Friday 14 December 2018

Pavakya Pulin Curry | Kaipekka Puli Curry | Kerala Style Kaipakka Pulincurry without coconut | Bitter Gourd in Tamarind Gravy

I am not a fan of bitter gourd but the better half is crazy about it :( So it kinda features regularly in our menu. I try to make it as appeasing as possible by making Bitter Gourd Fry (really deep ;)) or something like this Pitla, which uses lesser quantity of bitter gourd and where the dominating taste is that of the dal and the masala ;) Once in a while I am okay with the Pavakka Puli Kuzhambu and that's only because it uses coconut ;) This is the first time i am liking something which does not mask the bitter gourd taste nor uses coconut or has another dominating taste. But even then I do not eat the bitter gourd in this gravy. But this gravy is just awesome and tastes quite like Meen Mulakittathu. Now you understood why I liked it right? Just a little of this gravy is enough for me to eat scoopfuls of rice ;) And this is getting featured in our menu too quite often :) So you wanna know how to make it. Head on to the recipe then.. 

If you would like to, check out Khatta Meeta Karela too !

Recipe Source: Adapted from here

I Took: 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes


Serves : 3-4 persons

I Used:

Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp
Onions - 1 medium sized one - sliced
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Bitter Gourd - 1 small sized one or ½ a medium sized one
Turmeric powder - ¼ tsp
Red Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Fenugreek powder - ¼ tsp
Tamarind - A gooseberry sized ball

To Temper:
Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard - ½ tsp
Red Chilly - 2 nos
Shallots - 6-8 nos - sliced
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

The Way:

1. Clean the bitter gourd and cut into small pieces suitable for the gravy. You can do this by cutting the bitter gourd into half (vertically) and then remove the pith. Then cut the bitter gourd into small pieces. Also slice the onions and peel the garlic and keep ready

2. Soak tamarind in warm water for 15-20 minutes. Then extract the pulp and keep aside

3. In a bowl, mix together red chilly powder, coriander powder and fenugreek powder with little (around 1-2 tbsp) water and make into a smooth paste and keep aside

4. Heat coconut oil in a pan/kadai/manchatti 

5. Add the sliced onions and garlic pods and saute for a minute. Add the cut bitter gourd pieces and give a stir. Then add turmeric powder and salt and mix well

6. Add water - around 1/4 cup and close and cook for 5-6 minutes

7. Now add the masala paste to the bitter gourd and mix well and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes or till the raw smell of the masala goes away

8. Then add the tamarind water and give a nice stir. Allow it to boil

9. Once it boils, simmer the flame and cook covered for another 10-15 minutes. Then switch off flame

10. In another tadka pan, heat the coconut oil. Splutter mustard

11. Then add the broken red chilly, curry leaves and the sliced shallots. Stir continuously in low flame till the shallots turn colour and start turning brown. Take care not to burn the tadka

12. Add the tadka/tempering to the gravy and give a gentle stir. Allow it to sit for half an hour if possible before serving



  1. Lots of great flavours in this simple curry dish!

  2. This is such a great recipe for people like me who dont like the taste of pavakka. And the gravy taste like Fish Curry, thats a bonus point. Will definitely try your version. Thanks for sharing :-)

  3. This is such a nice way of cooking bittergourd.. Will try sometime!!

  4. This reminds me that I don't have a single pavakka recipe on my blog since I never cook with them, mainly because I can't stand them... hehe... that pulincurry looks very interesting, maybe I must try cooking this vegetable some time...

  5. My most favourite way of having Pavakka.. yum!

  6. I have never tried the combination of bitter and sour... this is amazing, I would love to pair it with plain rice

  7. I make theeyal with bitter gourd the similar way but never tried pulinkari with bitter gourd..the gravy looks really good,yumm with steamed rice

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