BITTER GOURD KUZHAMBU – Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambu

BITTER GOURD KUZHAMBU – Pavakkai(Paagarkai) Puli Kuzhambu

Bitter gourd is one of the traditional South Indian vegetable. Many people avoid bitter gourd due to its bitterness. But, if cooked properly it is one of the delicious vegetable. Bitterness is one of the six tastes(Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty, Pungent, Astringent). It is essential to add all the six tastes often in our regular menu.



  • Serve with cooked rice. Appalam or  Vathal will be best combination with this.
  • Serve with cooked rice. Kootu or porial goes well with this.

AUTHOR : Dimple                           CUISINE : South Indian
COURSE : Main Course                  YIELD :2-3 servings


  • Coriander seeds – 2 Tbsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1 Tsp
  • Castor oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Sesame oil – 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 Tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/8 Tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 string
  • Onion /  Shallots – 1/2 cup (roughly chopped)
  • Tomato – 1
  • Bitter gourd (big) – 1
  • Turmeric – 1/4 Tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1 Tbsp
  • Salt – as needed
  • Tamarind – gooseberry size
  • Water – as needed
  • Coconut – 1/4 cup grated


  1. Dry roast coriander and cumin seeds.
  2. Soak tamarind in warm water for 15 min. Extract juice and remove pulp.
  3. Roughly chop onion and tomato.
  4. Wash and chop bitter gourd into thin round slices. Remove seeds.
  5. Grind coconut along with roasted coriander and cumin seeds.


  1. Heat a kadai or pan. Add both oils.
  2. Temper with mustard seeds, fenugreek and curry leaves.
  3. Add onions and saute until soft.
  4. Add tomatoes and saute for 2 min.
  5. Add bitter gourd, turmeric, salt and red chilli powder. Saute on medium heat, until it is completely cooked. (nearly 4-6 min)
  6. Add tamarind water and adjust consistency of kuzhambu. It should be bit watery at this stage, since we will add coconut and coriander paste.
  7. Cover and cook for 2-3 min.
  8. Add coconut paste. Cook until it starts to boil. Switch off the heat.
  9. Additionally you can temper with some vadagam to add more flavour. (optional)


  • Using shallots gives good taste. (I am using onion today)

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Step by Step Procedure with pictures :


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