Bitter gourd (Pavakaai) Curry


  • Pavakkai – Medium sized 2
  • Onion – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Sambar Powder – 2 teaspoon
  • Curry Powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Turmeric Powder – a pinch
  • Jeera – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustar Seeds – ½ teaspoon
  • Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon
  • Asafotida Powder – a pinch
  • Curry Leaves – few
  • Oil – 3-4 teaspoons
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon


  1. Wash and cut the pavakkai into medium size pieces or thin slices. Chop the onion and tomato.
  2. Boil two to three glasses of water and when it is boiling put the pavakkai pieces. Allow to cook for five minutes. Do not overcook. Just blanch it. Remove from stove and drain excess water.
  3. In a kadai put the oil and when it is hot, add mustard. When it pops up add urad dhal, jeera, asafetida and curry leaves. Then add chopped onion and fry till it turns transparent. Add tomato pieces along with sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. Fry till the tomatos are mashed well. Add cooked pavakkai pieces and mix well. Add curry powder. Keep it in low flame for five minutes and stir now and then.
  4. Note: You can also add a tablespoon of tamarind juice and a small piece of jaggery to the curry to get a sour and sweet taste.


  1. Hi,
    I tried the above recipe. really good and healthy.
    but draining the boiled water is ok?
    because that water have all nutritions of bitter gourd ?
    can we use that water for any other purpose?
    or still after draining that boiled water , we get the whole nutrition of bitter gourd?

    • Hi Anussha,

      To remove the bitterness to some extent, we are draining the water. Nutrition loss may be very less only. Still you want to use it for health reasons, you can add bittergourd straight to the curries. But using the drained water in any other dish will make it bitter.

  2. Also what is curry powder,how should jaggery be added by diluting and straining or as powder form

    • Curry powder is a mix of red chillies, coriander seeds and dal. Check for recipe in the “Masala Powder” section on this site. Jaggery can be added as powder form.

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