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How to make Pavakka Theeyal or Bitter gourd curry with fried coconut?


How to make Pavakka Theeyal or Bitter gourd curry with fried coconut

Bitter gourds can be used for making various recipes. The making of one of such recipes called as Pavakka theeyal or Bitter gourd curry with fried coconut is discussed below.

Pavakka Theeyal is a traditional Kerala Dish which is made using bitter gourd and fried Coconut. Theeyal can also be made using other vegetables like Snake Gourd, Shallots etc. or a combination of vegetables like Potato, Carrot and Beans. The fried coconut and spices impart a nice aroma to the dish.

In a theeyal, the spices and coconut are fried and ground to a fine paste before being cooked.

Ingredients of coconut-spice paste:

  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 medium-sized, fresh coconut, grated
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 10 dry red chillies, torn into pieces
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • 1 stalk of curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

Preparation of coconut-spice paste

  • Heat oil for coconut-spice paste in a frying pan.
  • Add all ingredients except spice powders, and fry. Stir these constantly, till coconut turns acquires a brown colour.
  • Remove from heat and stir in coriander powder. Once it cools, mix in turmeric powder.
  • Grind to a fine paste with 1½ cups of water.

Ingredients Bitter gourd curry

  • 100 gms bitter gourds (karela)
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil
  • 8 shallots, chopped
  • 3 green chillies, slit
  • Walnut-sized ball of seedless tamarind soaked in 2 tsp water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Preparation of Bitter gourd curry

  • Wash bitter gourds, remove seeds, cut into 3-cm pieces and set aside.
  • Heat 1/2 tablespoon oil in a pan, add bitter gourds, shallots and green chillies, and sauté till bitter gourd turn brown.
  • Extract tamarind pulp and strain into pan.
  • Stir in coconut-spice paste, salt and 1and1/4 cups water. Raise heat, boil for 10 minutes and remove from heat.

Ingredients for Tempering the bitter gourd curry :

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chillies, torn into pieces
  • 3 shallots, chopped
  • 1 stalk curry leaves

Final preparation

  • Heat oil for tempering in a small pan and sprinkle in mustard seeds. When they start sputtering, toss in red chillies and fry for a few moments till fragrant, shaking the pan occasionally. Add remaining ingredients and fry till shallots turn brown.
  • Pour the contents of pan into the curry. Mix it well and serve.

Theeyal can also be made with shallots, okra (bhindi) or French beans instead of bitter gourd.