Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai) is a famous kuzhambu in Kerala and some parts of Kanyakumari district. Many of us hate to eat Bitter gourd because of the obvious reason of its bitter taste. But Bitter gourd is a healthy vegetable. It is good for stomach. It has the ability to lower the blood glucose in diabetics. So It is better to take bitter gourd at regular intervals. Instead of deep fry, we can shallow fry the bitter gourd and use it in Pitlai.

Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time30 mins 

Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai)
Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai)

Ingredients :
Bitter gourd2
Thur Dal1/2 Cup
Curry LeavesFew
Tamarind1 small Lemon size
SaltTo Taste

For Grinding:
Grated Coconut1/2 Cup
Red Chillies8
Coriander Seeds3 Teaspoons
Urdal2 Teaspoon
Channa dal2 Teaspoon
Pepper1/4 Teaspoon
Oil2 Teaspoon

For Seasoning:
Oil1 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds1 teaspoon

  1. Soak the tamarind in water and extract the juice
  2. Pressure cook the thurdal and smash it and keep it aside
  3. Pour the oil in the pan and fry the red chillies, coriander seeds, urdhal, channa dal and pepper till the dals turn golden brown color. Take the fried ingredients in a mixer

  4. To the pan, add grated coconut, curry leaves, Hing and fry till it turns golden red color. Cool this and take it in the mixer

  5. Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste and keep it aside

  6. Finely chop the bitter gourd and keep it aside. Pour the oil the in the pan and add chopped bitter gourd 

  7. Shallow fry the bitter gourd in medium flame to avoid the bitter taste. Take this aside in a plate.

  8. Pour the oil the in the pan and add mustard seeds once the oil is hot. When the mustard seeds begins to sputter, add curry leaves and fry for 2 seconds. Add tamarind extract and salt and allow it to boil for 5 minutes to get rid off the raw smell of tamarind. To this add the fried bitter gourd pieces.

  9. Finally add the ground paste and smashed dal and when the Bittergourd(Paavakaai) Pitlai starts boiling switch off the flame.

  10. The yummy and tangy Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai) is ready to serve with hot rice.

  11. Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai)
    Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai)

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  1. Looks like, the Toor Dal is missing in the ingredients... Or, is it that only I am NOT seeing it? :)

  2. Mentioned as smashed dal at the last..

  3. The Pakarkaai Pitlai recipe seems to be very interesting, i would definitely want to give it a try, although im a bit skeptical about using the karela scrappings in the filling, as I feel they are more bitter than the actual whole karela..not sure though
    This is very useful information regarding herbs for diabetes.Thanks for sharing such information.
    bitter melon diabetes

  4. You can even add the cooked Channa into the pittlai, tastes good and increase the quantity...

  5. I tried it replacing bitter gourd with fried yam [ small pieces], it came out well. I recently lost my mother and this one really remembered of her. I also tried couple of you dishes and it all came out well . Actually I was referred to this site by sister. She was reluctant to try and I told her do what Subbu mami says in the instruction you will be appreciated.

  6. you can add a tablespoon of grated coconut fried in ghee for garnish. Really tastes well

  7. Dear subbuji,
    I tried this recipe not with bittergourd but with was fantastic.thanks for this recipe. I am planning to cook at least once a week. Arthy

  8. I am going to try this on the coming Sunday. Looks like a maths theorem. That is worrying me.

  9. I tried this recipe and it came out delicious. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  10. bitter gourd pittlai requires gasagasa fried before grinding.hp u hv missed it

  11. The bitter ground pittlai s very yummy. I tried d recipe for d first time. Thanks for d nice recipe its easy n very helpful..