How to Make #MummasTouch - Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai- Recipe on FirstCry Parenting

#MummasTouch – Pavakkai (Bitter gourd) Pitlai

I’ve never been a big fan of Bitter gourd. But this one dish of ma’s is my all-time favourite. I love how she adds a handful of kabuli chana to it, just for me (cuz she knows how much I like it). I love how she makes it a wee bit more tangy than usual, just for me.
Serves Preparation Time Cooking Time
 4 People 10 – 15 Minutes  30 – 35 Minutes


  • 2 bitter gourd (cut into small pieces)
  • Tamarind (1 lemon-sized ball)
  • 3 tbsp toor dal
  • 1 tbsp jaggery
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • A pinch of Asafoetida
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • Salt (to taste)
  • A handful of Kabuli Chana (soaked overnight and boiled)
  • Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • A few curry leaves

The Spice For Paste

  • 8 Dried red chillies
  • 2 tbsp Coriander seeds
  • 1 tbsp Chana dal
  • A pinch of Fenugreek


Step 1

Soak the tamarind in hot water for some 10-15 minutes. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice. Keep aside.

Step 2

Pressure cook toor dal. Mash well and keep aside.

Step 3

For the spice paste: Heat a tsp of oil, add the dried red chillies, coriander seeds, chana dal and a pinch of fenugreek. Fry for a few minutes till the chana dal turns a nice golden colour. Remove from heat. Once it cools, grind the spices to a smooth paste by adding a little water.

Step 4

In a pan, heat some coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the grated coconut and cut bitter gourd pieces. Fry for some 5-10 minutes.

Step 5

Pour in tamarind juice, add turmeric powder, salt and asfoetida.

Step 6

Boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes, and the bitter gourd is cooked.

Step 7

Once it is cooked, add the mashed toor dal and stir well.

Step 8

Add the boiled Kabuli chana and bring to boil.

Step 9

Add the spice paste and jaggery.

Step 10

Allow to boil for 2-3 minutes.

Step 11

Add water and bring to the required consistency.

Step 12

Add the curry leaves.

Step 13

Remove from heat and serve hot with cooked rice (or Idli/Dosa).

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