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Chapter: Vegetable Recipes
Section: Bitter Melon (Bitter Gourd)
Recipe: Bitter Gourd (Pavakka) Theeyal

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Bitter Gourd (Pavakka) Theeyal
Theeyal is a traditional Kerala Dish which is made using Vegetables and 
Fried Coconut. It can be made using a single vegetable like Bitter Gourd, 
Snake Gourd, Shallots, Carrot etc. or a combination of vegetables. The 
fried coconut and spices impart a nice aroma to the dish.

2 medium sized Bitter gourd (Pavakka or Karela) cut into thin slices
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
2 green chilies, slit (optional)
1 cup Grated coconut
1 tbsp Coriander Powder
2 tsp Chilli powder (optional)
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
4 dry red chilies (optional)
1/4 cup Thinly sliced Shallots
A sprig Curry leaves
1 tbsp Tamarind paste
Salt to taste
Water as required
3 tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

To reduce the bitterness of Pavakka, rub some salt on the sliced bitter 
gourd pieces and squeeze out the juice using hands and wash it well.

Heat a pan and add 2 tbsp oil. Add the bitter gourd pieces, slit green 
chilies along with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and saute. Cover and cook till 
it is done. Do not add water, instead cook the bitter gourd pieces on low 

In a non stick pan, dry roast the grated coconut till brown. Once the 
coconut scrapes are brown, add red chilli powder, coriander powder, 
fenugreek seeds and dry roast and keep aside.

Grind all the fried ingredients with a little water to form a smooth paste.

Heat oil in a wok and splutter mustard seeds. Saute shallots, dry red 
chillies and curry leaves. Add the cooked bitter gourd pieces and stir.

Mix the ground coconut paste, tamarind paste, little salt and add 1 cup of 
water to the pan and stir well to combine. Cook for around 7-8 minutes on 
medium flame till the gravy thickens. Taste and add more tamarind paste if 

From: Kerala Recipes
Kerala Recipes