Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Pavakkai Pitlai ---- Bittergourd Gravy

This is a very traditional Dish... made with Bitter gourd. Even though the name sounds complicated it is basically a different version of sambar...
For a family of  4
You will need
Bitter gourd -- Sliced in half, seeds removed and sliced thinly in semi circle rounds-- about 4 cups
Oil - 2 to 3 teaspoons
Water- As needed
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Coriander Seeds - 3 to 4 tablespoons
Red Chillies - 4
Coconut - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Channa Dal (Split and skinned Garbanzo Beans) - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 teaspoons
Salt - 2 to 3 teaspoons or as needed
Sambar Powder - as needed (recipe found here)

To Pressure Cook
3/4 cup Tuvar Dal
1/4 cup Channa Dal (Optional, don't use if using peanuts or whole chickpeas)
 To garnish 
 Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - 1 strand
Red Chillies - 2 Teaspoons

--- Soak the Tamarind in about 3 cups of warm water, after a few minutes squeeze tamarind and extract the juice.
--- In a Pan, add a teaspoon of oil, roast the Channa Dal and Coriander seeds, after they become slightly roasted, add the red chillies and in the end add the coconut--- add some water to this and grind to a smooth paste.
---  Add two teaspoons of oil and start by frying the bitter gourd, until they lose some of the bright green color.
--- Add the tamarind juice to it and the turmeric powder and salt and let it come to a boil and let the bitter gourd cook completely.
--- Once the bitter gourd is cooked, u should be able ti break a slice in two with  a spoon easily.
--- Now add the ground paste to it and let it come to a boil.
--- Add the pressure cooked dal to this, and bring to a boil.
--- As an option you can add boiled chickpeas or boiled groundnuts to this, ( I have added ground nuts)
--- For garnish, in a separate pan, add oil, then the mustard once that starts sputtering, add the red chillies and curry leaves and add it to the bitter gourd gravy while it is still sizzling....
--- fresh Coriander leaves can be added to this..

Serve with hot rice or hot rotis.....


Vidhya said...

Nice recipe. But why is Sambar powder mentioned when it is not used in the preparation? We are anyway grinding the spices, so I guess Sambar powder is not needed.

Vandana said...

Hi Vidhya,
You can make it your way also. But in our house, we add sambar powder also.