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June 8, 2016

Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu – Chettinad Bitter Gourd Gravy

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Pavakkai Puli kuzhambu
I try to include bitter gourd ( Pagarkai/Pavakkai in Tamil) in my lunch menu at least once in a week as it is good for diabetes and high in nutrition with lots of health benefits. I make Pavakkai Pitlai & bitter gourd curry/Poriyal very often. Then comes crispy bitter gourd fries and bitter gourd biryani. Recently I came across this Chettinad style Pagarkai Puli Kuzhambu recipe in Solai aachi’s blog. Its my favorite blog for Chettinad recipes.I loved the simplicity  & ease of the recipe and tried it for our lunch. Sendhil told this kuzhambu tastes better than Pavakkai Pitali ( I think he got bored of my usual pitlaiHee hee) From then, I started making this easy, no grind, one pot bitter gourd gravy ( Pavakkai Kuzhambu in Tamil) without coconut very often in my kitchen.Its a very simple kuzhambu recipe that can be made quickly during busy week days or lazy weekends. I make this gravy for Sendhil’s lunch box. Recently my Father visited my place and stayed here for two weeks. My dad loves varieties of Kara kuzhambu recipes. My dad liked it very much.I am happy that I have got a delicious, healthy gravy with bitter gourd. Bachelors and working women can try this if you like bitter gourd.Lets see how to prepare this easy Chettinad style Pavakkai Puli kulambu recipe with step by step pictures.
Check out my other bitter gourd recipes
Bitter gourd Biryani
Bitter gourd Poriyal/stir fry
Crispy bitter gourd fry
Pavakkai Pitlai
Bitter gourd podi
Bitter gourd Rasam/ Uppu saaru

Bitter gourd Puli kuzhambu

Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu Recipe

Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu Recipe Chettinad style tangy Bitter gourd gravy for rice
Cuisine: South Indian
Category: Kuzhambu recipes
Serves: Serves 2-3
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 15 Minutes
Total time: 25 Minutes


  • Bitter gourd - 1 no (Medium sized)
  • Tamarind - A big gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder – 2 tsp
  • Dhania powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water - 1 cup
To temper & saute
  • Gingely oil - 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Small onion - 10 nos or big onion - 1 no
  • Garlic cloves - 10 nos
  • Tomato – 1no
  • Curry leaves - few

  • Soak the tamarind in water for 10 minutes.In the mean time, wash and slice the bitter gourd into thin rings.Chop the tomato, peel the onion, garlic cloves.
Bitter gourd Puli kuzhambu
  • In a pressure cooker, heat oil and temper mustard seeds, methi seeds, urad dal, fennel seeds and chopped onion, garlic cloves, curry leaves. Saute till onion turns transparent. Add tomato pieces and saute until mushy. Add the bitter gourd slices, turmeric powder, salt and saute for few minutes.
Bitter gourd Puli kuzhambu
  • Now add 1 cup of tamarind extract, sambar powder, dhania powder.Mix well and pressure cook the gravy for onw whistle in low flame. Open the lid after the steam is released. MIx well and boil for sometime if you feel the gravy is too watery.
Bitter gourd Puli kuzhambu
Enjoy mixing with plain rice adding a tsp of gingely oil !!

Adjust the quantity of sambar powder and dhania powder as per your taste.
You can replace bitter gourd with drumstick or brinjal. But keep the drumstick/ brinjal in a separate bowl inside the cooker because it will become mushy when directly cooked in the gravy.
Do not add more water in the cooker. Gravy will become watery & thin.
Add a tsp of gingely oil while serving !
Try this easy, yummy Pavakkai Puli kuzhambu for your lunch and enjoy with any kootu/ dal or just with a papad. We had with Andhra ridge gourd dal and kai murukku Love Struck

Pavakkai puli kuzhambu recipe

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  1. Perfect and healthy Kuzhambu

    1. Thanks Priya. Just saw your blog. Loved the template. Very neat with lovely pics :) Keep up your great work !

  2. Thankyou for visiting my blog,you are a great inspiration to me.


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