Bitter gourd pickle or Pavakka achar

Bitter gourd pickle, Pavakka achar

Bitter gourd pickle or Pavakka achar is a delicious as well as nutritious pickle variety which goes well with rice.

Bitter gourd is a natural source of nutritive elements like Vitamin C, Vitamin B1, B2 and B3, iron, calcium, folic acid, dietary fibres and beta-carotene. Diabetic patients also make use of bitter gourd recipes in their diet. The use of vinegar would reduce the bitter taste and results in a nice tangy flavour. The presence of red chilly powder imparts a spicy flavour and reddish brown colour. Sliced ginger and garlic along with asafoetida (Kayam), fenugreek powder and curry leaves would increase the taste. Have a look at the ingredients required and the method of preparation of bitter gourd pickle.

Ingredients required for making Bittergourd pickle or Pavakka achar
  • 2-3 medium sized bitter gourd
  • 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 2-3 slit green chillies
  • Salt for the taste
  • Cooking oil as per the requirement
  • 2-3 tablespoon of sesame oil (nallenna)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger
  • 8-10 cloves
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1½ red chilly powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon of fenugreek powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida (Kayam)
  • 1/4 cup of vinegar
  • Salt for the taste.
Good quality natural spices are available for sale on
Method of preparation of Bittergourd pickle or Pavakka achar
  • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly in running water and slice it into small pieces.
  • Add the turmeric powder, slit green chillies and some salt. Mix it well and keep it aside for 20 minutes.
  • Heat some oil in a deep frying pan and add the bitter gourd pieces. Fry it for 6-7 minutes and once it turns to a light brown colour, take out from the pan and keep it on a paper towel.
  • Heat the sesame oil (nallena) in a deep frying pan (cheeni chatti) and add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds start to splutter, add the sliced ginger and garlic pieces, saute it for few minutes.
  • Once it turns to a light brown colour, add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, fenugreek powder and asafoetida (Kayam).
  • Once the raw smell disappears, add the fried bitter gourd pieces and vinegar.
  • Taste for salt and add the salt as per the requirement.
  • Turn off the flame and once it is cooled, store it in an airtight container.
  • Serve it with rice.