Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai


  • Bitter gourd – 3 Nos (Medium size)
  • Thuvar dhal – ½ cup
  • Grated Coconut -1/2 cup
  • Tamarind – small lemon size ball
  • Red chillies long – 4 Nos
  • Coriander Seeds – 2 tablespoon
  • Urad dhal-1 teaspoon
  • Bengal gram dhal – 3 tablespoon
  • Black Pepper – 1 teaspoon
  • Jeera-1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • salt-2 teaspoon
  • Gingelly Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard – ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – few


  1. Slit the bitter gourds and remove the seeds. Cut it into small pieces. Sprinkle little salt and mix well. Keep it aside.
  2. Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the juice by adding 3 cups of water little by little.
  3. Pressure cook the thuvar dhal till soft.
  4. In a kadai put a teaspoon of oil and roast Bengal gram dhal, urad dhal, coriander seeds, pepper, jeera and red chillies seaparately. Add coconut gratings at the end and fry for a while. Remove and cool. Mix all the roasted ingredients and fried coconut grating and grind to a fine paste.Put the tamarind juice in a a vessel and add turmeric powder and salt. Bring to boil. When it starts boiling, take a handful of bitter gourd pieces and squeeze out all the water and add to the boiling tamarind juice. Add all the pieces like this. Allow to boil. When the bitter gourd is well cooked, add the ground paste, cooked dhal and mix well. Let it boil for few more minutes. Season it with mustard and curry leaves.
  5. Note: If you desire, you can add a small piece of jaggery to lessen the bitterness.


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