Friday, 17 March 2017

How to make kakarakaya fry (vepudu) - pavakkai varuval - karela fry andhra style

Kakarakaya kura is a delicious preparation of Bitter Gourd also known as Pavakkai Varuval or Karela fry andhra style. When I was a child I used to hate karela because of its bitter taste. Later when I grew up I realized its nutritional health benefits and started trying it in my menu. I tried cooking this vegetable in different ways but the recipes were still bitter and I was unable to consume it. After getting married once my MIL prepared this kakarakaya fry aka kakarakaya vepudu recipe for me and since then I have become a huge fan of this recipe and also the vegetable. Now I prepare Karela Fry atleast once in a week. 

Onions and sugar (or jaggery) along with sesame seeds powder in this recipe help in reducing the bitterness of karela. Fried channa dal in between gives a

nice crunchy taste to the recipe. Steamed Rice, Tomato Rasam and Kakarakaya Vepudu makes a great and finger licking combination. You can replace sesame seeds powder with peanut powder too.

Many recipes can be prepared with Karela. Karela chips are most popular down South and are vividly available in any hot chips store. Kakarakaya Pulusu is yet another yummy pulusu recipe made using karela. Stuffed kakarakaya is yet another recipe on the line.

Bittergourd decreases diabetes and ensures a longer life time. Fenugreek Leaves and its seeds also help in reducing blood sugar levels. Let us learn how to make kakarakaya fry (vepudu) andhra style.

Also you can find karela in both green and white colours. White karela will be less bitter than green karela. There is another vegetable named aakakarakaya i.e. spine gourd in english which also belongs to bitter gourd family, but is not bitter at all and this particular veggie is available only during winters and people give a lot of privilege to this aakakarakaya because of its taste and texture. I have already posted its recipe "aakakarakaya fry" so do check out and wait to cook it till winters.

Ingredients for Kakarakaya Kura | Pavakkai Varuval:

1. Bittergourd - 250 gms
2. Onions - 2 medium sized

3. Curry Leaves - 2 sprigs
4. Coriander Leaves - 4 to 5 sprigs (I didn't add them as I was in short of these leaves while preparing this recipe)
5. Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
6. Channa Dal - 2 tsps
7. Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
8. Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
9. Sugar - 5 tsps (If using Jaggery then a small goose berry sized will do)
10. Salt - 1 tsp
11. Red Chilli Powder - 1 n 1/2 tsp
12. Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
13. Oil - 4 tsps (Oil should be added generously because we fry bitter gourd for a
longer time)

14. Sesame Seeds - 4 tbsps

Do check out my other fry recipes:

- Bendakaya fry with groundnuts
- Dondakaya fry with coconut
- Dondakaya Vepudu
- Thotakura fry with sesame seeds


How to make kakarakaya fry (vepudu) - Karela fry andhra style with step by step photos:

1. Wash bitter gourds nicely, now using knife or peeler scrape off or grate the skin of bitter gourds slightly but not completely
2. Doing this helps in reducing their bitterness slightly

3. Now chop bitter gourds into very fine pieces
4. Heat oil in a thick bottomed pan, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and channa dal

5. Once seeds splutter and dal changes its colour slightly add onion pieces, curry leaves, ginger garlic paste and fry nicely
6. Now add bitter gourd pieces, turmeric powder, salt and fry till bitter gourd pieces are nicely fried

7. This takes a bit longer time, meanwhile dry roast the sesame seeds and pound them to a fine powder once they are cooled down, set aside

8. Once the bitter gourd pieces are nicely fried, add red chilli powder, sesame seeds powder and sugar(if using jaggery add at this stage)

9. Mix nicely, sugar(Jaggery) melts down completely and a nice brown colour is obtained
10. Switch off the flame, and garnish with coriander leaves. 

11. This kakarakaya kura or pavakkai varuval goes well with steamed rice or roti.