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Pavakka Kichadi

 Published 2017-Apr-05   Updated 2017-Apr-09

- Submitted by Beryl

(Bitter-Melon Yogurt Curry, Karela Raita, Pavakkai Pachadi)

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Paavakka Kichadi, also known as Pavakkai Pachadi is a common sidedish for rice made in South India especially in Kerala and Tamilnad. It is prepared using curd (or yoghurt) to mask the bitterness of paavakka (bittergourd or bittermelon). It is served in functions like the Onam Sadhya, Vishu and also seen in restaurant menu. It is even liked by kids as there is no trace of bitterness of paavakka in this.

Recipe for Pavakka Thoran

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  • Bittermelon- 3 numbers (wash, remove the inside portion including seeds, and cut into round pieces)
  • Salt- as necessary
  • Water- 1/4 cup
  • Yoghurt (or Curd) - 1 cup
  • Cooking Oil (Coconut oil or Sunflower oil) - 1 1/2 tablespoon

For Grinding

  • Coconut- 1 to 1 1/4 cup
  • Green chillies - 4 numbers
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Shallots - 4 numbers
  • Yoghurt (or Curd) - 1/2 cup
  • Salt and water- as necessary

For Tempering

  • Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
  • Coconut oil - 1 or 2 tbsp
  • Curry leaves - 10 
  • Cumin seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Dry red chillies- 4 
  • Shallots- 1 or 2


  1. In a hot frying pan, pour some cooking oil and allow it to become hot. Put the paavakka pieces into it and fry. In between stir it, to avoid becoming black in colour. The paavaka has to become transparent golden brown colour on all sides
  2. Now add split green chillies into it. Also add curry leaves. Stir it continuously.
  3. After everything is fried properly, remove them from the oil and keep it in a bowl. Add some salt into it.
  4. Take all the ingredients given under 'For Grinding' section in a blender i.e. the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curd, coconut, shallots, green chillies, salt and sufficeient water.
  5. Blend them to a fine paste and transfer it into the bowl with the fried bittergourd. Mix well.
  6. Add some more yoghurt as much as you prefer. Mix it.
  7. Now we can do the tempering. In a small pan, put some cooking oil. When the oil becomes hot, first add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the cumin seeds, chopped shallots, dry red chillies and curry leaves.
  8. Take care not to overheat by stirring it continuously. When the shallots become brown in colour, put off the flame. Pour this tempering over the already prepared paavakka. The tempering itself is a beautiful garnish for the dish. Serve with rice and enjoy...


  • The same dish is made in Tamil Nadu and other states without the coconut paste. The curd and seasoning is mixed with the fried bittergourd pieces. It is known as Pavakkai Pachadi in Tamil Nadu and Karela Raita  in North India. 

Serving Pavakka Kichadi

  • Pavakka Kichadi can be served with white rice and rasam.
  • It also goes well with chapatti.

More Bitter Melon Recipes

Bitter Gourd Fry Bitter Gourd Fry Bitter Gourd Theeyal Bitter Gourd Theeyal Stuffed Bitter Gourd Stuffed Bitter Gourd Bitter Gourd Pitlai Bitter Gourd Pitlai
See more...

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-04-09.