Karela Fry Simple ( KALARA BHAJA in Odia)
Slit karelas in the middle, then slice into thin half-rings. If karelas turn out to have ripe seeds, simply scoop out the middle portion and then slice finely. In case of tender small to medium sized karela, just chop into fine round slices.
Fry – method 1:
Heat oil (mustard oil or refined veg oil). Add karela, haldi and salt to taste. Stir fry on high flame for a minute-then cover with a lid. Cook till fried properly – covering and stir-frying intermittently on medium to low flame, till brown and cooked. Take off the lid and let the fry turn crispy on sim. Keep stirring at intervals and flip so that each piece of fried karela turns brown and crispy. Serve hot.
Variations to method 1 :
– Add red chilli powder while putting haldi n salt.
– Add dhania powder and red chilli powder once karela chips are cooked, but before they are crispy.
– Add dhania powder, red chilli powder and aamchur .
– Add only sambhar masala , instead of above powders; or any other curry powder.
– Add finely quartered slices of potato. Fry the potato chips first for 2-3 minutes and then add the karela slices. Follow the given method at 1. May spice up with dhania powder, red chilli powder n aamchur in any combination as per your choice.
Fry – method 2
Heat oil, splutter paanch phutan(bits of mustard seeds, jeera, saunf, kalajeera & a very few seeds of methi) and 1-2 broken pieces of whole dry red chilli. Add the karela slices, salt, haldi and fry, first on high flame with lid and then on low to medium flame without lid, till nicely fried and cooked. (No chilli powder)
Variations to method 2 :
– Add onion slices after the paanch phutan n red chilli pieces splutter. Rest of the process same.
– Add potato slices to karela, with or without onion.
– Add sambhar masala/dhania powder/aamchur/any curry powder, in any combination