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Karate Phodi - Karela/Bitter Gourd Fritters

karate phodi
Bitter Gourd Fritters known as Karatya Phodi in Konkani.  Generally, in Indian Cuisine pakodas are made with besan/chickpea flour.  This Konkani recipe is using rice flour.

Ingredients:
Bitter Gourd/Karela/Karate - 2 medium  
Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
Red Chilli Powder/Cayenne Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida/Hing - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind Paste - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Salt
Oil

Method:
1. Cut bitter gourd into round pieces, slightly thick.  Discard the seeds.  Add about 1/2 tsp salt to the cut bitter gourd pieces and mix well.  Keep it covered for about an hour.  Applying salt will reduce the bitterness of the karela.
2. In a mixing bowl, add rice flour, red chilli powder, turmeric, asafoetida, tamarind paste, little salt (just enough for the batter).  Add water in small amounts and mix well to form a batter.  Batter must neither be too thick, nor watery.
3. After an hour, squeeze the water from the bitter gourd pieces with hands.  This will take off the excess salt and reduce bitterness as well.   
4. Heat enough oil in a pan for deep frying.  Dip the bitter gourd rings in the rice batter and deep fry till golden brown.
karate or karela or bitter gourd
5. Enjoy Karele ke Pakode with meals or as a tea time snack. 

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