Karela (Bittergourd) is one of those vegetables that really is an acquired taste. And I might add, it's not very easily acquired. Easier to avoid than to acquire. It's inherently bitter but as my mom reminds me all the time, not all things that are good for you taste good.. Even as a kid I remember avoiding this vegetable at all costs except maybe... just maaaaaybe when it was deep fried and made as chips. But even then. I also managed to avoid eating it a whole lot most of my adult life. It's traditionlly used in sambhar too but I can think of many other vegetables that I would rather have in my sambhar.
Then I stumbled upon these baked karela chips on a food blog. That really intrigued me. I've only ever in my life had it either as a stir fried curry or in sambar or the deep fried chips. And since I had just recently gone through the oh-so-easy baked kale chips experience I figured this would be similar.
Well it was and it was not.
Prep work is relatively simple. Cut the karela into very thin rounds either with the knife or with a mandoline.
Marinate in red chilli powder, turmeric, coriander (dhania) powder, salt and 1 Tbsp vegetable oil for about 15 minutes.
Bake at 375 F for about 17 minutes. This is the tricky part. I didn't quite get all golden brown crispy rings.. some got a bit burnt but I personally think it added flavour. It took longer to bake then the original 10 minutes I had read on the blog.
But give it a try. I liked the taste. It tastes best when consumed right out of the oven. I'm not sure how often I will make this but it's an easy way of transforming this normally less than appetizing (for me) vegetable to something my taste buds would approve of.