Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Pavakai Pulikulambu(bitter gourd puli kulambu)

Pavakai Pulikulambu(bitter gourd puli kulambu)Pavakkai is one of my mother's favorite vegetable.. She cooks very tasty puli kulambu. It contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals and is very low in cholesterol and saturated fats. Most of us avoid this wonderful veggie because of its bitterness. There are many tricks to reduce the bitterness by soaking it in saltwater or in tamarind extract. I used salt water to reduce bitterness. It tastes really good and my hubby likes it a lot...

Bitter Gourd - 1

Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Tomato - 1, chopped
Tamarind - 1 medium gooseberry size.
Dry Red chilli - 4
Hing (Asafoetida) - 1/4 tsp
cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Sambar powder  or pulikulambu powder - 2 tsp
Curry Leaves - 1 spring

To Grind:

Coconut    1/4 cup
Fennel Seed 1 tsp


  1. Wash and cut pavakkai horizontally into discs . Soak the sliced bitter gourds in salt water for about 5-10 minutes. Then squeeze the water out.  This will reduce the bitterness.
  2. Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of warm water.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the bittergourd to brown color. Keep the fried bitter gourd in separate bowl.
  4. In the same oil, add the mustard seeds to splutter then add fennel seeds,and chopped onion fry til onion becomes light brown
  5. Now add chopped tomatoes followed by turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder and sambar powder (or pulikulambu powder). Add salt as per taste.
  6. Saute well till oil comes out
  7. Now add the fried bitter gourd and mix well. Add the tamarind juice.
  8. Let this mixture come to a boil and grind the coconut with fennel seeds and mix the paste with it.
  9. Reduce the heat to medium/sim, cover and let it cook for about 10-15 mins, till the curry comes to a thick consistency.
  10. Garnish with coriander and serve hot with white rice...


  1. I tried this at home today and tasted so good with white rice and appalam. I am someone who does not love pavakka but this curry was something i relished, thanks for the recipe dear

  2. Thanks priya for trying this recipe. I am very happy that u liked the curry...

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. As promised here's my post on this lovely tangy curry, thanks for sharing it dear we love it so much


  5. Nice recipe Saranya.. Looks great :-)


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.