Crispy Bitter Gourd
After all the sugary goodness over the last few weeks, the new year begins on a bitter but healthy note. I’m not big on resolutions but new beginnings and a fresh start is always a good thing!
So for me, hitting the reset button this year includes –
- Eat breakfast EVERYDAY
- Include protein in every meal
- Snack sensibly and avoid mindless snacking
- Experiment with new ingredients that I haven’t used before
- Drink more water!
- Workout 5 days a week
- I really want to start running again, this has alway been a struggle for me but I’m going to make a conscience effort.
So coming back to food, while growing up in India I didn’t know of any one in my age group who liked Karela (Bitter Gourd/Squash). Not much has changed since then, I still don’t know of many people who actually like it, except for maybe a handful. My mom could do absolutely nothing to get me to even nibble on it. However, I acquired a taste for Karela maybe about 2 years ago, again it wasn’t something that happened instantly but the more I ate, the more it grew on my taste buds.
I’ve only always seen Karela in the Indian grocery store and a slightly different looking version in the Asian store. This bitter fruit has tons of health benefits, it contains phyto-nutrient, polypeptide-P, a plant insulin known to lower blood sugar levels…so good for diabetics. Its also low in calories, rich source of fiber, antioxidants and vitamin-C.
This recipe is easy and almost tastes like karela chips. The key to tone down (not eliminate) the bitterness is to cut it into slices, sprinkle salt and let it sit for few minutes…then rinse and squeeze to remove the water. I learnt this technique from my mom and it certainly helps with the bitter taste.
Place the karela on paper towels so the water is absorbed and its dry. Then mix all ingredients in a bowl: karela, sliced onion, garlic, oil and spices.
Place the mixture on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and roast at 450F for ten minutes and flip. I like these very well-done so they are almost burnt (but not really) and very crispy. You can choose to adjust the baking time after the first 10-15 minutes depending on your preference.
I savor these as a snack or even a side and trust me, its delicious!
- 4 Bitter Gourd's - thinly sliced
- 1 Medium Red onion - medium slices
- 4 Lobes of garlic
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Coriander powder
- 1 Tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Sumac
- 1 Tbsp Ghee
- Preheat the over to 425F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle 1/2 Tsp salt on the karela and mix, let it sit for ten minutes.
- Rinse the karela and pat dry till all the water is absorbed.
- Mix everything all ingredients in a bowl, including the spices and ghee.
- Place the marinated gourd slices, onions and garlic mix on the baking sheet.
- Bake for ten minutes, flip and bake fore another ten minutes.
- Remove from the over and sprinkle sumac.