Sundried bittergourd chips (Karathe kachri/hagalkayi sandige)

I have posted a lot of Konkani dishes, but one thing that I have not covered is “sundried items”. During summer, like any other Indian families, we too make a lot of different papads, wadis/odis and other items that can be stored for the entire year. My aayi also used to make these when we were kids. I have very fond memories of the summer holidays when we made all these. I never attempted making any on my own, but when aayi came here, I made sure to ask her for these. Since the first few days we had a bright and hot sun, we could successfully make these bitter gourd(karathe – Konkani, hagalakayi – Kannada) sun dried chips (kachri – Konkani, sandige – Kannada). I don’t know how this series will continue because there is no sight of hot sun in last few days.

After these pieces are dried, these are stored in air tight container. When needed, a small batch is taken out and deep fried. These fried pieces can be stored for 4-5 days in air tight container. The fried pieces can be eaten along with papad as a side dish, or crushed slightly and put in curd rise or crushed and used in chutney/sasam. Any which way, they taste simply out of the world. Today instead of deep frying, we fried them in a shallow pan with 1-2 tea spn of oil. They still turned out to be very crispy and tasty.

2 cup bitter gourd thinly sliced (the thinner the better)
2 tea spn chili powder
1/4 tea spn asafoetida powder
1 tea spn salt

Mix salt with the bitter gourd pieces( remove any hard seeds) and leave it overnight. Squeeze the pieces slightly to remove any water from the pieces (squeezing is optional, if you like them to be more bitter, leave the pieces as they are).

Now spread them on a plastic paper and leave under hot sun. After 3-4 days when they look slightly dried, make a paste of red chili powder and asafoetida with a tea spn water, and apply this paste to the pieces.

Spread this on the paper again and sun dry them till they become very crispy.
When they are cooled to room temperature, store in air tight container. While serving, fry them in oil, serve as suggested above.

PS: When the pieces dry, some of the chili powder falls off the pieces. Asafoetida looses its aroma when dried for long. So both of these should be added as late in the process as possible.

24 thoughts on “Sundried bittergourd chips (Karathe kachri/hagalkayi sandige)”

  1. Hi Shilpa,
    I didn’t know they were used as you mentioned(storing). I always fry them with the similar masala and have it for dinner with Dal and rice. Its just awesome!!
    Would love to see more recipes using the sundried procedure.

  2. You are not going to believe this but I was planning to do exactly this to karela this coming weekend! Thanks for confirming that I was on the right track! yay!

  3. Shilpa… My MIL made the katri last week. We received abt 20 home grown karathe from my neighbour. Since we did not know what to do with so many we made chips as above. We did not sun dry them, but neatly arranged in the oven and kept the oven light on. The result was fabulous and the fried chips simply taste out of the world.

  4. What a coincidence. My mom sent this to me from India a day before and I see it here on your post.
    Lovely picturization.

    BTW I have given a link back to your blog from mine. Hope it is fine with you.

  5. Hi Shilpa,
    I have recently started going through your blog and i simply love it.I have tried some of the recipes(and will try more) I like the way u write it (helps me a lot since i am starter)and the comments which the people post are also helpful at times.This Karathe recipe looks good and its the recent entry in my to do list.
    Thank you so much for sharing your blog.
    Have a Happy Life…

  6. oh no! i love bittergourds, the fried ones especially at banana leaf meal. this sundried sounds an awesome healthy alternative. i must try it! 🙂

  7. Hey Shilpa..i hv got ample of batches, packeted frm India! My Mil is fabulous in this..we wd get 5kgs frm market,she wd do the slicing part, as she does it real fast..and after removing the wd go into 2 huge vessels..she wd salt it and mix it well(just wt upward downard jerks to the vessel)..then we both used to go to the terrace wt two saree pcs, and neatly spread it there..talking all the while abt our respective offices and people! 😉 After 5 days, the karela wd shrink to 1/3rd of size, and wd make a tinkling sound…on frying it wd again gain the same size! Same procedure for long beans..somehow we only salt it..and speaking of sundried items..sabudana paapad was also on the list! All these truly taste too good! I miss the sun-drying part a lot though! Thanks for sharing.

  8. We have these in Kerala, and I just love those! Had completely forgotten about these… with rice and curd , the fried bittegourd chips are soooooo yummy!

  9. Dear Shilpa,

    I started browsing your website exactly a year back (I stumbled upon it while searching for konkani recipe in google)and the name of your website is so catchy. I am a catholic from Mangalore but most of our dishes would be vegetarian with meat and fish once in a week. Thanks to our konkani neighbour Mrs. Pai, we would get to taste wonderful konkani dishes once in a while and karathe fry would be one of them. Infact she was growing bittergourd in her garden. Thanks for sharing the recipe and I would definitely try this recipe since right now Dubai is having scorching summer ideal for sun-dried items. Thanks a lot.

  10. thanks shilpa,
    just saw the mouth watering karela chips. i’ll try out as soon as the sun god is in the mood. right now i’ts raining cats and dogs.but thanks again for the recipe.
    love chars

  11. Hi, I came across your site a month back. My best friend is Mangalore Konkani and I have had some delicious sumptuous meals with her family! Plan to try out some of your konkani recipes soon. Will keep you posted. Btw, the bitter gourd Karela recipe sounds great. I always shallow-fry them with a turmeric, chilli pd and salt to be real crisp. Will try out your healthy method next time. Thanks.

  12. Dear Aayi,
    i live in the Maldives and its sunny for almost 7 months. I was preparing this sabudhana fritters and did not know what to do with lots of sunshine, your karela fritters sounds easy and interesting. Thanks and i am regular visitor of your site.
    P.s. Can we microwave this Karela fritters. If so how much of oil do we need. When time permits please reply.
    thank you,

  13. Shilpa, you leave the skin of the bitter gourd on, I see. Am I right? If one chooses to peel off the skin, will taste change or will the discs of gourd collapse wbcause they don;t have a strong wall?

  14. i made as per the instruction and there is salt added and became little more. the bitter gourd is dried but now the salt is too much any short cut to reduce the salt. can i wash once more with hot water and dry the same isit works or advkise what can i do to reduce the saltness for consumption.

    regards. please possible reply to me immediately.

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