Monday, 5 May 2014

Pavakkai Pitlai - Bitter Melon Sambhar

Pavakkai Pitlai - Bitter Melon Sambhar

I am not a great fan of Pavakkai, however Pavakai Pitlai is an exception. It tastes great with rice and appalam. The taste of bitterness of the Pavakkai in this curry takes the curry to another level.

The freshly prepared Sambhar powder adds depths of flavour to this dish.


Bitter Gourd - 2-3 Big Gourds or 150 Grams of small gourds (Finely Chopped)
Tamarind - Gooseberry Size
Kabuli Channa / garbanzo - 1/2 Cup (Soaked overnight and cooked - Optional)
Thoor Dal - 1/2 Cup
Asafoetida/Hing - A generous Pinch
Turmeric Powder - A pinch
Jaggery - 1 Teaspoon
Salt and Oil (Preferably Coconut Oil)
Curry Leaves - Few
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon

For the Sambhar Powder:

Channa Dal - 2 Tablespoon
Urad Dal - 1 Teaspoon
Red Dry Chillies - 8
Black Pepper - 1/2 Teaspoon
Coriander Seeds - 2 Teaspoon
Grated Coconut - 1/2 Cup


  • Pressure cook the Thoor dal with Turmeric powder and asafoetida with enough water for 2 whistles or till done.
  • Soak Tamarind in enough water and extract the Tamarind Juice and keep it aside.
  • In a pan, add a teaspoon of Oil and add all the Ingredients given under the " for the powder" and saute till it leaves a nice aroma.
  • If you are a beginner or not sure of how much time each ingredient will take, then saute them individually so that you don't burn any ingredient. 
  • Grind the sauteed ingredients and keep it aside. 
  • In a pan, add a teaspoon of oil, and once the oil is warm add the mustard seeds and allow them to splutter
  • Then add the curry leaves and chopped bitter gourd. cook till the gourd is cooked.
  • Once the gourd is cooked add the Tamarind juice and boil it till the raw flavor is gone. 
  • Then add the prepared powder and cook till the flavor of the masala is gone.
  • Then add the cooked Thoor Dal, Jaggery and Garbanzo and cook till it boils.
  • After the first boil switch off the stove and serve with Rice and Appalam. 


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