Bitter gourd Pitlai

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  • Food Type: Vegan

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 Cuisine By Region


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Bitter gourd - 2 medium size
   Tur dal – 1/3 cup (measuring cup)
   Brown channa /garbanzo beans- 1/4 cup
   Tamarind – small gooseberry sized ball
   Salt - as required

   Roast and Grind (pitlai masala/powder)

   Oil -1 tsp
   Coriander seeds -1 tbsp
   Bengal gram/channa dal/kadalai paruppu – 1 ½ tsp
   Red chillies – 3-4
   Raw rice -1/2 tsp
   Coconut (grated) -1/4 cup

   For the seasoning

   Oil -2 tsp
   Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
   Fenugreek seeds/vendhayam- 1/2 tsp
   Hing/asafoetida - a pinch
   Red chilli -1
   Curry leaves - 2 sprigs

   For Garnishing

   Coriander leaves finely chopped -2 tbsp


Heat a tsp of oil, fry coriander seeds, bengal gram, red chillies and raw rice. When dal turns slightly brown, add the coconut and fry well. After it cools, grind it to a smooth paste adding little water and keep it aside. If you use decicated coconut, you can powder the masala (do not add water) and store it in the refrigerator for a week.

Soak brown channa in water overnight or for 5-6 hours and pressure cook for 3 whistles or until soft.

Cut bitter gourd into rounds. You can use the seeds if they are tender otherwise discard it.

Pressure cook tur dal  for 3 whistles. Once the pressure subsides, open the cooker and mash the dal well. You can keep the brown channa (kondai kadalai) and bitter gourd in a small cup along with tur dal and pressure cook for 3 whistles.

Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of warm water and extract its juice. Discard the pulp.

Now we have the pitlai paste, cooked dal, channa, bitter gourd and tamarind extract ready. Now we will proceed to the method.

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