Monday 11 May 2015

Pavakkai Puli Kulambu / Spicy Bitter gourd gravy - South Indian Style

This tamarind based bitter gourd gravy is very easy to prepare and tasty too.  I am sure you will not feel the bitterness of this vegetable in this gravy.  This suits well with rice paired with any veg kootu / Poriyal (veg stir fry) and pappad.


Bitter gourd - 1
Small onion - 10 / Big onion - 1 (chopped)
Tomato - 1 (finely chopped)
Tamarind - 1 big gooseberry size
Red chillipowder - 1 tsp
Corriander powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - ½ tsp

For Grinding:
Coconut - ¼ to ½ cup
Cumin seeds - ½ tsp

For Seasoning:

Fenugreek seeds - ½ tsp

Fennel seeds - ½ tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Oil - 1 to 2 tbsp (Preferably sesame oil)


Wash and peel the skin (don't peel the skin completely; take out only the outer thick layer).

Slit it into two and remove the seeds; then chop into bite sized pieces and keep aside.

Grind coconut and cumin seeds with little water to fine paste. Keep aside.

Soak the tamarind in water.  After sometime squeeze and extract the juice; keep it aside.

Heat oil in a pan; season it fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.  Once it crackles, add finely chopped onion.  

Once the colour changes, add bitter gourd and sauté well in medium flame; till it is half cooked.

Then add tomatoes, all spice powders and salt. Sauté well till tomato becomes soft.

Then add tamarind extract along with ½ to 1 cup water (add water according to the desired consistency).

Once it starts boiling add coconut paste.  Mix well.

Close the pan with a lid and allow to boil for 5 to 10 minutes, till the bitter gourd becomes soft and gravy thickens.

Let it simmer for 10 minutes or till the oil comes out.

Remove from fire and serve hot with steamed rice.


Adjust the water quantity and spice level according to your taste.

The colour of the kulambu depends upon the colour of the spice powders you are using.

You can also add a small piece of jaggery to the gravy for slight sweet taste.  It is purely optional.

1 comment:

  1. Bitter gourd puli kuzhambu looks nice. Nice presentation!


Dear friends,
Thank you for visiting my blog. I appreciate your valuable comments and suggestions to improve this further. Please visit again for more recipes and updates.
Thank you once again!!