Friday, October 23, 2015

Pavakkai Pitlai /BitterGourd Gravy ( Typical Kanyakumari Style)

 Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai) is a famous kuzhambu(curry) in Kanyakumari and I learnt this recipe from my mother in law.Bitter gourd will be shallow fried in this recipe to remove its bitter taste. Later fried bittergourd will be boiled with spicy tangy coconut gravy.Serve this delicious spicy pittlai with spoonful of ghee and hot rice.
Try it and let me know your comments.

Ingredients :
2 medium size Bitter gourd
1/4-1/2 cup toor dal 
1 small lemon size tamarind
Salt to taste
1 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp oil 

For Grinding:
1/2 cup fresh grated coconut 
4-5 dry red chilies ( increase if you want spicy gravy)
3 tsp coriander Seeds
2 tsp urad dal
1 tsp channa dal (optional)
1/4 tsp pepper

For Seasoning:
1 tsp oil 
1 tsp mustard seeds
8-10 Curry Leaves

How To Prepare ?

  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and extract the juice.
  • Pressure cook the toor dal and smash it and keep it aside.
  • Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan/kadai  and fry the red chilies, coriander seeds, urad dal , channa dal and pepper till the dals turn golden brown in color. Transfer the fried spices to a plate. Let it cool down completely.To the same pan, add grated coconut, Hing and fry till it turns golden color.Switch off the flame and transfer it to another plate.Let this also cool down completely.
  • Now transfer fried spices and coconut into a mixer jar. Add little water and grind it into a fine paste. Keep the ground paste aside.
  • Clean and chop the bitter gourd and keep it aside. Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a same pan.Shallow fry the bitter gourd in medium flame to remove the bitter taste of it. Transfer this to another plate. ( It will take aprox 12-14 minutes)

  • Now add in 1 tsp of oil into the same pan and continue with the seasoning. Add in mustard seeds to it. As soon as mustard seeds pop out add curry leaves, fry for few secs. Now add tamarind extract, turmeric powder and salt.Allow it to boil for 2 minutes. Now add the fried bitter gourd pieces to boiling tamarind juice. Let it boil until bitter gourd cooks properly.
  • Now add the smashed dal and bring the mixture to boil.Finally add ground paste, bring the pitlai to boil one final time and switch off the flame.

  • You can skip the channa dal while preparing the gravy. That is how my mother in law prepares.
  • Seasoning can be prepared in a separate pan and added at the end of the preparation.This enhances the taste to the pitlai.
  • If you want very thick gravy add in 1/2 cup of tur dal else use little less than that.
Thanks so much for going through my recipe. Kindly put in your comments and share it with your friends and family if you like the recipe .


Boiled BitterGourd in spicy tamarind and coconut gravy (Karnataka Style)

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