Pavakkai pitlai, bittergourd pitlai, pavakkai sambar – A traditional kuzhambu made with pavakkai/bittergourd and freshly ground spices.
Bittergourd/pavakkai is one of the recipes which I wanted to post since a long time. One of nithyascorner’s member requested for it, and here I am finally with this post pavakkai pitlai. Gj is a big fan of Pavakkai, and he has to have it at least twice a week. I make crispy bitter gourd fries often and the fries have become my favorite family recipe.
Both my in-laws as well as my parents do not make dishes with pavakkai often. My father does not like it at all because of its bitterness. When my in-laws or my parents visit us, we do not make this at home. Pavakkai pitlai is very similar to sambar. I have it with idly/dosa and rice. Pavakkai lovers or health conscious friends, do try this pavakkai pitlai dish. I am sure you will love it.
Bittergourd/pavakkai – 1/4 kg.
Toor dal – 1/2 cup
Tamarind – 1 lemon size
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Jaggery – as desired (optional)
Salt – as desired
To fry in oil and grind
Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp to 1 tbsp
Red chillies – 4 to 6
Urad dal/ulutham paruppu – 1 tbsp
Peppercorns/milagu – 1 and 1/2 tsp
Gram dal/channa dal/kadalai paruppu – 1 tbsp
Asafoetida/perungayam/hing – a pinch
1. Pressure cook 1/2 cup toor dal using 1.5 cups of water for 3 whistles. It will take about 10 minutes. Then wait for some time, release the pressure, and open the cooker lid. The toor dal should be mushy if not just mash it with a ladle. Remember, you will need 1 to 1.5 cups of cooked toor dal for the pitlai.2. Boil pavakkai using two cups of water, turmeric powder, and salt. Soak tamarind in water and extract its juice. Then add the tamarind juice to the pavakkai and boil well.3. Meantime, heat oil in a pan. Add coriander seeds and fry till it sizzles. Add channa dal and fry till golden brown. Add red chillies, peppercorns, coconut and fry for two minutes. Let them cool down. Then grind them using little water.4. Now add toor dal (1 to 1.5 cups of cooked toor dal ) and mix well. Then add the ground paste and jaggery. Cook for five more minutes. In a separate pan, heat oil and let the mustard seeds splutter. Then add urad dal, curry leaves, and asafoetida and fry till urad dal turns golden brown. Now add the seasoning to the pitlai. Give a quick stir.Now pavakkai pitlai is ready!
- You can substitute coconut oil with any other oil.
- You can also add two tablespoon of coconut milk at the time of adding jaggery.