Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Pavakkai Pitla

Another authentic brahmins dish. The one vegetable which is universally hated I guess. Bittergourd is a excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber. It is also rich in iron. This curry integrates a lot of flavours, sweet, hot, sour, bitter etc...
Here goes the recipe...


Bitter gourd – 1 big
Tamarind – Lemon sized ball
Tuar Dal – 3 tblsps
Jaggery – 1 tblsp
Turmeric  Powder – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste

Asfoetida – small piece
Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Black pepper – ¼ tsp
Dried Red Chillies – 3- 4
Grated Coconut – ½ cup

To Temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – a few

  • Heat a tsp of oil, add asfoetida, allow it to fry, then add channa dal fry for a minute 
  • Add the pepper and finally add the chillies. Fry this till the Channa dal turns a nice golden color. Take this out in a plate. 
  • Fry the grated coconut for a few mins. Grind the spices with coconut to a smooth paste by adding little water.
  • Soak tamarind in hot water for about 10 mins. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice. Keep aside. 
  • Pressure cook tuar dal. Once cooked mash it well and keep aside. 
  • Cut bitter gourd into small pieces. 
  • In a pan, add a tsp of oil and fry the bitter gourd pieces with a little salt for about 5 – 7 mins. 
  • In a vessel pour the tamarind extract; add the fried bitter gourd pieces, turmeric powder, salt and jaggery. Allow this to boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes and the vegetable is cooked.
  • Once the vegetable is cooked, add the mashed dal and stir well. Bring to boil. 
  • Then add the ground paste and allow to boil for about 2 mins. Add water according to the gravy consistency. Remove from heat.
  • Heat a tsp of coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. Once the seed start spluttering pour it on top of the Pitlai and garnish with curry leaves.

Pavakkai Pitla is ready. Goes well with steaming hot rice and some vegetable poriyal.

Linking this to taste-of-tropics-tamarind who is guest hosting for gourmetglobal