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Monday, June 25, 2018

Pavakka Thoran | Kaipakka Upperi | Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

Life is not a bed of roses always. Each one of our lives take good turns and bad turns as we progress. And I believe that the person who undergoes through the good, bad and tough times has only lived a good life. They understand all emotions,struggles and can raise good children too. Nowadays, kids hardly have any stress tolerance and emotional control. We read such untoward incidents daily in the newspapers these days. Anyways,not boring you all much with my thoughts but all I wanted to equate this to our tummy and taste buds. They are also designed to taste all flavors, Isn't it? And so how about tasting some bitter gourd today, I know very less will nod a 'yes' to this veggie. I feel we should practice to put our taste buds to taste all flavors.

Personally am an adherent fan of this veggie and so is my better half. Hence I make sure to buy this veggie whenever I get hold of the fresh ones. Kids like the pavakka mezhukuparetti or bittergourd stir fry as the bitterness is reduced slightly than the stir fry as it is fried in oil. This stir fry is made with grated coconut which brings down the bitterness considerably. Also mixing it with salt, keeping aside for sometime and squeezing out the water drained out and throwing the water reduces the bitterness. If you are using the dark green variety then should definitely drain the water as its very much bitter. Its better to select the light green variety which is mild in bitterness. This thoran tastes yumm with steamed rice with a side of thakkali curry. Try out this combination,am sure you will change your way of thinking about this veggie!!

Preparation time ~ 15- 20 minutes
Cooking time ~ 20 minutes
Serves ~ 4 adults
*bitter gourd / pavakka  1,chopped in small pieces
onion 1 small medium chopped
turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
curry leaves a sprig
salt to taste
oil  2 tsp

to grind
coconut grated 1/2 cup
shallots 2
* green chilli 2-3


  • Wash the bitter gourd(pavakka) under running water and slit vertically, scoop out the flesh(the white portion inside as much as you can as that's the most bitter part along with seeds). Chop it in small bites and mix with a little salt. Keep aside for 5-7 mins and squeeze out the water that is drained out(helps reduce the bitterness). This is an optional step if you would like to reduce the bitterness or else just proceed further.
  • In the meantime, coarsely grind/pulse the coconut,shallots and *green chillies without adding any water.Don't over do this or else the shreds become very small, just a pulse or two is enough.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds when oil is hot. When the mustard splutters, add the turmeric powder on low flame. Add the chopped bitter gourd, onion, curry leaves and the coarsely ground mix(if using cut green chillies, add at this point). Give a quick stir and add few splashes of water. 
  • Cook covered on low medium flame for 3-4 minutes. Uncover lid, add salt as needed and cook covered again for 2-3 mins. Switch off flame once all the moisture is evaporated. Taste test salt if needed. Enjoy with steamed rice !!

* Make sure to select the light green variety of bitter gourd for this stir fry. The darker the bitter gourd the bitterness is increased. I have used the dark green bitter gourd here.
* The green chillies used for the thoran(stir fry) and can be crushed along with the coconut. I have added as sliced in this thoran.
* You can even add 1/2 tsp tamarind extract too to reduce the bitterness. But I don't like tangy flavors in stir fry so haven't added.

More Bitter gourd recipes are listed here-
* Pavakka Mezhukuparetti (Bitter gourd Fries~ Baked Version)
* Pavakka /Kaipakka Achar
* Pavakka Theeyal
* Bharwan Karela (Pavakka Nirachathu)


Gloria Fernandes said... Best Blogger Tips

Loved the clicks ..though not a fab of this veggie it looks yumm

Preity said... Best Blogger Tips

Tried this recipe today, it was amazing!! The salt water trick worked very well on dark green gourd. Since I'm not a fan of this vegetable, I added in a teaspoon of jaggery powder. You have turned me into a karela fan, was so yummy.

Julie said... Best Blogger Tips

Thanks so much, Preity for the feedback.. loved the tip of adding jaggery too.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

I tried this recipe today. It was delicious. The detailed instructions were very helpful for a beginner like me.