Thursday 31 January 2013

Bittergourd Pitla | Pavakkai Pitla

Bitter Gourd & chickpeas cooked in mashed lentils and ground masala

I am not a big fan of bitter gourd unlike Deeps. But I do feel the need to eat it coz of its benefits to health viz good for the stomach and skin, reduces diabetes etc etc .. Yea, I am sounding boring. So does the sight of bitter gourd to me. So I make all efforts to look and taste as interesting as possible. That was when I remembered that my mom used to make this 'Pavakkai Pitla' and how I used to lick my fingers after eating that without any complaints of the bitterness of 'bitter gourd'. So here is the recipe for the gravy 'Pitla' to all those who would wanna enjoy the benefits of bitter gourd without much credit for its bitterness part :D Some other recipes with bitter gourd that are there in the blog are Pavakka Puli KuzhambuPavakya Pulin CurryBitter Gourd Fry & Khatta Meeta Karela..

Recipe Source: Ma's Cookbook

I Took:

Preparation Time: 45 minutes

Cooking Time : 25 minutes

I Used:

Tur Dal                 - ½ cup
Channa                 - ½ cup - boiled
Bitter Gourd         - 1 no - medium sized
Tamarind              - 20 gm or small lemon sized
Turmeric powder  - ½ tsp
Salt                      - As needed
Oil                       - As needed
Mustard seeds        - To temper

Roast & Grind:

Red Chilly                             - 6 nos
Coriander seeds                    - 4 tsp
Urd Dal                                 - 2 tsp
Roasted gram/Pottu Kadalai/Udacha Kadalai - 2 tsp 
Coconut                               - ¼ cup
Asafoetida                            - ½ tsp
Curry leaves                         - A sprig

The Way:

  1. Heat 2 tsp oil in a kadai and fry the bitter gourd in it for a few minutes and keep aside
  2. In the same kadai roast all the ingredients under the Roast & Grind section. Grind them with a little water and keep aside
  3. Soak the tamarind in water for about 15-20 minutes and extract the juice
  4. Heat tamarind juice in a pan and add the bitter gourd pieces to it
  5. Add salt, turmeric and allow it to come to a boil
  6. Now add the boiled and smashed tur dal and boiled channa 
  7. Add the ground paste and cook in slow fire for another 10 minutes
  8. Temper mustard seeds and add it to the gravy
Serve it with boiled rice and raita.


The actual recipe doesn't call for garlic. But I added 2 pods while boiling tur dal for gastronomical reasons winking



  1. This is new to me. All I do with Bitter Gourd is a simple fry - with chilli powder, salt & turmeric, by removing the seeds & cut them into thin slices & fry them in limited oil.

    But if this recipe is not so bitter then I should try this, looks like one heck of a healthy recipe! ThankS!

    1. Nopes.. It's not bitter Pavithra.. Has a slight tangy taste, the bitterness is much reduced by the coconut & tamarind !! Go ahead and try dear.. u wud love it :)

  2. This is a very interesting recipe.. Will definitely try it out :)


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