Pavakkai Pitlai (Bitter gourd / Karela)



Bitter gourd (Pavakkai / Karela) 1/4 kg

chana dhal 1/4 cup

Tur dhal 1/2 of a quarter cup

Tamarind a small lemon sized ball
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon
Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves 8 to 10 leaves
Urad dal 2 teaspoons for seasoning
Chana dhal 2 teaspoons for seasoning
Oil 3 teaspoons
Rice powder 1 teaspoon

Spices to be fried in oil and coarsely powdered (not paste)

Corainder seeds 5 teaspoons
Urad dhal 2 teaspoons
Chana dhal 2 teaspoons
Dried Red chillies 6
Asaefotida 1/4 teaspoon powder or a small cardomom sized bit


  • Vegetables to be cut in small squares.
  • Pressure cook the chana dhal and tur dhal and keep it.
  • Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes, squeeze the pulp and take 3 cups of tamarind water.
  • Add the vegetable along with tamarind water and allow it to get only 3/4th cooked.
  • Note: Bitter gourd cooks very fast in tamarind water. So take care that it does not get over cooked.
  • Add the cooked pulses to the boiling tamarind water.
  • Add salt and turmeric powder.
  • Add the powdered spices and let it all boil together for five minutes.
  • Mix rice powder in one teaspoon of water and add it.
  • Remove from fire after a minute.
  • For seasoning, in a teaspoon of oil, pop mustard seeds, add urad dhal, chana dhal and curry leaves, saute till golden colour and add it.

General guidelines for healthier food – Both body and mind:

  • One should be thinking about Perumal (Nama Smaranam) while cooking, and the purpose should be to offer the preparation to Him.
  • Once the food is prepared, it should be offered to Perumal first. While offering, one should make sure that the food is neither too hot nor cold. It should be offered with love and affection.
  • Please do not offer either pre-cooked food bought from outside or any pre-consumed food.
  • Please follow thiruvaradanam kramam as instructed by your respective acharya. (
  • Follow ahara niyamam as much as possible. Atleast make sure that onion and garlic are not used at all.(
  • Please ensure that food which are not prasadams are not consumed.



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