Stuffed Pavakaai (Bitter gourd)

Stuffed pavakaai, also known as stuffed bitter gourd, is a delicious and healthy dish made by filling bitter gourds with a flavorful stuffing and then cooking them. Serve the stuffed pavakaai as a side dish or as a main course with rice or roti.

Stuffed Pavakaai (Bitter gourd)

Recipe by S Kamala
0.0 from 0 votes
Course: PoriyalCuisine: Indian, TamilDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Cooking time



Stuffed pavakaai, or stuffed bitter gourd, is a nutritious and tasty food prepared by adding a flavorful stuffing into bitter gourds and cooking them. This versatile dish can be enjoyed as a main course paired with rice or roti, or as a side item.


  • Bitter gourd – 4

  • Onion – 1 big

  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon

  • Besan flour – 4 tablespoons

  • Red Chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

  • Turmeric powder – a pinch

  • Coriander Powder – 2 teaspoons

  • Jeera powder – 1 teaspoon

  • Salt – 1 teaspoon or as per taste

  • Oil – 4 to 5 tablespoons


  • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly. Make a longitudinal slit down the middle of each gourd, taking care not to cut all the way through. Using a spoon or a small knife, scoop out the seeds and pith from the inside.
  • Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Carefully place the slit bitter gourds in the water and let them cook for 2 to 3 minutes — ensure not to overcook them to avoid breaking.
  • Once parboiled, drain and set the bitter gourds aside to cool.
  • Finely chop the onion. In a separate bowl, combine besan (chickpea flour), red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin (jeera) powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste, lemon juice, and the chopped onion to create the stuffing.
  • Open the slits in the bitter gourds and carefully stuff them with the prepared mixture. Ensure all the bitter gourds are evenly filled with stuffing.
  • Heat a tawa (griddle) over medium heat and lightly grease it with oil. Place the stuffed bitter gourds on the tawa and drizzle them with oil. Cover with a lid and let them cook for about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • After the time has elapsed, uncover and gently flip the bitter gourds to cook the other side, allowing the stuffing to firm up and the bitter gourd to become well-fried.
  • Once the bitter gourds are cooked and the stuffing is firm, remove them from the tawa.


  • If you’re working with exceptionally long bitter gourds, they can be cut into two pieces before slitting and stuffing. As an alternative to besan flour, peanut powder or sesame (til) powder can be used for a different flavor in the stuffing.


  1. Interesting recipe and technique. Will the besan and the raw onions get cooked through? Will definitely try this recipe. You have a good collection of recipes!

  2. Hi,

    Thank you for visiting my site. Yes. The besan and onion get cooked. But you have to keep flame to medium and cook the bitter gourd till colour of the bitter gourd changes. If you are using long and thick variety, then you can just fry the onion and besan and then stuff it.

  3. Thanks Kamala!

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