Home Gluten Free Pavakkai pitlai | bitter gourd recipes | no onion no garlic recipes

Pavakkai pitlai | bitter gourd recipes | no onion no garlic recipes

by Jeyashri suresh
I am going to share another authentic recipe, made in our home,Pavakkai pitlai recipe. Though i know the ingredients used in making pavakkai pitlai, i don’t the right proportion,since my sister taught me. It is similar to Arachuvitta Sambar.

Pavakkai pitlai recipe

  Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 35 Mins |Serves: 3-4

    Bitter gourd    2 small size
    Cooked toor dal   1 cup
    Black channa  1/4 cup
    Turmeric powder   1/4 tsp
    Sambar powder   2 tsp
    Oil   1 tsp
    Mustard seeds   1/4 tsp
    Tamarind   a small gooseberry sized
     Salt   as needed
To roast and grind
   Urad dal  1 tblsp
   Coriander seeds   3 tsp
   Channa dal   1/2 tblsp
   Red chili  3
   Coconut   3 tblsp



  • Soak black channa over night or for 6 hours
  • Cut the bittergourd in circular shape and pressure cook it along with black channa adding little bit of salt to it and turmeric powder.
  • Heat a kadai and add oil.Temper with mustard seeds ,one red chilli nad add the tamarind extract .Add sambhar powder,asafoedita ,turmeric powder,salt and boil for 5 mins.
DSCN2310 DSCN2313
  • Add the cooked bitter gourd and channa  this and boil till the raw smell goes.
  • Dry roast the urad dhal,channa dal,coriander seeds,redchilli and grind it into a smooth paste along with the coconut.
pitlai Pitlai
  • Now add the toor dal and ground paste to it and once it comes to a right consistency switch off the flame.
  • Garnish curry leaves to it.



  • .The same pitlai can be made using ash gourd and brinjal instead of bitter gourd.
  • .If you forget to soak kondakadalai  | black chick peas overnight can use channa  dhal also.
  • .Instead of black channa,we can use chick peas,peanuts,and even mochai.
  • Serve hot with rice with a spoon of ghee topped on it.
pavakkai pitlai

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Sanghi October 29, 2009 - 2:32 am

Mmmm.. yum yum!

Gulmohar October 29, 2009 - 2:37 am

Fabulous...new to me 🙂

admin October 29, 2009 - 3:19 am

thanks sangi and gulmohar for ur quick response

Ankita October 29, 2009 - 3:38 am

Bittergourd pitlai is new to me.Interesting recipe.

Sushma Mallya October 29, 2009 - 4:53 am

Thats a nice recipe,always have fried one but never used this in a gravy...would try ur version soon..and wonderful click too jeyashri

Prasukitchen.blogspot.com October 29, 2009 - 5:27 am

wow yummy dish dear ....

RAKS KITCHEN October 29, 2009 - 5:38 am

Wow,i have never seen a beautifull looking pitlai like this,I can try with brinjal,coz I HATE BITTER GOURD!!!
You have captured beautifully and my mom makes with channa dal 🙂

Prathibha October 29, 2009 - 6:11 am

That is so colorful dear..looks yummy..anything wid bittergourd is hubby's favorite..

Priya October 29, 2009 - 7:04 am

Very beautiful pitali Jeya, i love anything with bittergourd..lovely clicks..

priya October 29, 2009 - 9:50 am

lovely and delicious........must try this someday!

Home Cooked Oriya Food October 29, 2009 - 12:36 pm

New one again... looks lovely!

Nostalgia October 29, 2009 - 12:38 pm

These bitter gourd recipes doing the rounds on the web just amazes me. Fantastic recipe and thank you for sharing...I love karela and to see so many variations is awesome.

Rohini October 29, 2009 - 1:07 pm

Pavakkai is something I avoid fearing the bitter taste..! But I am trying include this in our diet as much as possible. Will for sure try your version 🙂

Sangeetha Subhash October 29, 2009 - 1:52 pm

Same picnch..:)Ur version sounds interesting Looks yummy.sure next time will try this.

Pari October 29, 2009 - 2:01 pm

Hi Jayashree, this version is completely new for me, will try this for sure. Bookmarked, i am always hunting for bittergourd recipes.

Sandhya Hariharan October 29, 2009 - 2:11 pm

Thanks for sharing Jeyashri.
This exactly how we prepare in my house too...

Vrinda October 29, 2009 - 3:07 pm

Thats an interesting combo...lov bitter gourd,nice recipe...

A 2 Z Vegetarian Cuisine October 29, 2009 - 4:37 pm

Looks awesome, my Mom makes it and i just love it. One of the classic dish in any Tamil kitchen.

Mythreyi Dilip October 30, 2009 - 12:32 am

First time here, great blog!
Step by step explanation of pavakai pitlai is awesome!

Chitra October 30, 2009 - 5:49 am

i love pitlai..i too make the same way but i use moong dal .Very nice click :)I tried ur veg briyani and posted in my blog , have a look .thanks 🙂

vidhas October 30, 2009 - 9:10 am

i love pitlai. looks yummy. nice click.s

Vidya Rao October 30, 2009 - 5:23 pm

Nice pics with each step in progress..pitlai looks delicious!

Padhu November 2, 2009 - 9:34 am

I do pavakkai pitlai in the same manner.Very nice photos.

Ann November 2, 2009 - 4:36 pm

Lovely and healthy recipe.. very new to me.. Will have to try this soon!

Seetha November 3, 2009 - 8:31 am

I prepared pavakkai pitlai today. it came out very well. thanks a lot

admin November 5, 2009 - 1:29 am

Thank u very much seetha for trying this.And great to hear u enjoyed this.

Preety November 6, 2009 - 7:01 pm

looks so good

abi April 18, 2011 - 4:11 pm

You have said in the last to add thoor dal & ground paste... but you havent mentioned any thoor dal in the ingredients.... so is it cooked thoor dal that we must add?

admin April 19, 2011 - 8:02 am

@abi,I have already mentioned cooked toor dal in the ingredient list. Just see it below redchillis.
Thanks for visiting my blog.

Debs @ The Spanish Wok September 16, 2012 - 2:56 pm

Wow, sounds delicious. Perfect for my event this month.......

You are welcome to join in my monthly food blogger event THE SOUP KITCHEN, here for entry details and current theme. New theme each month. All bloggers are welcome, hope to see you participate soon.

Love Cooking November 25, 2013 - 2:09 pm

Cooking pavakkai in the pressure cooker ... won't it smash as it is a very tender vegetable.

jeyashri suresh November 25, 2013 - 2:29 pm

No it won't smash. Make it little thick slices not too thin

jayashree j April 18, 2014 - 1:31 pm

whats the difference between arachivita sambar and pitlai.all the grinding ingrients look the same

jeyashri suresh April 19, 2014 - 12:54 am

Jayashree, it is almost the same. We add urad dal for grinding, that is an extra and pitlai mostly includes any lentil like channa, peanuts,while channa or dried green peas

sudha September 17, 2014 - 3:52 pm

I tried this recipe really I enjoyed lot bcz I love pavakkai. Yummy thanks for this recipe jeyshri. U rocking in cooking.


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