Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pavakkai (Bittergourd) Pitlai

Bittergourd/Pavakkai Pitlai is one of my favourite bittergourd recipes.It is prepared in a tamarind base with freshly ground spices and tastes great with rice.I have added some cooked chickpeas too the pitlai. 

Bittergourd pitlai


Bittergourd chopped
1 1 /2 cups
 1/4  cup
Toor dhal
 ½ cup
Small lime size
As needed
Small piece
Turmeric powder
¼ tsp
2 tsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
To roast and grind
Coriander seeds
2 tsp
Channa dhal
1 tsp
Urad dhal
1/2 tsp
Red chilli
Coconut grated
4 tblsp


Pitlai Preparation

Bittergourd pitlai

  • Soak chickpeas overnight and Pressure cook the chickpeas and toor dhal seperately.
  • Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and roast all the ingredients in "To roast and grind" table except coconut to golden colour.Transfer to a plate and cool.Roast coconut seperately and keep aside.Grind the roasted ingredients first to a fine powder adding roasted coconut at the end and grind them together.
  • Take the chopped Bittergourd in a vessel and add enough water and a pinch of salt.Boil for 3-4 mins and now drain the bittergourd in a colander and rinse with water( You can skip this rinsing step if the bittergourd is not too bitter).
  • Extract 2 cups of tamarind water from the tamarind.
  • Now take the tamarind water,turmeric powder,jaggery piece and the bittergourd in a vessel,add  salt and boil well till the raw smell of tamarind goes off and bittergourd is fully cooked.
  • Now add the chickpeas,mashed toor dhal and the prepared spice powder.Adjust the consistency by adding required water and boil for 3-4 mins .
  • Heat a pan with oil,add mustard seeds followed by curry leaves and add to the pitlai.


  1. looks yummy and tempting..healthy dish

  2. Bitter it may be but I loved it cooked in this style. The bitterness for sure disappears and out comes a delicious gravy which is perfect with rice.

  3. delicious pitlai with awesome clicks.

  4. I loved the way you have made this dish. I never cook bittergurd coz I never liked this veggie for its bitterness. You dish is telling me to give it a try.

  5. I love karelas. So this is new way to cook it.

  6. new and interesting recipe... looks yum

  7. Ah! totally loved it. Mouth watering indeed :)

  8. Ah! totally loved it. Mouth watering indeed :)

  9. I never make pavvakai, but if u pass me the bowl, I'll finish in no time..YUM


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