Bitter Gourd Curry (Pavakka Theeyal) is a traditional recipe from Southern India. Bitter gourd or Bitter melon as it's 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:)
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.