Sadhana’s Madappalli Series – “Pavarkkai Pitla”


Bitter gourd is a tropical vegetable, which is cultivated mainly in the Asian and African countries. It is also known by the name of ‘Karela’ and has a rough, warty. Some important bitter gourd health benefits: Improved Stamina and Energy, Great Immune Booster, Improves circulation, Lowers Hypertension and good for Diabetes. This is another mouthwatering dish comes from South Indian kitchen.

Oil for sautéing – 1tsp
Medium bitter melon – 2 no (Chopped)
Toor dal – 1/2 cup (cooked)
Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
a lemon sized ball of tamarind dissolved in water
Salt to taste
Spices for grinding:
Oil – ½ tsp
Whole Black Pepper1/2 tsp
Chana Dal 1Tbsp
Urad Dal 2 tsp
Asafetida – ¼ tsp
grated fresh Coconut  ½ cup
1 Sprig fresh Curry Leaves
Ghee/Oil 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Red chili  – 1 no
1 Sprig fresh Curry Leaves

  • Cook the dhal in a pressure cooker. Keep aside.
  • Wash and dry the bitter gourd. Remove ends, cut in half lengthwise, remove the seeds if they are mature and slice thinly into semicircles.
  • Soak the chopped bitter gourd in salt water and after a while drain it and squeeze out the pieces. This removes most of the bitterness.
  • Roast all spices for grinding in a tiny bit of oil, add coconut and the curry leaves last and cook until coconut is golden. Cool and grind using a blender into a fine paste with about 1/4 cup of water.
  •  Sauté the bitter melon slices with 1 tsp oil, a pinch each of turmeric and salt for 5 minutes and
  • Cook the bitter gourd in tamarind water. Bring to a boil and cook until veggies are tender.
  • When the bitter gourd is cooked, add the cooked dal & coconut paste. Combine well. Stir again. Let it simmer on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and set aside.
  • For the tempering:  Heat the ghee/ oil, and Pop mustard seeds and curry leaves, red chilies in a teaspoon of hot oil/ghee and pour it over the Pitla.  Cover and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with plain rice with other vegetables dishes.
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