flame. Add the finely ground sugar to the ghee at this stage. Take it off the flame when the ghee is fully melted. Whisk the ghee and sugar together till it forms a smooth and creamy mixture.
- Sift the flour and baking soda in a separate bowl. Add the ground hazelnut mixture and a pinch of salt to this bowl and mix well.
- Add the ghee and sugar mixture to the flour mixture and knead it into a smooth dough. If required, use some ghee while kneading to bind the flour. Wrap the dough in cling wrap and allow it to rest for 30 mins.
- Preheat the oven to 160 C (APF) or 130 C (whole wheat).
- Make rounds from the dough and flatten slightly. Place them on the baking pan giving adequate distance between two biscuits. Press a piece of hazelnut at the center of each biscuit for visual appeal.
- Bake for 10 – 12 mins but keep checking in 5 min intervals so that the biscuits do not brown or get too hard. Once done, allow them to cool for 15 mins and then serve.
- The sugar will take some time to dissolve in ghee. The finer the sugar, the faster it dissolves.
- If you are looking to make biscuits from a dessert perspective, then addition of salt is not required. As a tea time snack, adding a little pinch of salt would help the taste.