Pavakkai/Bitter gourd Kara Kuzhambu

My belief is, some pavakkai once in a while is good for the body to help it detox. Now, I don't believe in de-bittering the bitter gourd by salting it as I feel it takes away some of its goodness. I don't know how true all this is but it makes me feel good to be eating something bitter. It feels like redemption after having eaten all those chocolates and other goodies eaten almost everyday.

I had made some dosa batter too and so we had it with dosas. This has a tang to it and Pras loved it because of that. To cut the bitterness of the bitter gourd, this has coconut and the sweetness of fennel seeds. I've learnt from a good friend that it is all about balance.

Ingredients (Serves 4) :

  1. Bitter gourd - 1 large or 2 small cut into roundels
  2. 3 small country tomato or 1 large tomato
  3. 1 small onion finely chopped
  4. 1tsp mustard seeds
  5. 1+1tsp oil
  6. 1 lemon sized ball of tamarind soaked in warm water
  7. 1/4 cup coconut
  8. 2tsp fennel seeds
  9. 6 red chillies
  10. 1 tsp coriander powder
  11. 1tbsp jaggery - optional
  12. chopped coriander leaves
  13. Salt to taste
How I made it :
  1. In a kadai, heat 1 tsp oil and fry the bitter gourd till 80% cooked. I try to cut through with the ladle and if it gives in without much effort, I know it is almost done.
  2. In a mixie, grind the coconut, fennel seeds, coriander powder and red chillies with enough water to get a fine paste.
  3. In a pressure cooker, heat 1 tsp oil.
  4. Put in mustard seeds and let them splutter. Cover with lid to avoid them from getting everywhere
  5. Add the onions and fry till pink and translucent.
  6. Add the ground mix from 2. Fry for 4-5 minutes on low.
  7. Add chopped tomatoes. Fry till soft.
  8. Add tamarind water extract.
  9. Cover the cooker and give abour 3-4 whistles on high.
  10. When the steam releases, add the fried bitter gourd. Adjust salt. Add water to get curry of desired consistency and let it boil for about 3 minutes.
  11. Add the chopped coriander.
  12. Serve hot with rice or dosas.


Thank you for stopping by. I would be thrilled to hear from you on your thoughts on the recipe. Thank you for your feedback, in advance, it is much appreciated.