Pavakka Thiyal

Bitter gourd (പാവയ്ക്കാ) as the name indicates, tastes pretty bitter in most of the regular preparations. I have shared a kitchedi recipe with bitter gourd previously, which deep fries the sliced bitter gourd, hence bitter free. In this recipe I share another preparation that also eliminates most of the bitter taste of this nutrient filled vegetable.


  1. Sliced Bitter gourd (pavakka) : 3 Cup
  2. Chopped onion : 1.5 Cup
  3. Coconut pieces : ¾ Cup
  4. Green chilli : 3
  5. Jaggery : Small piece(optional)
  6. Oil : 2 Tbl-Sp(Adjust)
  7. Salt for taste

For roasting and grinding:

  1. Grated coconut : 1.5 Cup
  2. Coriander powder : 1 Tbl- Sp
  3. Chilli powder : 2 Tbl- Sp
  4. Turmeric powder : ½ T- Sp
  5. Tamarind : Small lemon size (Adjust)

For seasoning:

  1. Oil : 2 T- Sp
  2. Mustard seeds : ½ T- Sp
  3. Dried red chilli : 3
  4. Curry leaves


  • Heat a pan and add the coconut and roast it. (Normally oil is not needed, but if you feel the coconut is getting stick in the pan , then add 1 or 2 T- Sp of oil). Continuous stirring is very important while roasting the coconut.
  • Once the coconut is golden brown, lower the flame add the coriander powder, chilli powder and turmeric powder.
  • Stir it for about 1 minute, switch off the stove. Stir it for some more time (since the heat may remain for sometimes, otherwise the masalas will burn). Let it cool completely.
  • Now mix it with the roasted coconut along with tamarind and powder it in a mixer. Then add enough water to make a fine paste.
  • Heat the 2 Tbl- Sp of oil in a pan and add the pavakka slices and fry it until light brown.
  • Add the chopped onion along with coconut pieces , salt and green chilly.
  • Fry it till the onions are slightly brown.
  • Dilute the ground coconut masala with enough water ( I used 3.5 Cup of water) and add the same it to the pavakka mixture and let it boil well.
  • Check the salt and sour taste, if you need more sour add more tamarind water. If the pavakka is too bitter (normally in this type of preparation won’t get bitter taste) then add a small piece of jiggery.
  • Then reduce the heat and close it with a lid and cook for another 5 minutes (until the oil starts oozing from the curry.
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter the mustard seeds followed by red chilies and curry leaves.
  • Add the seasoning to the Theeyal and give a final mix.



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