Friday, July 30, 2010

Pavakkai Fry (Deep Fried BitterGourd)

Deep Fry is a taboo in our home - to the extent that we microwave appalam and pappad!! So it is on rare occasions that we fill the pan with oil. Last week, I found a batch of fresh bittergourds at Suriya Greens on my way from work. Since PK was not in town - I thought of indulging myself with one of my favorite dishes - Deep Fried Pavakkai (Bittergourd).

One of the fondest memories from my school days has been lunching with my Best Friend - L at her house stuffing our faces with yummy sambar rice, spicy potato fry and awesome pavakkai deep fry. We never cook bittergourd at my place and so it was a revelation to try the simple yet comforting pavakkai fry. While aunty always says that it goes well with curd rice - I normally have it like a main course with the rice becoming an accompaniment.

And after so many years - even now when I visit aunty, I know that she would not send me back without a sample of her now famous pavakkai fry.




Pavakkai Fry





Ingredients:

1/2 kg Bitter Gourd
2 tbsp Red Chilly Powder
a pinch of turmeric
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying

Method:

1. Wash and cut the bittergourd into round slices.2. Remove the seeds (giving it a "polo" like shape). 3. Soak the ringlets in a bowl of water with turmeric and salt (helps remove the excess bitterness). 4. Drain the water and allow the ringlets to dry. 5. In a bowl, mix the salt, chilly powder and turmeric well. 6. Toss in the bittergourd ringlets until it is well coated with the masala. 7. Allow it to marinate for 15 minutes. 8. Heat Oil in  a deep bottomed pan. 9. Deep fry the ringlets in batches until they turn brown. Remove and allow it to drain the excess oil on paper towels.

Some of the ringlets may turn out soft and not crisp - this is fine. Serve with curd rice.

While I am not a big fan of deep frying (infact I am paranoid about it)  this is one exception when I go around looking for comfort food. - And it never fails to remind me of the peaceful days spent during my schooling.
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