Pavakkai Pachadi

Bitter gourd is known as pavakkai in Tamil and karela in Hindi. Though it has a lot of health benefits, am not very fond of this vegetable. As a kid, I have never had this vegetable. That’s the reason may be that even now, I never buy bitter gourd.

But my husband and my daughter are very fond of this vegetable. When my husband buys vegetables, 1/2 kg bitter gourd will mostly be there. Since I cook for them, I have started eating bitter gourd now.

Today, I have made it like a sweet pachadi ( pachadi means raita). I have added jaggery to compliment the bitterness of this vegetable.

Jaggery added a mild sweetness and has brought a beautiful balance in flavour to this dish:)



Bitter gourd – 1/2 kg
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Split urad dal ( black gram/ ullundhu) – 1 tsp
Chana dal ( Bengal gram/ kadalai paruppu) – 1 tsp
Roasted peanuts – 2 tbsps
Curry leaves – few
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tsps
Amchur powder ( dry mango powder) – 1+1/2 tsp
Grated jaggery – 1/2 cup
Salt to taste


Wash and slice the bitter gourd.
Add some salt and mix it well. Let it marinate in salt for 30 mins.

After 30 mins, rinse the sliced bitter gourd well and drain it completely ( I do this to reduce the bitterness of the gourd. But, if you prefer the intense bitter flavour, you can skip the marination step. Just wash and slice the bitter gourd).


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it starts spluttering, add the split urad dal, chana dal, peanuts and curry leaves. Sauté till the peanuts turn golden and then add the sliced gourd.

Mix well. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, amchur powder and salt to taste. Mix again.


Cover the pan with a lid and cook on a medium flame till the gourd becomes tender.

Take off the lid and sauté for 2 mins on a high flame.

Reduce the flame, add the jaggery and mix well.

Check for the seasonings. Cover and cook on medium flame for 8-10 mins.

Serve hot with rice or roti:)