Bitter Gourd Pitlai-Pavakkai Pitlai
Prep Time : 10 mins (excluding soaking channa time)
Recipe Category: Kuzhambu
Recipe Cuisine: South Indian-Tamil Brahmin
Bitter gourd – 2 medium size
Tur dal – 1/3 cup (measuring cup)
Brown channa /garbanzo beans- 1/4 cup
Tamarind – small gooseberry sized ball
Salt – as required
Roast and Grind (pitlai masala/powder)
Oil -1 tsp
Coriander seeds -1 tbsp
Bengal gram/channa dal/kadalai paruppu – 1 ½ tsp
Red chillies – 3-4
Raw rice -1/2 tsp
Coconut (grated) -1/4 cup
For the seasoning
Oil -2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/vendhayam- 1/2 tsp
Hing/asafoetida – a pinch
Red chilli -1
Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves finely chopped -2 tbsp
Heat a tsp of oil, fry coriander seeds, bengal gram, red chillies and raw rice. When dal turns slightly brown, add the coconut and fry well. After it cools, grind it to a smooth paste adding little water and keep it aside. If you use decicated coconut, you can powder the masala (do not add water) and store it in the refrigerator for a week.
Soak brown channa in water overnight or for 5-6 hours and pressure cook for 3 whistles or until soft.
Cut bitter gourd into rounds. You can use the seeds if they are tender otherwise discard it.
Pressure cook tur dal for 3 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, open the cooker and mash the dal well. You can keep the brown channa (kondai kadalai) and bitter gourd in a small cup along with tur dal and pressure cook for 3 whistles.
Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of warm water and extract its juice. Discard the pulp.
Now we have the pitlai paste, cooked dal, channa, bitter gourd and tamarind extract ready. Now we will proceed to the method.
Tur dal should be cooked to a mush. If required, you can soak tur dal in hot water for 15-20 minutes before pressure cooking. By doing this tur dal gets cooked well and we can also save fuel.
Bitter gourd Recipes
Adding channa looks delicious.awesome
As usual.. the artist and the culinary expert!!!
You have a perfect balance…
your the best in vegetable carving,everytime i see a new thing only…very creative…
new dish with bittergourd…awesome presentation as usual Padhu 🙂
A delicious dish! I really loved the F1 car you made out of bitter gourd… so creative and beautiful Padhu:)
Nice pic..Captured gud….Adding brown channa…delicious…
Deepa G Joshi
wow, what a lovely presentation as always..too good.
Looks really good. Never tried addding chickpeas to bitter gourd but I can imagine the combined taste.
this is a very new and creative recipe for me.. never heard of bitter gourd pitlai.. looks yummy and love your presentation as always!
The photograph is awesome and very well composed.!!! I love bitter gourd. I shall certainly try this recipe when I am back home.
Can you imagine , yesterday I was hunting Milan for Karela and finally got 3 of them ( one semi ripe) ( along with green chili and Okra).
Now guess what I am going to do with it in my Fake kitchen!! I will soak the karela ring in salt, crisp fry and use it as Piza topping with added Parmesan, ( Piza I will buy from the shop near by..ha ha)
By the way , if you love karela , try it on piza, make it bit soury and crisp fry)
Pitlai looks very yummy and healthy too. Love the decoration.
As usual lovely presention and nice recipe..Love anything with bittergourd.
What a wonderful presentation of the Bittergroud..
Would love to try it out very soon.
Pavakai pitali with chickpeas looks really good. It is good that chick peas travelling pavaki truck.
Nice presentation dear…
The bitter gourd vehicle looks cute and wonderful. Nice recipe too !!!
Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover)
I love how you present this dish!Lovely!
We to make bitergourd pittlai.
liked your template very much.
The perfect pitla. Loved the presentation, very artistic and professional.
One of my favorites.Its been a longtime.Thanks for reminding.I should try your version with chick peas.
Looks totally delish,Padhu!
Nice recipe, looks yummy. Love that bitter gourd vehicle.
Pitlai looks healthy and delicious….
Cute presentation 🙂
Nice recipe…lovely presentation as always :).
The curry looks really yumm, but have to admit this is not my fav veg. Always hated when i was a child as mom uused to tell eat this eat this, as it is so good for you.
great recipe, and i like the way you present your recipes! 🙂
nice recipe collection u have here padhu. this recipe is really unique, will definitely try it. will also follow u and add u to my blogroll 🙂
Wonderful presentation. I liked the bittergourd vehicle very much. You are really very creative. Thanks for this wonderful recipe.
I adore pitlai and ur chart 🙂
Dear Padhu, What an awesome presentaion..Ur an expert in vegetable carving…In fact you have spoiled us with ur creative and unique presentation that I look fwd to seeing what you are going to make everytime I visit you…
This karela recipe is new to me..but since I love bitter gourd in any form..this recipe has been bookmarked.
Dear Padu…I have not yet seen any other alternatives for agave nectar..may be you can try substituting any sugar-free substitutes or honey…hope this clarifies your doubt 🙂
A new dish,will try it. Nice pics with your lovely presentation…as usual.
love ur presentation..wonder how u get such innovative ideas
Thanks for dropping by at my blog and commenting.
i loved your way of presentation…. and all those vegetable cravings… omg…you are so talented… every pic on your blog has a different story…amazing.
