Crispy Karela/ Bittergourd Fries/Chips(haagalkaayi chips)

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Would you make a resolution for the  upcoming New Year to add some bitterness into your life?

Whoa , that is crazy. Who would want  bitterness in life when all we crave is for sweetness and more of it ?:)

May be you DO. When you try this recipe of Karela or bitter gourd chips 🙂

It is just the perfect thing for the deep winter that sets in at the dawn of the New year.  The crisp, the crunch and the spice will definitely makes you crave for more and more of it.

 

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One of the key things a food blogger does is the Blog Hopping. Just sit for hours in front of the computer and just flip, scroll, sway and hop from one blog to another. That is how we learn new stuffs and new recipes and get inspired by amazing photographs.

One good afternoon while I was browsing through my favorite blogs and more, I found this amazing food site. By far, for me,  this is the only  site loaded with great vegetarian dishes that are simple and delicious to make.

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When I browsed across the site it was unbelievable, as each and every recipe was simple and tasty enough to tempt me to try them all at home.

Believe it or not, I visit this site every single day!!! It has amazing tamil recipes, different dosa recipes, the chutneys and poriyals that are so so tempting to make them all at once.

And this where I also found this sweet gem, the bittergourd fries!

And that website is none other than, Raks Kitchen.

Please find the recipe for crispy karela fries here.

Kodabale- A Karnataka Classic.

Pronounced as  Kod-ba-ley.

Recreating a classic dish always is challenging. Because the dish ,with its long history and reputation will already have set a standard.  Hence, naturally , we have expectations to meet those  standards. These dishes have the signature recipes that have been passed on from generations to generations and hence when we try to make them at home, we inevitably compare them with the original taste.

Classic dishes also are nostalgic. they take us down the memory lane and bring out our best memories of childhood .They remind us of the sweet moments we spent with our family. We tend to recollect and relish the memories of family members or  may be a particular person, otherwise whom we may have long forgotten. That is the power of food. It brings people together to share some great moments.

Kodabale is one such classic for me. Whenever I think of kodabale, I think of my little-girl days. Coffee and Kodabale was the most common combination in my mom’s house. At late evening hours, with fresh cup of filter coffee in hand, daddy, amma , my brothers and I used to sit in the patio of our house and enjoy some crisp and spicy kodbales.

My mom often used to make Kodbales at home and it was a great team project. While my mom, kneaded the spicy dough, my dad and the three of us used to help them roll and shape them into rings. we used to make these rings in batches and arrange them on a plate and then my mom would deep fry them in oil.

It was a fun activity for us kids to play with the dough and make funny animal shapes and ask my mom to fry them in oil. Couple of hours later big tall boxes fllled with Kodbales were ready to enjoy. It was a great time for togetherness and laughter.

Coming to the taste and specifications of this snack, there are many variations. As I mentioned before, the classics have certain standards and specifications . However as per individuals convenience and tastes the recipes often  gets modified. That does not make it a classic anymore, does it?

Many love coconut in the recipe while many ,including my mom, does not worry too much about adding coconut. Some add Ajwain, while others add jeera(cumin). Some like it crisp while others like it chewy.

Taking all these recipes into considerations I finally have my own version here. Finally a Classic recreated!

What we need:

1 cup of rice flour

1/4 cup fine semolina/sooji

2 tbsp Maida

2 tsp cumin

1 big pinch asfoetida

2 tbsp hot oil/melted butter.

salt to taste.

Oil for deep frying.

To grind:

1/4 cup of fresh coconut

10 dry red chillies

Method:

First grind the coconut and chillies into fine powder without adding any water.

then in a wide bowl, combine all the dry ingredients. add the coconut mixture and mix well. do not add any water yet.

Once all the ingredients mix well, add hot oil or butter. mix again. Now the mixture turns into a crumble. now add salt.

Next slowly sprinkle water and start bringing the mixture together into a pilable firm dough consistency. Caution: sprinkle water, gradually.

Once the dough is formed , knead very well for about 5 minutes.

Set aside.

Rolling into rings:

Take a small amount of dough and roll into a small ball on your palm or any flat surface. then slowly roll the ball into a long string . the thickness and length of the string should be like that of a string bean.

Once the string is is formed, roll it inwards to form a ring.

Make several of these rings and keep them on a plate.

Once the oil is hot, deep fry these into a golden brown /darker brown color on a medium flame.

Enjoy them with coffee.

Onion Pakoras

I want to dedicate this post to my cosister’s mother in law, as it was from her I ever first learnt to make good pakodas.

Thank you, Ma 🙂

Super simple super spicy!

Lots of onions coated with gram/ chickpea flour and seasoned with all the spicy stuffs like ginger,green chillies, pepper powder.

The curry leaves or mint leaves adds an extra zing for these crisp fritters.

The Carom seeds ( Ajwain) gives a nutty strong aroma, while the turmeric and asafoetida are doing their jobs as well, by adding more depth and flavor for the pakoras.

A superb, all time classic,  tea time snack. A rainy day becomes more cozy and warm with these by your side , served with a cup of hot tea or coffee.

Onion pakoras

2  medium white  / red onions sliced lengthwise

1 cup of gram flour/ chickpea/ besan flour

10 green chillies finely minced

1 tsp ajwain seeds( carom seeds)

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp finely chopped ginger

1 bunch of mint finely chopped/ 1 stalk of curry leaves chopped

1 tsp black pepper powder

salt to taste

water just to sprinkle and bind

1/4 cup of rice flour( optional) for more crispiness.

Oil for deep frying

In a large bowl ,dump all of the above ingredients. Use your hands to mix evenly all of the items in the bowl. make sure the onion slices separate and gets evenly coated with flour.

once everything is uniformly mixed, sprinkle about 1 tbsp of water just so the mixture gets wet. when you form a lump with your fist , everything should hold together.

once the mixture is ready and the oil is hot, take spoonfuls of the onion mixture and carefully slide them in hot oil.

Deep fry until golden brown. Serve hot with ketchup or green chuteny.

Microwave Spicy Popcorn

I often make these to quench my craving for salt and spice.

These are also my movie time snack, blogging time  snack, play time snack, my daughter’s after school snack…

I really don’t need a reason to snack on these:)

2 tbsp of corn kernels(here I have used white corn)

2 tbsp oil

salt

1/4 tsp red chilli powder

In a microwave safe large bowl, mix all of the above , give a nice mix with a spoon, cover the lid(also m/w safe)

cook for 4 minutes, until you hear the continous popping sound.

depending upon the power of the microwave, the cooking time varies. You can also press the “popcorn” button of your microwave.