Bitter Gourd Curry / Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu

Because of the bitterness in bitter gourd/pavakkai /Karela many people (including me) used to avoid. It is an excellent source of nutrition many eat it out of force. This time I have tried in Chettinad style and used a trick to reduce bitterness. As this veggie is nicely fried and cooked in tamarind juice with touch of grinded masala you will enjoy this with the little feel of bitterness.


  • Karela/ Bitter Gourd/ Pavakkai - 3 nos.
  • Imli Juice/ Tamarind juice - 1 cup
  • Jaggery - small piece (Sweetener just like sugar)
  • Water - 2 cups

> For Grinding:

  • Saunf / Fennel Seeds- 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 flakes
  • Onion (chopped) - 1 no. (Big)
  • Tomato(chopped) - 1 no.
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Coconut grated - 1/4 cup
  • Oil - 1 tbsp

> Masala Powders:

  • Sambar Powder - 2 tsp (Many grounded Indian spices- available in Indian Store)
  • Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Dhaniya Powder / Coriander Seeds Powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt to Taste


Step 01) Heat a pan and add saunf and garlic and fry for 2 mins. Then fry onion till transparent then add tomato, curry leaves


Step 02) When tomato turns mushy add grated coconut and mix well. Then add all masala powders and cook till raw masala smell disappears


Step 03) Let it cool and then grind it.


Step 04) Cut the bitter gourd in round shape and soak them in salt and turmeric water for a 10 mins then wash thoroughly 2 to 3 times in plain water. This helps to reduce bitterness. Take slightly big pan and fry the veggie nicely and then add tamarind juice and few jaggery pieces


Step 05) Add the blended paste and water mix them nicely and cook for 5 mins.

Yummy pavakkai puli kuzhambu is ready. This time we tried with chapati and it was awesome.


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