Our Indian friend introduced us to what she calls karela chips, karela is the Indian name for bitter melon. She flavors the bitter melon with turmeric and other Indian spices. I made it once with the Indian spices. They are delicious. But today I was inclined to divert from the traditional and try something different. The result is similarly delicious.
Here’s how to make it.
- Use two whole bitter melons, slice about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle 1 T salt and let stand for 30 minutes. This will draw some of the bitterness out. Rinse with cold water and drain in a colander.
- In a small container, mix 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp sugar.
- Put the drained bitter melon chips in a bowl, add 1 T of olive oil and gently mix to oil every piece. Add the spices and continue mixing with your hand to distribute the flavor. You may adjust the chili pepper to suit your spice tolerance.
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.
- Arrange the chips single layer in a baking pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, turn the chips over, and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until crispy.
Knowing what we know now about the health benefits of bitter melon, I think that these chips can very well be a healthier substitute to crispy fried onion rings or potato chips as sides to sandwiches or even just for snacking. As I was writing this post, I kept on getting up and reaching over the kitchen counter for a chip or two.