Baked Pavakka/Karela / Bitter Gourd/ Bitter Melon chips

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This chip is the one with which you have a love-hate relationship, and no intermediate one. This one you can’t find it in supermarket nor is it suitable for munching while watching tear jerker or high voltage action thriller or as tea time snack. Still they are good, as bitter gourd has lots of health benefits. I don’t think there are so many fans for bitter taste. I can proudly announce that almost every member of my house is a fan of bitter gourd. Yesterday when I made some my little one was happily munching it. 
Those who are not familiar with bitter gourd/melon, it is one of edible fruit which is most bitter among all its counterparts. It is mainly used in Asian, Caribbean and African cuisine. In India there is folk wisdom that eating bitter melon or drinking bitter melon juice, will help to reduce diabetics. However, there is not clear cut scientific evidence on this, still some studies shows that it helps to increase insulin sensitivity. My grandma and mom used to say it helps to cure diabetics. Read more about bitter melon from here. Sometime like to blindly follow the the elder’s says. As my hubby is diabetic, we used to buy it during every alternative week of shopping. Earlier I used to make curries with them, if make stir-fry with coconut and onion, the bitterness is somewhat reduced and tastes great (Caution again you should like bitterness) or make curry with dal, or another preparation called theeyal. To make a change so I make a dish faster, I started baking them into chips. Both king and princess of my house started like them. He even takes some to office for munching in between. 
This baking of bitter melon chips has two advantages according to me; first it reduced the problem of making any curry with them. Second it uses only less amount of oil. I usually bake with 2 tablespoon of olive oil and spice them with chili powder. Make them garlicky with little bit of garlic powder and salt. Chips are ready with 35-40 minutes of baking at 375 F. If you keep the bitter melon pieces salted for few hours before baking then it will reduce the bitterness and juices starts of leave from them while sitting. Here goes the recipe. 
Print recipe from here

What you need

Bitter melon: 4 no
Salt: 1 teaspoon or to taste
Chili powder: 2 teaspoon ( adjust according to your spice level)
Garlic powder; 1 teaspoon
Olive oil: 2 tablespoon

How I made

Wash and cut both end of bitter melon and then cut them into ¼ inch thickness round and set aside in colander with ¼ teaspoon salt for 2 hours or more.
Preheat the oven to 375 F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside.
When you are ready for baking add chili powder, rest of salt and oil to the bitter melon and mix well so that each piece of bitter melon gets coated with spice mixture evenly. 
Bake for about 40 minutes or until they are crisp with slightly browned at the edge. Around 20 minutes of baking flip the bitter melon pieces so that both sides get cooked evenly. 

Enjoy as side dish or as munchies depending upon your wish.

Preparation time: 2 hour 40 minutes
Yield: 1 cup
Verdict: Yummy
Will you make it again; Yes I will

I am linking this baked chips to Foodies-follow-fridays-6

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  1. says

    What a fantastic snack to munch on,and it is such a pleasent surprise that your little one enjoys these. She has definately developed her taste buds very early. It takes a long time even for adults to develop a taste for bitter gourd.Lovely recipe:)

  2. says

    Wow .. this will be a wonderful partner for curd rice which is my favouriite combo. I just love the baked version which makes it even more tasty…

  3. says

    Swathi, this is an exciting and good-for-you dish! I heard so much about bitter melon benefits and I eat them whenever they are in season. I get them at the farmer’s market alongside drumsticks and other healthy veggies. I’ll definitely try them as chips! Thanks for sharing!!!

  4. says

    Swathi ….. not bitter … I know this class does not exist here … but I think an interesting dish that Ilike toto try … beautiful result …hugs hugs MARIMI

  5. says

    I remember eating these as a child in India – I really used to hate them so much because they were so bitter. My mom use to use them for sambhar. This is actually quite a different approach and now I’m curious to see how it tastes.


  6. says

    This is looking absolutely delightful. Very nicely made and presented. First time at ur space and quite a lot to learn…thnks !

  7. says

    Oh wow, I have never heard of bitter melon – they look so cool, and I was interested to read your post about their health benefits too. I don’t know if I can get them here, but if I ever see them I will give your recipe a try. Thank you for sharing this with Feed Me Tweet Me Follow Me Home. I love learning about new (to me) foods! The linky is up again for this week and I’d love it if you would come along and join in again. Have a lovely weekend.