Although there are plenty of banana leaf joints that serve crispy fried gourds, it really hit big time with Nirwarna Maju. Most people will just call it ‘fried bittergourd’ but in actual fact most places (including Niwarna) actually serves fried snake gourd (curved and only mildly bitter) as opposed to fried bitter gourd (round, crinkly and can be rather bitter). Since we aim to please, here is a recipe for both gourds and it is to die for!
So addictive! Should be illegal
Serves 4 - 6 people
Try not to drop clumps of gourd into the oil. Separating them will ensure maximum crispiness.
1 snake gourd
1 small bitter gourd
½ cup rice flour
1 tbsp. curry powder
½ tbsp. chilli powder
1 tsp. corn flour
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
¾ tsp. salt
Pinch of white pepper powder
Oil for frying
1. Cut both ends of the snake gourd and cut it length ways. Use a spoon to scrape out the seeds in the middle & slice. Set it aside.
This is a snake gourd. It is long with a smooth pale green surface. When you slice it up it will be gently curved.
2. Slice small bitter gourd into circles and pick out the seeds. Sprinkle 1 tsp. of salt and let it marinate for 15 minutes. Rinse salted bitter gourd slices under a running tap and pat dry with paper towels.
This is a small bitter gourd. It has a crinkly surface and seeds need to be removed. If you find them circular, then it's bitter gourd you are eating.
3. Mix all ingredients together for batter and whisk until there are no lumps. Put gourds in batter and mix well, making sure every surface is coated.
4. Heat oil until really hot and carefully drop the gourds in and let it fry for a few minutes until dark golden brown. Drain on paper towels.
Do not over crowd the oil with too much gourds. Oil temperature needs to remain high.
Try to fry them individually to get maximum crispiness
5. Serve with the usual suspects – Hot rice, curry and some veggies. It is addictive I tell ya!