Bitter Gourd Pitlai or Pavakkai Pitlai

Bitter Gourd Pitlai or Pavakkai Pitlai Recipe
  • Lunch
  • Servings
  • 2Spicy
  • 1 HoursCook Time
  • Cuisine : North Indian
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  • 1 big Bitter gourd
  • Lemon sized ball of Tamarind
  • 3 tablespoons of  Tuvar Dal
  • 1 tablespoon of Jaggery
  • ½ teaspoon of Turmeric Powder

To be roasted and ground

  • 1 small piece of  Asafoetida
  • 1 teaspoon of  Chana Dal
  • ¼ teaspoon of Black pepper
  • 3-4 Dried Red Chillies
  • ½ cup of Grated Coconut

For Seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon of Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon of  Mustard Seeds
  • A few  Curry leaves


Kadai, Pan, Spoon, Bowl, Knife

Step By Step Method

  • Step 1

    Method to prepare the spice paste:

    1. Heat a teaspoon of oil, add asafoetida, allow it to fry.

    2. Add chana dal and fry for a minute.

    3. Now add the pepper and finally add the chillies.

    4. Fry this till the Chana dal turns into a nice golden colour.

    5. Take this out in a plate.

    6. Fry the grated coconut for a few minutes.

    7. Grind the spices with coconut to a smooth paste by adding little water.

    Step 2

    Method to prepare the Pitlai

    1. Soak tamarind in hot water for about 10 mins. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice. Keep aside.

    2. Pressure cook tuvar dal. Once cooked mash it well and keep aside.

    3. Cut bitter gourd into small pieces. In a pan, add a teaspoon of oil and fry the bitter gourd pieces with a little salt for about 5 – 7 minutes. (This is done to diminish the bitterness of the gourd).

    4. In a vessel pour the tamarind extract; add the fried bitter gourd pieces, turmeric powder, salt and jaggery. Allow this to boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes away and the vegetable is cooked.

    5. Once the vegetable is cooked, add the mashed dal and stir well. Bring it to a boil.

    6. Add the spice paste now and allow to boil for about 2 minutes.

    7. Add water by checking for consistency. Remove from heat.

    Step 3

    For the seasoning

    1. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil and add mustard seeds.

    2. Once the seeds start spluttering pour it on top of the Pitlai and garnish with curry leaves.

    3. Nutritious Pavakkai Pitlai is ready.

    4. Serve with steaming hot rice and some vegetable curry. It can be relished with Idli, Dosa or even Adai.

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