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Bitter Gourd Pitlai (Bitter Gourd Gravy)

 Published 2014-Mar-23   Updated 2018-Sep-28

- Submitted by Raji

(Kodum Pitlai, Pavakkai Pitlai, Pagarkkai Pitlai)

A traditional south Indian Brahmin gravy made with Bitter gourd and a thick lentil and tamarind gravy.

Recipe For Bitter Gourd Pitlai


  • Bitter gourd (Pagarkkai, Pavakka) - 1 large
  • Tamarind - small lemon sized ball
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 tsp
  • Dry red chili - 2-3
  • Black pepper - 4-5
  • Salt - to taste
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Oil - 2-3 tbsp
  • Grated coconut - 4-5 tbsp
  • Toor dal (Split Red Lentils) - 1/2 cup

For Tempering

  • Grated coconut - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • Asafoetida (hing) powder - 1/4 tsp


  1. Wash and slice the bitter gourd (pavakka) into thin slices.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai and saute the bitter gourd pieces till it becomes crisp. Keep it aside.
  3. In the same kadai, fry the coriander seeds, chana dal, red chili, black pepper, grated coconut. Cool and grind it to a smooth paste.
  4. Boil the toor dal separately till it becomes soft and keep aside.
  5. In the kadai, add the pavakka, turmeric powder, salt and boil till the raw smell goes off.
  6. Add the ground masala, boiled tuvar dal and bring it to a boil.
  7. Temper with ingredients mentioned above. Switch off.

Pavakka pitla is ready.

More Bitter Gourd Recipes

Bittergourd Fry Bittergourd Fry Bittergourd Theeyal Bittergourd Theeyal Stuffed Bittergourd Stuffed Bittergourd Bitter Gourd Pickle< Bitter Gourd Pickle
See more ⟩⟩

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-09-28.