Karela fry is an Indian vegan and gluten-free dish which is served as a side dish with Indian meals. Karela has other names like bitter gourd, bitter melon, and kakarakaya.
Although bitter gourd is bitter in taste, cooking it with spices enhances its flavor and adding a little bit sugar balances the bitter taste.
This is an easy and healthy recipe to make air fryer karela fry with less oil and less mess.
To make air fryer bitter gourd slices, you will need fresh bitter gourd and some basic Indian spices like coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chili powder, oil, and salt.
A little bit of sliced onions adds crunchiness to the dish and sugar will balance the overall bitter taste.
Making air fryer karela is very easy. Thoroughly rinse the bitter gourd and cut and discard the ends. Now make thin bitter gourd slices of about 3-4 mm in thickness.
In a medium size mixing bowl, add all the spices and oil with the karela slices and mix well.
Karela fry ingredients.
Combine karela and all spices into a large bowl and mix thoroughly.
Preheat the air fryer for 2-3 minutes at 360°F. Add the karela mix to the air fryer basket and spread it evenly. Air fry the karela for about 16 minutes at the temperature of 360°F.
After about 8 minutes or when the air fryer prompts to turn the food, add some sliced onions and sprinkle some sugar on the karela and mix it well with tongs or by shaking the basket.
Karela and spices in air fryer.
Add onions to karela.
Continue air frying for the remaining time. After the air fryer time is over, check the karela how well it is cooked. It will need some more cooking and you can air fry it for 2 more minutes at 390°F.
Check the karela for doneness by cutting one of the slices with a knife. If it is cutting easily, the karela fry is ready, else you can air fry it for a minute or two more.
Air fryer karela is ready.
Karela fry in serving plate.
I have used the 4 qt. Instant Vortex Plus air fryer to make this karela fry recipe. Any air fryer will work, whether it is basket style or tray style and you can make it in any size air fryer.
Depending on the air fryer and the quantity of karela, the cook time may vary by a few minutes.
It is best to serve the karela hot. If you have any leftovers it can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. You can reheat it in the microwave.
You can also freeze the karela fry in air tight containers for about 3 months. You can defrost and reheat it in the microwave.
Adding a little bit sugar to karela while cooking enhances the overall flavor and reduces the bitter flavor.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with air fryer karela chips:
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Karela Fry - Air Fryer
- 3 medium Karela (Bitter gourd)
- 1 tablespoon Oil (or more if needed)
- ½ teaspoon Salt (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- ⅛ teaspoon Red chili powder (to taste)
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder
To be added later
- ¼ cup Onion (sliced)
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- Rinse the bitter gourd thoroughly and cut the ends.
- Slice the karela into chips of about 3-4 mm thickness.
- Preheat air fryer to 360 °F
- In a mixing bowl, mix the sliced karela with oil and spices.1 tablespoon Oil, ½ teaspoon Salt, 1 teaspoon Coriander powder, ⅛ teaspoon Red chili powder, ¼ teaspoon Turmeric powder, 3 medium Karela
- Place the karela in the preheated air fryer and cook for 14 minutes at 360°F.
- Open the basket after 8 minutes, add the onions and sugar, and mix them well.¼ cup Onion, 1 teaspoon Sugar
- Continue air frying for another 8 minutes.
- Air fry for another 2 minutes at 390°F.
- Transfer the okra to a serving dish.
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