Monday, May 26, 2014

Pavakkai Thokku

I was never very fond of bitter gourds. Actually very few people are. Most people don't like the bitter taste of the gourd. But then, I realized at some stage in my cooking journey that if you cook the vegetable properly, most of its bitterness can be masked. Now I have taken a liking to this vegetable, what with its numerous health benefits and I do make it a point to have it atleast once in 15 days. 

Pavakkai Pitlai is the dish I prepare most often with this vegetable. The recipe I am sharing today is Hubby's signature dish. When he prepared this first time I was not at all ready to eat it saying it would be very bitter, but he assured me that it won't be so and true to his words it wasn't as bitter as I expected. I can't say that you won't find it bitter at all. 

Try this mixed with some steaming hot rice and I'm sure you will want to have more of it. You can have it as an accompaniment with rice and dal/molagootal too.

Serves 2 to 3
What you'll need
  1. Bitter gourd – 2 big, about 3 cups, chopped into small pieces
  2. Onion – 1 big
  3. Tamarind – size of big lemon
  4. Tumeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Chilly Powder – 1 tsp (increase if you spicier)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Jaggery – 2 tbsp (See notes)
  8. Oil – 2 tbsp
  9. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  10. Channa Dal/Kadala Paruppu -  tsp
  11. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Heat a Kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, once they splutter then add the channa dal after they turn golden add the curry leaves.
  2. Now add the chopped onions and sauté well, once they turn light brown, add the chopped bittergourd/pavakkai and fry.
  3. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste and fry on low to medium flame in open pan.
  4. Keep stirring once in a while. Fry till the bittergourd pieces are roasted well. It may take anywhere between 10 to 12 minutes.
  5. In the meanwhile, soak the tamarind in very little water and take out a thick extract.
  6. After the pieces are fried well, now add Chilly powder and sauté for half a minute, then add the tamarind extract and jaggery. Mix well. Check for seasoning and add salt and chilly powder if required.
  7. Cook on low flame till all the moisture is almost absorbed.

Serve with rice.

If you can’t have jaggery, skip it and add more onions, the onions will help in lending a sweet taste and will reduce the bitterness of the gourd.
You can omit onions and make it as a no onion version too, in this case don’t skip the jaggery.

Adjust the spices according to your liking. 


Unknown said...

Perfect as an accompaniment for curd rice or dal rice.

Rafeeda AR said...

somehow I cannot stand pavakka... but this looks delicious.. maybe when I find the courage to cook and eat it, I will definitely come by ur space... :)

Chitra said...

I must try this once.Looks so yummy :)

Rani acharyulu said...

I like Bitter gourd in any farm,delicious thokku love it. said...


Unknown said...

This is in my 'to do' list for a long....your pictures tempt me to try...nice preparation.

seetha lakshmi said...

First we fried the Pavakkai and prepare this curry with or without onion.Side dish for molakuttal and thair sadam.

Your space is good and interesting.

Jayanthy Kumaran said...

looks delicious & healthy..
Tasty Appetite

Anonymous said...

First time hearing..looks delicious:)

Unknown said...

I like pavakkai fry, this thokku looks so good, should taste good with some rotis too..

Julie said...

lovely blend of flavors,looks delish :)

Rajani said...

The name,Pavakkai thokku got me very interested. ?I am sure this dish will be a star at any meal!

Unknown said...

I love bitter gourds and make this often. Your looks so tempting!

Priya Suresh said...

Thokku makes me drool, bittergourd is my fav vegetable since ever i came to know about the health benefits.

sheelakk said...

i hated bittergourds, but not anymore. it came out really well. thanks.

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