Paakarkai Kuzhambhu | Bittergoourd gravy

    Paagarkai kuzhambhu | Bitter gourd Recipes – Sounds authentic and healthy right? Yes its true. Bitter gourd plays magnificent roles in medicine.


    Tamil Nadu, India
    1 person made this


    • Bitter gourd – 1 cup( chopped)
    • Big onions – 1 no( medium – chopped)
    • Tamarind – amla size
    • Jaggery – 1 tbsp
    • Salt – as needed
    • To roast and grind: Sesame oil(Gingelly oil) – 1 tsp
    • Urad dal – 1 tsp
    • Channa dal – 1 tsp
    • Red chillies – 8 to 10 nos.
    • Big onions – 1 no (medium – chopped)
    • Tomatoes – 1 no( finely chopped)
    • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
    • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
    • Shredded coconut – ½ cup
    • Coriander leaves – ¼ cup (chopped)
    • Salt – 1 tsp
    • To season : Gingelly oil – 3 tbsp
    • Mustard – ½ tsp
    • Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
    • Jeera seeds – ½ tsp
    • Curry leaves – 1 spring


    1. 1. Soak tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Squeeze and extract the juice , discard the skins and keep aside.
    2. 2. Wash bitter gourd, cut and remove the seeds, make thin and round slices. Soak the slices in salt water for 10mins to get rid off bitterness.
    3. 3. Heat a strong bottomed pan, add gingelly oil, first add urad dal and channa dal, once it turn slight golden brown , add chopped onions and red chillies, sauté for a min , then add tomatoes.
    4. 4. Sprinkle a tsp of salt and stir until the tomatoes fully cooked.Now add red chili powder and coriander powder, mix well. Finally add shredded coconut and coriander leaves.
    5. 5. Saute in medium flame for one more minute. Then switch off the flame and let it cool completely.Grind it to a smooth paste and keep aside.
    6. 6. Now heat another pan, add oil, temper with fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds, then add curry leaves and big onions. Stir till the onion turns transparent and add chopped and soaked bitter gourd. Sauté for 5 mins in medium flame.
    7. 7. Add the grounded paste to this mixture, stir in medium flame for 3 mins or until the oil leaves on sides.
    8. 8. Add tamarind water and little more water to this mixture. Allow it to boil till the gravy becomes thick. Add jaggery when its boiling and switch off the flame after it becomes thick. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with hot rice.


    1. Use tender bitter gourd,it will not bitter much. Anyways do not skip soaking in salt water. After soaking rinse well with tap water before using in kuzhambhu. 2. Prefer to use Gingelly oil, it gives authentic taste to this kuzhambhu. 3. Before turn off the flame , check the bitter gourd’s are cooked well. 4. Also do not skip jaggery, it’s a taste enhancer for this gravy. Moreover it reduces the bitterness of the veggie.

    See it on my blog

    Ranjani's kitchen

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