Pavakai Puli Kulambu / Bitter Gourd Kulambu

The health benefits of bitter gourd are extensive,a low calorie vegetable that could be used in cooking variety of Indian dishes.The best way to incorporate this veggie in our diet is to make puli kulambu for the tanginess of tamarind extract dominates the bitter taste of bittergourd,also the addition of coconut helps to reduce the bitterness.Most of them add jaggery to reduce the bitterness but i don’t prefer that for it gives a mild sweetness to the kulambu.These are small varieties of bitter gourd and the seeds need not be removed.
An easy and quick lunch recipe ,that goes well with just plain steamed rice and papad.Do try this healthy recipe at home and have a healthy lunch served for your loved ones.





1/2 cup bitter gourd / paagarkai/paavakai

5-6 shallots

2 tomatoes

6 cloves of garlic

A gooseberry sized tamarind (soak in a cup of water)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp urad dal

2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder

3 tbsp sesame oil

A sprig of curry leaves

Salt to taste

Water as required


1/4 cup grated coconut

4 shallots


Chop the bitter gourd into two ,heat oil in a pan add mustard seeds,urad dal,curry leaves and saute for a min in low flame.

Add the onions and saute for a min,then add bitter gourd and saute for 2 mins in low flame.Finally add tomatoes and saute for 2 more mins in low flame.

Add the tamarind extract,ground mixture and let it boil in high flame.Add turmeric powder,chilli powdr,cumin powder,coriander powder,salt and when it starts to boil simmer the flame to low and cook for 8-10 mins or until the bitter gourd (paavakai) is completely cooked.

Serve with a tsp of ghee with hot steamed rice and papad.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s