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Pavakkai Pitlai

Pavakkai Pitlai

Recipe rating: N/A
Recipe by S Kamala Course: GraviesCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



A popular recipe made with bitter gourd (pavakkai) paired with rice


  • 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


  • Slit the bitter gourds and remove the seeds. Cut it into small pieces. Sprinkle little salt and mix well. Keep it aside.
  • Soak tamarind in water and squeeze out the juice by adding 3 cups of water little by little.
  • Pressure cook the thuvar dhal till soft.
  • In a kadai put a teaspoon of oil and roast Bengal gram dhal, urad dhal, coriander seeds, pepper, jeera and red chillies separately.
  • 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.
  • Add the tamarind juice in 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.
  • Note:
  • If you desire, you can add a small piece of jaggery to lessen the bitterness.
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