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Bitter Melon Varuval
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Pavakkai Chips – Bitter Gourd Chips - Bitter Melon Varuval

Pavakkai chips also called Bitter gourd chips or bitter melon varuval is an excellent alternative to traditional ways of cooking bitter gourd. Frying the pavakkai with the spices reduces the bitterness and can be an excellent snack.
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Kids Friendly, Lunch Recipes, Snack
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Diet: Low Salt
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 49kcal


  • fry pan
  • Spoon
  • Tray


  • 6 large Bitter gourd / Bitter melon / Pavakkai or 8 medium
  • to taste Salt
  • for deep frying Oil
  • ½ teaspoon Red chili powder optional


  • Clean the bitter gourd / pavakkai and wipe it dry. Remove the ends of the vegetable and the cut them into thin circles. Now remove the inner flesh from the vegetable (this is where the seeds and the flesh are) and discard it. It is important to remove the inner flesh because it is quite bitter.
  • Repeat with all the bitter gourd and place the chopped ones in a bowl. Add salt needed for the vegetable and using wet hands mix through the vegetable for the salt to spread well. Make sure you do not use too much of water. Just use wet hands to mix the salt.
  • Now spread the bitter gourd in a sheet or a plate and place it in direct sun for about 30 minutes to an hour. It was a sunny day when I made the chips, so I placed the tray in the sun for an hour. This step helps in drying out the vegetable a bit and this reduces the cooking time and also makes the chips crunchier. If there is no sunlight, you could also keep it in oven for about 30 minutes in the lowest baking temperature (about 200 F) or you could also dry it out in the microwave.
  • Heat the oil for deep frying. Take a handful of the vegetable and carefully place it in the hot oil. The oil will all bubble up, so make sure you use a deep pan to fry. Fry the bitter gourd until it light brown. You will notice that the quantity of the chips yielded is quite less as the vegetable shrinks a lot when frying.
  • Remove the chips on paper towel lined dish. After few minutes, place the chips in a bowl and add chili powder if using. Mix well with your hands to coat the chips well.
  • Store the Pavakkai Chips in an airtight container once they have cooled down completely.


Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 22mg | Potassium: 836mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 1462IU | Vitamin C: 234mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 1mg