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Pavakkai Poriyal Recipe, Bitter Gourd Stir-Fry Recipe

  • Author: Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 5m
  • Cook Time: 20m
  • Total Time: 25m
  • Yield: 3-4 servings 1x


Pavakkai Poriyal Recipe, Bitter Gourd Stir-Fry Recipe – Recipe for Pavakkai Poriyal made with the addition of coconut. South Indian Tamil style recipe. Excellent side dish had along with rice.



Ingredients for making Pavakkai Poriyal / Bitter-Gourd Stir Fry Recipe

  • 250 grams bitter gourd (about two bitter gourds)
  • 2 tablespoon peanut oil / vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal
  • 1/2 tablespoon split white urad dal
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Kuzhambu milagai thool (or) sambar powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh shredded coconut



  • Wash the bitter gourd and clean them. Remove the white part that holds the seeds of the bittergourd. Chop them into small pieces. Boil the bitter gourd with half a cup of water in a pressure cooker. Cook for just one whistle. Wait for the pressure in the cooker to settle naturally. Drain the water and set aside. You can serve the water as a soup. The water will be very bitter so drink it in one shot as its very healthy. Do not discard.
  • Heat peanut oil in a pan (I prefer non-stick pan for making this dish) and add in the chana dal and urad dal. Saute for a few seconds. Add in the mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add in the finely chopped onions, curry leaves and garlic. The roasted garlic adds a nice flavour to the dish.
  • Saute the onions for a minute. Add in the turmeric powder, salt and the kuzhambu milagai thool. “Kuzhambu milagai thool” is a curry powder used in Tamil households and can be sourced from a south Indian grocery store. If you don’t have “kuzhambu milagai thool”, use store bought Tamil style sambar powder for this recipe. Curry powder can also be used.
  • Add in the drained pavakkai / bittergourd.
  • Saute for a good 10-15 minutes on a low flame. Low flame is key for the veggies to get roasted and take on a golden colour. While the veggies are getting roasted, add in a pinch of sugar.
  • Keep sauteing till the onions and garlic have charred a bit and the bitter-gourd has shrunk and is roasted well and brown in colour. Everything in the pan should be well roasted and golden.
  • Now add in the fresh shredded coconut and mix well to combine. Bitter gourd stir-fry / pavakkai poriyal is ready. Serve hot with rice.

Keywords: pavakkai poriyal