Bitter Gourd Curry (Pavakka Theeyal) is a traditional recipe from Southern India. Bitter gourd or Bitter melon as its sometimes called is a medicinal fruit.It is native to Asia and Africa .It is also found in some parts of the Caribbean . For those who have never had dishes made out of bitter gourd, it may take some getting used to as it is very bitter . This dish however has an overpowering flavor of spices which subsides the bitterness. The sourness from the tamarind , spice from the green chilies and the roasted ground coconut gives it a unique taste and flavor that is very tempting and satisfies the taste buds.
Bitter gourd is quite popularly known for its medicinal properties especially for it's hypoglycemic affects and lowering blood sugar. It is supposed to mimic insulin’s effects .Researchers however state that further studies are needed for it's use in certain health conditions .It also is said to help protect from cancers, ailments related to respiratory infections like pneumonia, abdominal pain,ulcers,cramps, fluid retention,eczema,jaundice, kidney stones ,so on and so forth. The list of ailments it can help heal goes on .So now we know why we have a great incentive to use bitter gourd in our diets.
This dish is quite simple to make .It best goes with white rice or even roti. Please read on for the full recipe. Hope you get a chance to make and relish this dish ! Enjoy:)Jump to RecipePrint Recipe
A spicy and delicious curry made with bitter gourd and roasted ground coconut
- 3 bitter gourd medium sized cut into small strips
- 3-4 pearl onions chopped
- 2 tbsp tamarind juice squeezed from lemon sized ball
- 1 inch ginger finely cut
- 1 tsp red chilly powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 4 Thai green chillies Add more if required
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 sprig curry leaves
- 2 cups coconut freshly grated or frozen thawed
- ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
- 3 pearl onion cut into small pieces
- 4 tsp coriander powder
- 1 tsp red chilly powder
In a pan ,dry roast the contents mentioned in the "to grind roast" until the coconut gets browned but not burnt.
Cool the contents and grind in a mixer with very less water into a fine paste.
In a deep bottomed pan, boil water with the extract of tamarind juice squeezed.
Add ginger, green chilies, turmeric, red chilly powder and the cut bitter gourd pieces into it.
Cook for about 10 to 12 mins or until the bitter gourd is almost cooked .
Add the ground coconut, curry leaves and bring it to a boil. It should get a nice brown color.
In a small pan heat up some oil and add mustard seeds .Add red chilies and curry leaves
Pour this tempered oil into the curry and mix well.
I remember my mum making this curry, never was a fan for bitter gourd though! 😉
Nice to know that you have tried it Lorelle . I can very well understand ..it does take some acquired taste to get a liking for it! Thank you for stopping by.
Sounds yum 😋 Love bitter gourd and hope to try this recipe soon 🙂
That's wonderful you love bitter gourd Smitha. I'm pretty sure you will love this curry! Thank you for the comments and stopping by .
I love theeyal for the delicious roasted coconut flavour, and this bittergourd theeyal looks so inviting.
Sure It does have a unique and wonderful taste. Thank you so much !
Another new food for me...bitter gourd....hmmmmm. Wish I could try your food because it always looks delish!
Oh you are always welcome Diane , it would be my pleasure . This dish does require some acquired taste but it is really delicious with a steaming bowl of rice and rice wafers. Thank you !
What an intriguing combination - curry and bitter gourd! Is it possible to not add in the thai chilies to make this dish less spicy? 🙂
Sure Anna, you can try it without the chillies and it will still taste good! Thank you for stopping by.
Such a healthy share Nisha...I too make curry with bitter gourd but your version is totally different, loved it ❣️. Like to give a try sometime 👍
Thank you so much Jyo, it is indeed healthy . I'm sure you will love this version as well.
I didn't really enjoy bitter gourd when I was growing up but I think I need to revisit it. Especially in a curry, this sounds really good!
Same here me too avoided bitter gourd when I was growing up ..but now that I know the health benefits started including in my diet and slowly started liking it as well 🙂 Thank you for the comments!
Caz / InvisiblyMe
You've covered this so thoroughly, great post! I did try to leave a comment before but it wouldn't submit and came up with an error (unless it went to spam, in which case you now have two from me). This wasn't a dish I'd ever heard of so it's interesting to see what goes in to it. And fascinating too about its medicinal properties, definitely sounds like it's one worth trying, especially if you have issues with blood sugar! x
Thank you so much Caz. I did not see a message in my spam section , so guess it must have gotten into an error on submit .I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.Bitter gourd does have wonderful and remarkable medicinal properties and is used in many traditional medicines as well. This dish made out of bitter gourd tastes good and is healthy as well , so it's a win-win situation
on both fronts . Have a good week!
I think I would like the version with white rice! I have never had this dish 🙂
Thank you Christy . That is the best combination to bring out all the flavors 🍚
An excellent recipe for sure! Seems like I could try this one!❤️❤️
Many Thanks , hope you like it 👍🏻