Bitter Gourd (Pavakka) Theeyal

Ashwathy Warrier, March 28, 2015

Theeyal ( Pavakka theeyal ) in most cases is a single vegetable dish. This dish can be made of shallots, drumsticks or even shrimps. Theeyal is an integral part of a vegetarian sadya.

Bitter Gourd (Pavakka) Theeyal
Serves: 1 Bowl
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Theeyal ( Pavakka theeyal ) is a distinctive dish of Kerala made of mostly vegetables, roasted coconut with a generous amounts of Shallots and tamarind in it. The spices and fried coconut adds a natural and distinctive aroma to the dish
  • Two medium sized bitter gourd cut into thin slices
  • Half a teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • Two green chillies slited
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • one tablespoon of coriander powder
  • 2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Quarter teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Four numbers of dry red chilli
  • Quarter cup of shallots thinly sliced
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • Salt as per requirement
  • water as per requirement
  • 3 tablespoon of oil
  • Half a teaspoon mustard seed
  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add slit green chilies, bitter gourd pieces and turmeric powder into it. Saute for a while. Cover the pan with lid and cook the bitter gourd in low flame. Keep it aside.
  2. In another non stick pan, add the grated coconut into it.Dry roast the coconut till it is brown in color.
  3. Add fenugreek seeds, coriander powder and red chili powder into it and roast for a while.
  4. In a mixer grinder, make a very smooth paste of the roasted ingredients.
  5. In pan heat the oil hand add mustard seeds into it and allow it to pop.
  6. Add dry Red Chilies shallots and curry leaves into it saute for a while .
  7. Next, add the previously cooked bitter gourd into it and mix properly
  8. Mix salt tamarind paste, salt, coconut paste and one cup of water into the pan and mix properly.
  9. Cook the mixture for around 5 to 7 minutes or till the gravy thickens.
  10. Taste it and add more tamarind paste or salt if necessary in to the Pavakka theeyal
  11. Pavakka theeyal is ready and can be best served with hot steamed rice.


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