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Bitter Gourd/Pavakka Theeyal

Bitter Gourd/Pavakka Theeyal

Pavakka/bitter gourd theeyal is a traditional Kerala recipe. Bitter gourd is cooked in a tangy and spicy gravy. The aroma of theeyal comes from roasted coconut and spices.In addition to bitter gourd this recipe needs a generous amount of pearl onions. Together it forms a delicious combination and the bitterness of  the pavakka will get reduced. It is a perfect accompaniment with rice.

Pavakka/bitter gourd thinly sliced- 3 cup
Pearl onion or shallots sliced- 2 cups
Sliced ginger- 2 inch thick
Slit green chilly-2
Curry leaves - a few
Tamarind-1/3 cup (pulp)
Sugar- 1/2 tsp
mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

To roast and grind
Coconut grated- 1 cup
Dry red chilly-8
( add according to your tolerance)
Coriander seeds- 3 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- 1 spring

Cut bitter gourd into thin slices. Add salt and a pinch of turmeric and mix well. Heat three to four tsp of oil in a pan and add this. Saute this till it is cooked and and fried to slight brown . No need to make it crisp.Keep this aside.

In a separate pan dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'to roast'. Roast in medium flame and stirring continuously till the coconut is dark brown. Make this into a fine paste and keep aside.
Note: this is an important step. Roast in low medium flame till the coconut is evenly brown.This is will impart flavor and color to the theeyal
Heat two tbs of oil  in a pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter add shallots, ginger, green chilly and curry leaves and saute till the onions get almost fried and browned up.
Add the fried bitter gourd,tamarind pulp and one cup of water and salt.Cover and cook for four to five minutes. Finally add the fried coconut paste, adjust consistency( if it is too thick add a little water) and allow to simmer for one more minute in medium flame. Serve with rice.

 Try this,
Hope you will all enjoy.


  1. yummy theeyal..Eventhough I hate pavakka i loved this theeyal one time when I had it from my cousis place :)

    1. This sounds YUMMY..Bookmarked..


  2. It looks rich and inviting with rice.

  3. This looks like something my parents would enjoy since they love bitter gourd!

  4. Yummilicious Theeyal, perfect with rice :)

  5. My all time fav theeyal..perfect color Suja...

  6. delicious Theeyal, perfect one...tastes best with rice

  7. Theeyal adipoli aayitu undu. Ente favorite annu.

  8. Tempting theeyal. Happy to follow you

  9. hi suja, deliciously prepared.. and highly nutritious bitter gourd. very inspiring to try your exotic spicy ingredients especially with the coconut. have a nice day dear

  10. looks yummy..i love anything with bittergourd..

  11. i like pavakka theeyal though not a big fan of pavakka...looks delicious..

    Please be a part of the Just "4" Fun event.

  12. delicious pavakka theeyal!!!!!!!

  13. I love theeyal.Get some pickle and fried fish...Oonu kushal!

  14. I love theeyal.Get some pickle and fried fish...Oonu kushal!

  15. Wow...that's an drool worthy recipe..perfect treat for a bitter gourd fan like me...

  16. Love Theeyal and this looks really yum!

  17. Pavakka theeyal ugran Suja.. Really miss having this veggie as no one likes it at home.

  18. yum..njan last week undakki...ur version is a bit different. will try this too

  19. i am not a great fan of bitter gour but this surely looks delicious... would certainly give it a try...

  20. bittergourd dish looks tasty and yum!

  21. Not a big fan of pavakkai, but the recipe even tempts me!

  22. The theeyal looks inviting, with pearl onions, shud have tasted divine..


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