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Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai

Bitter Gourd Pitlai - an easy South Indian kuzhambu made with bitter gourds, toor dal flavoured with a good amount of red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal, coconut and other spices. I guarantee this kuzhambu will surely impress your family. We always prefer kuzhambu with a good aroma and perfect balance of heat with a hint of tanginess.
 
Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai  - Bitter Gourd Pitlai - an easy South Indian kuzhambu made with bitter gourds, toor dal flavoured with a good amount of red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal, coconut and other spices. I guarantee this kuzhambu will surely impress your family. We always prefer kuzhambu with a good aroma and perfect balance of heat with a hint of tanginess. Bitter gourd recipes, South Indian kuzhambu recipes.


My Grandma suggests me to add all the spices and other ingredients in a good amount for this pavakkai pitlai. Like what she always says, the best way to prepare any kuzhambu with a good flavour lies in roasting the spices until you can smell a nice aroma from all the ingredients. This kuzhambu is similar to our Idi Sambar but there are no onions, tomatoes and garlics. For this recipe, I have used the small variety bitter gourd which we call it as mithi pavakka in Tamil which have less bitterness than the regular bitter gourds. If you can’t find the small bitter gourds, you can substitute with the regular bitter gourds. For this kuzhambu the freshly prepared homemade masala makes the powerful flavour so don’t leave or decrease any one of the ingredients. If you leave or substitute with any other ingredient it totally makes a difference in the taste. It is best to saute the bitter gourds in oil and then we have to cook in the tamarind extract for 10 minutes. The exact cooking time will actually depend on the thickness of the bitter gourds and if you are in a hurry cook the bitter gourds in a pressure cooker along with the toor dal. My other recipes with Bitter gourd : Bitter Gourd Pachadi, Bitter Gourd Poriyal,  Bitter Gourd Fry

Check out my other Kuzhambu recipes here


Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai Recipe
 
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Prep time : 15 minutes
Cook time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4
Category : kuzhambu
Author : Muthulakshmi Madhavakrishnan

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup toor dal
  • 5 to 7 small bitter gourd or 1 medium bitter gourd
  • 1 medium lemon sized tamarind
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp urid dal
  • few curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
For pitlai masala
  • 1 tbsp chana dal
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp cumins
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 15 red chillies
Cooking Directions
  1. Wash the bitter gourds and cut them into small circles. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes. Soak the toor dal for 20 minutes.
  2. After 20 minutes, pressure cook the toor dal for 4 to 6 whistles. Extract the tamarind pulp with 2 cups of water.
  3. Heat a tsp of oil in a frying pan and add the chana dal and coriander seeds. Roast them well on medium heat and after a  few minutes add the black pepper and cumins. Next, add the red chillies and roast it.
  4. After a few minutes, add the grated coconut and fry them well until it turns golden brown. Allow them to cool down completely.Add these roasted spices in a small chutney jar and grind it smoothly.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan and add the bitter gourds. Saute them on medium heat for a few minutes.
  6. Next, add the bitter gourds to the tamarind extract. Add the required salt and turmeric powder. Keep on medium heat and cook the bitter gourds well in the tamarind extract for 15 minutes.
  7. Now, add the ground paste along with 1 cup of water. Mix them well without any lumps. After 5 minutes, add the cooked toor dal and mix them well.
  8. Allow the kuzhambu to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  9. When the kuzhambu has boiled well, add the jaggery. After 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Heat oil in a small frying pan and add the mustard and urid dal. When it splutters, add the curry leaves and add it to the hot kuzhambu.


Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai with step by step photos 

Wash the bitter gourds and cut them into small circles. Soak the tamarind in hot water for 20 minutes. Soak the toor dal for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, pressure cook the toor dal for 4 to 6 whistles.


Measure and keep all the ingredients ready for roasting the spices.


Heat a tsp of oil in a frying pan and add the chana dal and coriander seeds. Roast them well on medium heat and after a few minutes add the black pepper and cumins. Next add the red chillies and roast it. After a few minutes, add the grated coconut and fry them well until it turns golden brown. Allow them to cool down completely.


Add these roasted spices in a small chutney jar and grind it.


Grind as shown in the picture below. Add water at regular intervals and grind it smoothly.


Open the pressure cooker and mash the dal with a ladle.

Heat oil in a frying pan and add the bitter gourds. Saute them on medium heat for few minutes.

Next, add the bitter gourds to the tamarind extract. Add the required salt and turmeric powder. Keep on medium heat and cook the bitter gourds well in the tamarind extract for 15 minutes.



 Now, add the ground paste along with 1 cup of water. Mix them well without any lumps.


After 5 minutes, add the cooked toor dal and mix them well. Allow the kuzhambu to boil for 10 minutes on medium heat.



When the kuzhambu has boiled well, add the jaggery.

After 5 minutes, turn off the heat. Heat oil in a small frying pan and add the mustard and urid dal. When it splutters, add the curry leaves and add it to the hot kuzhambu. 



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