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Oct 13, 2006

Pavakka (bitter gourd) Pickle

bitter gourd pickle / Hagalkai uppinkai:
Definitely an acquired taste, bitter gourd is also called Balsam pear or bitter melon. Young immature bitter gourds are the best for cooking: the skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender. The vegetable is ridged, and the skin is pebbly in texture. Do not use mature bitter gourds, and do not eat bitter gourd if you are pregnant or nursing.

Bitter gourd contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium. From the ayurvedic perspective, bitter gourd is excellent for balancing Kappa. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver.

Below is a recipe for Pavakka pickle.


4 to 5 medium size pavakka (bitter gourd)

To prepare bitter gourd for cooking, wash thoroughly, then cut in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a sharp spoon or corer and discard. Dice the bitter gourd and add ¾ tea spoon turmeric powder and ¾ tea spoon salt and mix well Keep in a closed container for about 2 hrs. After two hrs, take the mixture and squeeze out water using a towel and pat dry. This process will take away most of the bitterness.

3 table spoon - Oil – preferably Gingili (nalla ennai)
Little Asafoetida
1 teaspoon Fenugreek powder – roast the fenugreek (menthya) seeds (do not roast too much) and powder it.
¼ teaspoon tamarind concentrate
½ teaspoon red chillie powder
2-tablespoon jaggery/brown sugar
Salt if required.


Heat oil in a heavy kadai and add asafoetida, to it add the bitter gourd and sauté well until it becomes crisp. Add the fenugreek powder, tamarind, and red chillie and blend it with the gourd. Add the jaggery/brown sugar to it and mix well. Stir for sometime. Taste for salt. Add a little if needed.

This can be cooled completely and has a shelf life of 3 to 4 days when kept in fridge in an airtight container.

Goes well with curd rice.

This is my entry to Pooja's 'Vegetable of the Week' round up for Bitter gourd.

1 comment:

Pooja said...

This is simple beautiful way to use Bitter gourd, Isn't it ?
I jut love it, thanks Myth for both yummy dishes :) .