Recipe is unique and healthy. I love the use of spices in bitter gourd and I must say that little cart carrying channa is awesome.
Luv bit.gourd in any form.this dish is new 2 me..shld giv it a try wen i buy bit.gourd next time.tnx a lot for sharing dear
I love pittali. Looks tempting. Awesome presentation.
Can't stop saying about your presentation..excellent 🙂
Bitter gourd is my hubby's fav so, I am going to try this. Thanks Padhu for sharing this recipe with a new twist! And always a creative eye for decoration. Did you learn cutting and carving somewhere or got it naturally?
this looks great and i love your paragraph on the nutrition.
I always go nut when it comes to bitter-gourds…just simply like it in any form..looks too mouth-watering..
what a luvly presentation!!!!..Super!!!!!!
Nice Recipe !!
First time here… Wonderful recipe.. lovely blog.. 🙂
wow nice dish with bttergourd…yummy
I am not familiar with this gourd, but I do love most squashes. I would certainly love to try it as it sounds and looks delicious!
Very nice presentation…
Never added chick peas ..new to me…
Wonderful combo, looks tasteee:)
Love the cute little karela craft 😀
day before yester day, i also put this same bitterguard pitalai. in my blog. but i didt add grains.
i am going to steal this presentation:)amazing pitlai.
Never tried bitter gourd like this,looks really delicious.
this recipe is cool.. i made it and for the first time i loved bittergourd.. i never used to have it whatever the case may be… my husband too liked it so much.. Also, to reduce the bitterness further, i added a little vellam (jaggery) to it. that enhanced the teste as well.. 🙂 You can try that as well. Thanks for the recipe!
Love pitlai and wanted to try out something different and stumbled upon your site – Great Recipe!!
new way of cooking bitter gourd with channa. looks awesome and nice vegetable carving.
Padhu what is the basic difference between pavarkai pitlai and pavarkai araichu vitta sambar.The grinding ingredients are almost the same.You have added brown channa, other than that I dont find any difference between the two.Always had this doubt whenever i see pitlai and arichu vitta sambar.Can u pls clear this doubt? My grandmother used to add pepper along with the grinding ingredients.
Pitlai is between kootu and sambar. It is thick like kootu nor a little runny like sambar, the consistency is in between the two. Though the ingredients are more or less the same, taste is different. You can add pepper if you like the flavor.
Thanks for the reply.Your site is very useful and I tried some of the recipes and they came out very well.Thanks once again
u r wondeful cook. I have been inspired to cook after ur blog. thanx. My wife adds ground nut in place of kadalai. I am going to try with kadali as my duaghter loves it. Thanx for tips- uncle subbarayan
Wonderful recipe and amazing presentation . Shud we add salt along with tamarind extract ? What about sahar powder to be added or no ? Kindly clarify
Thank you so much Shobha for liking the recipe. You can add salt after adding tamarind extract. There is no need for sambar powder for this recipe. The pitlai podi or masala is enough.
Great recipe Padhu… but you seem to have missed adding bitter gourd in your list of ingredients?
Thank you so much. So nice of you. Very rarely it happens. I have updated it now.Yes, it is a very good recipe. Do try it.
Tips to remove bitterness…..if we add chouchou or similar soft vegetable in reasonable quantity (10—15%) then bitterness gets diluted without harming the taste or nutrition and chouchou mingles nicely into the pitlai……using excess salt and squeezing out the juice will defeat the very purpose of enjoying pavakkai……please try this out and if you like it pl post your comments……I made pavakkai pitlai as per your recipe and it tasted great…..I used exactly the same paste that I made while making thakkalikkai koottu…..perfect….superb recipe…..both of them using the same paste……wow…great…..thanks
Padhu, Thanks a lot for an awesome recipe. A suggestion if you feel it will help new cooks – you could include that soaking the channa 5-6 hours/overnight in the prep time. I was a bit surprised to see that after seeing the 10 mt prep time. Fortunately, I had 5-6 hours. Hope this will prepare cooks with less/experience or occasional helpers. Yous site is Awesome and our go to for daily cooking! Thanks
Glad you loved the recipe. I have mentioned the preparation time excluding soaking channa. As this is an old post, I have not mentioned that. Will update it. Thanks a lot for your suggestion and also for liking my website.
Thank u mam for d wonderful receipt,it was delicious
Followed this as it is the first time and it turned out bitter. The second time, instead of pressure cooking the bitter gourd, I sauted it a bit in oil and then added tamarind extract and allowed the bitter gourd to cook in tamarind extract. it was perfect with just the right amount of bitterness. I also added jackfruit seeds along with bitter gourd and channa. Tasted delicious.
As usual padhu wonderful.
I am a big fan of your recipes from beginner to good cook u made me become one … tried this one today and turned out awesome
Your receipts were really useful particularly in this lockdown period. Me and my wife did many exploration with your help. This pitkai preparation, has made us buy Pakarkai which we never used to do earlier. Thanks and all the best for such a great yeoman service.
Thank you so much for the wonderful recipe. Today I made this as per your recommendations. It came out really so good. I just loved it.
Super recipes, you a Guru for every housewife. 1 in 10 million probably like you.