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 etc. or a combination of vegetables like Potato, Carrot and Beans. The fried coconut and spices impart a nice aroma to the dish.

Pavakka Theeyal

Pavakka Theeyal

Here is the recipe for making Pavakka/ Kaipakka Theeyal.

  1. Ingredients
  2. Bitter gourd (Pavakka or Karela) cut into thin slices – 2 medium sized
  3. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  4. Slit green chilies – 2
  5. Grated coconut – 1 cup
  6. Coriander Powder – 1 tbsp
  7. Chilly powder -2 tsp
  8. Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
  9. Dry red chilies – 4 No.s
  10. Thinly sliced Shallots- 1/4 cup
  11. Curry leaves – A sprig
  12. Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp
  13. Salt to taste
  14. Water – As required
  15. Oil – 3 tbsp
  16. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

Preparation Method

  • 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 flame.
  • In a non stick pan, dry roast the grated coconut till brown. Once the coconut scrapes are brown, add red chilly 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 needed.
  • Serve hot with steamed rice.
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