Kakarakaye : Agakarakaye Fry - Karela

Kakarakaye and agakarakaye both belong to the gourd family. But kakarakaye is the bitter gourd and agakarakaye is not bitter at all. I like to compare them to fingers of the same palm that are so different from each other.
Agakarakaye is rare and expensive, but thanks to the frozen food, available in abundance in the Indian grocery stories in the freezer section. I have eaten more agakarakaye in US than in India. Comes in handy for a quick fry right from the freezer.

Kakarakaye and Onion Fry.

Agakarakaye and Onion Fry.
1 lb Karela {Bitter gourd or Agakarakaye}
3 Onions

Chop karela in circles, transfer them into a bowl, add tsp of salt and let sit for half hr. Then squeeze with fingers and discard the juice (Actually this juice is good for diabetes, but the excess salt in it is the bad part, so reduce salt, if desired to drink the juice.) By removing the juice, karela will not be so bitter anymore. Chop onions.

When using agakarakaye, cut into 4 pieces and add to oil in a skillet.

I normally do not discard the seeds unless they are ripe/red. They give a certain crunchy taste to the fry.

Take 3 -4 tsp of oil in a skillet and heat it. Once oil is hot add the chopped karela and fry for a few minutes on medium flame. Then add chopped onions and fry for a few more minutes and add salt.

Once the vegetables are crunchy or completely cooked add red chili powder and remove from flame. Serve hot with rice when the vegetable is crispy and crunchy.

Or completely fry the vegetable; do not add red chili powder. Just before serving add a tsp of oil and fry on high flame, add red chili powder and serve hot.

Vegetables that are good for frying are: Potatoes, Plantain (Aritikaye), French-cut beans, Ladies finger (Benadakaye), Karela - Indian bitter gourd, Agakarakaye (another variety in bitter gourd- only this not so bitter), Tindora (Dondakaye).

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