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Pagarkai Pitlai

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Published under: South Indian
Pavakkai Pitlai is a traditional South Indian dish that blends bitter gourd with Bengal gram in a tangy tamarind gravy. This delightful curry is enhanced with a coconut-cumin paste and aromatic tempering, making it a unique and flavorful addition to any meal.

Pavakkai Pitlai is a flavorful South Indian curry featuring the unique taste of bitter gourd and Bengal gram. It is simmered in a tangy tamarind gravy and enhanced with a rich coconut-cumin paste, offering a delightful mix of flavours. Ideal for pairing with rice, Pavakkai Pitlai is a beloved recipe that brings a taste of traditional South Indian cuisine to your table.

About the Recipe

Pavakkai Pitlai showcases the bold taste of bitter gourd, perfectly balanced by the earthy Bengal gram and the tangy tamarind. The recipe is completed with fresh coconut, cumin, and spices, creating a paste that adds depth and complexity to the dish. This curry brings a unique flavour and can be adjusted with the spice levels or by adding different vegetables

Why You Will Love This Recipe

You will love Pavakkai Pitlai for its distinctive blend of flavours and ability to transform simple ingredients into a culinary delight. The tangy tamarind and creamy coconut mellow the bitterness of the gourd, while the Bengal gram adds a satisfying texture. The aromatic tempering of mustard seeds, curry leaves, and black gram elevates the dish, making it a feast for the senses. This recipe will become a cherished addition to your cooking repertoire, perfect for those who enjoy robust, savoury dishes.

Pavakkai Pitlai

Pavakkai Pitlai

Cooking Tips

To achieve the best results with Pavakkai Pitlai, ensure you soak the Bengal gram overnight for a tender texture. When preparing the tamarind juice, use warm water for a more prosperous extraction. Adjust the number of dried red chillies in the paste to control the spice level. Finally, let the tempering spices splutter fully to release their aromas before adding them to the curry.

Serving and Storing Suggestions

Pavakkai Pitlai serves four people and is best enjoyed hot with steamed rice. It takes about 15 minutes of active cooking time and 25 minutes total. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat gently on the stove before serving.

Pavakkai Pitlai
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Pavakkai Pitlai

Pavakkai Pitlai is a traditional South Indian dish that blends bitter gourd with Bengal gram in a tangy tamarind gravy. This delightful curry is enhanced with a coconut-cumin paste and aromatic tempering, making it a unique and flavorful addition to any meal.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

  • 1/2 Cup Whole Bengal Gram
  • 1 Small Lemon-Sized Ball of Tamarind
  • 1 Cup Sliced Bitter Gourd
  • 1.2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Salt (to taste)

Ground to a Paste

  • 3 tbsp Grated Fresh Coconut
  • 3/4 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4-5 Baby Onions (peeled)
  • 3 Dried Red Chilies
  • 1/4 Cup Water

Tempering

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 tsp Husked Black Gram
  • 1 Sprig Curry Leaves

Instructions

  • Wash the Bengal gram and soak in 1 cup of water for 8 hours. Drain and rinse well. Place in a pressure cooker with 1 cup of water and cook under pressure for 5 minutes.
  • Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of water for 10 minutes. Extract the juice and discard the pulp.
  • Combine tamarind juice, bitter gourd, turmeric powder, and salt in a pan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat. Lower heat and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the bitter gourd is tender.
  • Add the cooked Bengal gram and the ground coconut paste to the pan. Simmer for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until well blended.
  • Heat oil in a small pan over moderate heat. Add mustard seeds, husked black gram, and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds splutter, pour the tempering into the pitlai.
  • Serve hot with rice.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How can I reduce the bitterness of the bitter gourd in Pavakkai Pitlai?

Pavakkai Pitlai can have an intense bitter taste due to the bitter gourd. To reduce the bitterness, try soaking the sliced bitter gourd in salted water for 15-20 minutes before cooking. Rinse well and drain before adding it to the recipe. This process helps draw out some bitterness, making the dish palatable.

 

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