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.