Pavakka Theeyal - Bittergourd dish
by Lakshmi Menon
Pavakka Theeyal (Bittergourd dish) is a spicy and tangy dish best suited with rice. This dish is not very bitter and easily can be relished even by people who does not eat bittergourd for want of its bitterness.
Bitter gourd - 2 Nos (medium size)
Red chillies - 5 Nos
Small onions - 8-10 Nos (or 1 big onion)
Coriander - 2 tb.spoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 t.sp
Coconut - 1 cup
Tamarind - lemon size
Jeera - 1/2 t.sp
Cooking oil - 2 table spoons
Salt - as required
Jaggery powder - 2 tsp. For seasoning -
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp.
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Red chillies - 2
Curry leaves - a bunchMethod of Preparation
Cut the bitter gourd into thin pieces (10 cm. in length x 3 cms in width). If the seeds are tender you can cut along with them. If they are hard it is better to remove the seeds.
In the meanwhile, keep the tamarind in a small cup of water to soak. After a few minutes, squeeze out the thick juice.
Keep a frying pan on the stove and add the oil and fry the bitter gourd pieces until they change their green colour and turn into light brown. Remove the bitter gourd from the pan into the cooking dish.
Now to make the masala, add 1 tb.spoon oil in the same pan and saute coriander, red chillies, and small onions, and coconut for a few minutes. When it is ready to remove, add jeera and turmeric powder and fry for a minute. Remove it from the stove and leave it to cool and then grind it into a smooth paste with little water.
Add the tamarind juice into the cooking dish, add salt and cook the bitter gourd pieces for about 3-5 minutes.
Add the ground masala and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add jaggery powder and mix well, and remove from the stove.
For seasoning, keep the pan on the stove, add the remaining 1 tb.sp. oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, chillies, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add it over the curry. ***