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June 24, 2010


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bitter gourd pitlai
I learnt this from my MIL.I love this pitlai a lot.I make this at least once in a week. My hubby hates BG but he eats this gravy .Tastes the best when mixed with plain rice topped with ghee.It tastes more like arachuvitta sambar with the bitterness of pavakkai.Adding jaggerys & sauting bitter gourd in oil before cooking or soaking bittergourd in curd for sometime reduces the bitterness a bit but we like to have it as such.Lets see how to make this bitter gourd pavakkai recipe below.

Bitter gourd pitlai recipe<

Bitter gourd pitlai recipe< Bitter gourd pitlai recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Kuzhambu
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


  • Bitter gourd - 1 no ( medium sized)
  • Moong dal - 1.5 tbsp
  • Tamarind - A big gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt & water – As required
  • Grated coconut –2 tbsp
  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds –3 tsp
  • Hing – 2 –3 pinches
  • Jaggery – a small berry size
  • Coriander leaves – a few to garnish.
To temper
  • Cooking oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - a few

    • Soak the tamarind in water for 10 mins in hot water and extract the juice.
    • In a cooker vessel, take the tamarind juice, sliced bitter gourd pieces,moong dal, Sambar powder,salt & required water. Cook till one whistle.
pitlai tile2
    • In the mean time , heat a kadai with a tsp of oil .Roast the coriander seeds ,  urad dal with 2 pinches of hing. Grind the roasted items with grated coconut to make a coarse powder.
pitlai tile1
    • Once the BG is cooked , add the roasted ,ground powder and jaggery to it.Allow it to boil for sometime. Do the tempering and add.
    • Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy mixing with plain rice and ghee.
pitali tile3
    Enjoy !
The bitter melon (also known as bitter gourd) looks like a cucumber but with ugly gourd-like bumps all over it.
As the name implies, this vegetable is a melon that is bitter.  There are two varieties of this vegetable:  One grows to about 20 cm long, is oblong and pale green in color.  The other is the smaller variety, less than 10 cm long, oval and has a darker green color.
Both varieties have seeds that are white when unripe and that turn red when they are ripe.  The vegetable-fruit turn reddish-orange when ripe and becomes even more bitter.
Bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.
Westerners may not be so used to bitter melons, so may find them more difficult to consume.  But if you can generally take bitter taste, you may be able to take this too.  Try it, at least for all its healthful virtues!

Nutritional Benefits
Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients.  It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber.  It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.
Bitter melon contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect called charantin.  There is also another insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P which have been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.
Health Benefits
Few other fruits/vegetables offer medicinal properties for these ailments like bitter melon does.
Blood disorders:  Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.  Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice with some lime juice.  Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for between four and six months and see improvement in your condition.
Cholera: In early stages of cholera, take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice.  Sip this concoction daily till you get well.
Diabetes mellitus:  Bitter melon contains a hypoglycemic compound
(a plant insulin) that is highly beneficial in lowering sugar levels in blood and urine.  Bitter melon juice has been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.
Energy:  Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level.  Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.
Eye problems:  The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.
Hangover:  Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties.  It also help cleanse and repair and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption.
Immune booster:  This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body's resistance against infection.
Piles: Mix three teaspoonfuls of juice from bitter melon leaves with a glassful of buttermilk. Take this every morning on empty stomach for about a month and see an improvement to your condition.  To hasten the healing, use the paste of the roots of bitter melon plant and apply over the piles.
Psoriasis:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.
Respiratory disorders:  Take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water.  Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis and pharyngitis.
Toxemia:  Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that cleanses the blood from toxins.  Sip two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily to help cleanse the liver.  Also helpful in ridding jaundice for the same reasons.


  1. i too love this pitlai...nice click

  2. New recipe with BG for me and its looks gud :)...I have tried ur pepper kulambu...will post soon :) it was yum

  3. மிகவும் அருமையாக இருக்கின்றது...எங்க அம்மாவும் இதனை இப்படி தான் செய்யவாங்க....சூப்பராக இருக்கும்....பகிர்வுக்கு நன்றி

  4. I have copied down the many benefits of the bittergourd...I will stick it up on my fridge door...and point to it whenever there is a complain about cooking bittergourd:)
    The pitlai looks delicious.

  5. love this recipe. the pitali looks so creamy.

  6. Never tasted pitlai, heard of it...thanks for this recipe dear. I am reading the health benefits of BG again and again to memorize:)

  7. Had this bittergourd pitlai long back, urs looks great and prefect always the health benefits everytime when u post ur dishes, very informative and useful for many of us..

  8. love Bitter gourd, but never made this dish before. Looking delicious !

  9. Thank you for the useful information

  10. THANKS MY DEAR FRIENDS..@PRITI, thanks for trying pepper kulambu.Iam glad u liked it..@lataraja mam, Even i was saying my hubby abt the benefits of BG after posting this :) Do stick this on ur fridge :)

  11. Liked your creamy preparation of bittergourd. I need to show this post to my hubby who is not fond of karela for it's health benefits

    Hamaree Rasoi

  12. I must admit that I dont like karelas but after seeing this I feel like trying it :-)

  13. So delicious and rich curry!

  14. delicious and very healthy one.. nice color the curry got

  15. I am so glad that I like bittergourd. Those are some great health benefits.

  16. We use bittergourd/bittermelon in Filipino recipes, although it's cooked so that much of the bitterness is removed. I've tried making a dish with it once before but have to admit that the flavor was too overwhelming. However, this looks so savory, I'd love to have a taste of it!

  17. The pitlai looks delicious, I loved that you used mung dhal in this !

  18. Oh this looks awesome and delicious dear:)

  19. I love the pitlai too.. MY very fav veggie is BG.. Looks sooooo yummy and tempted chitra..


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