Pavakkai Theeyal | Bitter Gourd in roasted coconut -Tamarind gravy

bitter gourd theeyal

Theeyal is nothing but a gravy/kuzhambu made with spices ,deeply roasted coconut and tamarind juice. Bitter melon is fried and added to this to make it bitter gourd theeyal. Frying the bitter gourd  reduces the bitterness to a certain amount.I have added a small piece of jaggery to this gravy but you can omit it if you don't prefer sweetness.
Preparation time: 15 mins
cooking time: under 30 mins
Cuisine: India
Category: Gravy
Serves: 3

  • Bitter melon-2
  • Grated coconut-1 cup (lossely packed)
  • Red chilly powder- 1 & 1\2 tsp( adjust)
  • Coriander powder- 2 tsp
  • turmeric powder-1\2 tsp
  • jeera& pepper powder-1\4 tsp (each) 
  • Tamarind-small lemon size
  • jaggery-a small piece
  • salt to taste
  • oil-2 tsp
  • mustard-1\2 tsp
  • onion-1 small,chopped
  • curry leaves

Pavakkai Theeyal | Bitter Gourd in roasted coconut -Tamarind gravy

1.Soak tamarind in water for some time ,extract juice and keep ready.Dry roast coconut well till it becomes dark coloured.Remove from pan and add all spice powder to the hot kadai and roast just for few seconds& switch off.( because careful as it may burn the spice powder.).Cool and grind to fine paste with roasted coconut.

2.Clean and cut the bitter gourd in to pieces,discard the seeds.Keep the cut piece sprinkle with some salt.In some time the veggie will leave water.Press the gourd with finger for it to extract more water.Discard the water.

3.Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan pop out mustard seeds ,curry leaves ,then add chopped onion followed by the bitter melon pieces and fry it well till it turns brown.

4.Mean while prepare a gravy with ground masala,tamarind juice ,salt.Keep it flame and wait for it to boil.When it starts boiling add the fried pieces and cook till it thickens a bit.

5.Lastly add jaggery pieces and switch off.

Serve for hot steamed rice.


1.You can use whole jeera & pepper instead of powder.

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