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Bitter gourd (Pavakaai) Curry

Pavakkai curry, also known as bitter gourd curry, is a popular South Indian dish made with bitter gourd, onions, tomatoes, and a blend of spices. The bitter gourd is first sliced and then cooked with the onions, tomatoes, and spices until it is soft and well-flavored. It is typically served with rice or roti and is known for its unique flavor and health benefits.

Bitter gourd (Pavakaai) Curry

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


Prep time


Cooking time



Pavakkai curry, a traditional South Indian dish made with bitter gourd, onions, tomatoes, and aromatic spices.


  • Bitter Gourd (Pavakkai) – 4 to 5

  • Onion – 1

  • Tomato – 1

  • Sambar Powder – 2 teaspoons

  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 teaspoon

  • Tamarind – a small gooseberry size

  • Jaggery powdered – 1 teaspoon

  • For Seasoning:
  • Oil – 3-4 teaspoons

  • Mustard Seeds – ½ teaspoon

  • Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon

  • Jeera – 1 teaspoon

  • Asafoetida Powder – a pinch

  • Curry Leaves – few

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste


  • Wash and cut the pavakkai into medium size pieces or thin slices. Chop the onion and tomato.
  • 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.
  • 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 a pinch salt and fry till it mashed well. Add sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt.
  • Mix well and add cooked pavakkai pieces.
  • Stir well and add tamarind juice along with jaggery powder. Close with a lid and cook it in low flame for few minutes.

Recipe Video

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