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Cooking With Bitter Gourd: 3 South Indian Recipes That May Help Boost Your Immunity

There is a good probability you have looked for immunity boosting substances or recipes ever because the COVID-19 lockdowns started. One of many substances which may have popped up throughout these searches is bitter gourd – a vegetable filled with anti-oxidants. It additionally boasts of a excessive Vitamin-C content material. If there’s one factor I miss throughout this time, it is the well being juice and smoothie counters at breakfast buffet counters that will let you add wholesome substances like bitter gourd into morning juices together with different fruits or greens. The proper detox drink on an empty abdomen. Bitter gourd (or bitter melon) does not simply belong in juices although.

Throughout Asia, this vegetable is used creatively, nowhere extra so than South India. There’s greater than only one solution to cook dinner bitter gourd, and subsequently, improve the frequency of consumption of this vegetable that additionally comprises phytonutrient, polypeptide-P – a plant insulin that helps decrease blood sugar ranges. Therefore, this vegetable is really useful by diabetologists throughout India. Bitter gourd is a surprisingly versatile vegetable. I’ve found a wide range of dishes throughout South India which are made with each sizes of this vegetable out there in markets within the area.

Additionally Learn: Why You Need to Start Adding Bitter Foods in Your Daily Diet

Right here Are 3 South Indian Recipes That May Help Boost Your Immunity:

Pavakkai Pitlai

Recipe Courtesy – Viji Varadarajan

(Creator and recipe knowledgeable)

This dish all the time evokes nostalgia and is among the first bitter gourd dishes that I loved as a toddler. I sampled an genuine model of this dish throughout a culinary session with Viji Varadarajan, culinary knowledgeable and creator in Chennai. In line with her, the important thing to this easy dish, is the pitlai powder or the easy masala that’s used on this dish. A delicacy in lots of vegetarian properties, this can be a dish reserved for particular and festive events. This dish is finest eaten with rice.


Bitter gourd: 200 gm

Tur dal: half cup

Thick tamarind pulp: 1.5 teaspoons

Asafoetida powder: half teaspoon

Turmeric: 1/Four teaspoon

Curry leaves: 10

Salt: half teaspoon (or to style)

Cooking oil: 1 teaspoon

Mustard: 1/Four teaspoon


Prepare dinner the dal.

Quarter the vegetable discarding the interior seed (You possibly can cook dinner it with the vegetable if the seed is comfortable).

Boil the bitter gourd (add salt as you do) for 10-12 minutes or till tender.

Warmth oil, pop the mustard.

Add cooked lentil, tamarind paste, the cooked bitter gourd and pitlai powder (you might purchase this or make it at dwelling. Dry roast a number of items of coconut after which in a separate pan add asafoetida to a spoon of oil after which 2 tablespoons of urad dal and channa dal after which 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds and 10-12 purple chillies. Grind this combination together with the coconut and retailer in an hermetic jar in a cool, dry place).

Simmer it for a couple of minutes until the gravy turns thick.

Add the crushed curry leaves and stir earlier than you’re taking it off the range.

Pavakkya Pachadi – recipe

This conventional Kerala pachadi that I first sampled as a part of a sadya (conventional banana leaf meal) in central Kerala is sort of as scrumptious as a vendakai pachadi (bhindi raitha). It is a nice solution to serve bitter gourd and would possibly even work for teenagers. Serve this with rice, sambar and a poriyal or thoran (stir-fried greens) or fried-fish.


Bitter gourd: 3-4

Shallots: 8-10

Inexperienced chilli: 1 (elective)

Curd: as required

Salt: to style

Grated coconut: 50 gm

Mustard: 1 teaspoon

Crimson chilli: 1

Curry leaves: a number of


Grind the coconut with 1/Four teaspoon of mustard seeds and a dollop of curd.

Clear the insides of the bitter gourd.

Fry the shallots until they modify color, then add the bitter gourd and slit inexperienced chilli.

Add this to the curd with the coconut paste and stir.

Mood the mustard, purple chilli and curry leaves and pour it over the curd and bitter gourd, Stir properly.

Pavaykkai (Bitter Gourd) Puli (Tamarind) Curry – recipe

It is a easy recipe that I first tried in Southern Tamil Nadu. It really works solely with the smaller, bite-sized bitter gourd. The tamarind (therefore the identify puli curry) and jaggery neutralise the style of the bitter gourd. This dish is a good accompaniment for dosa or idli and may also be blended with rice like a kuzhambu (thick gravy).


Small bitter gourd: 250 gm

Shallots (Small onion): 100 gm

Inexperienced chilli: 3-4 (slit)

Tamarind: dimension of a small lemon

Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds: half teaspoon

Grated jaggery: 1 tablespoon

Garlic: 5-6 pods

Fenugreek: 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves: a number of sprigs

Sambar powder (elective) 1 teaspoon

Urad dal: 1 teaspoon

Salt: to style

Chilli powder: to style

Turmeric: half teaspoon


Soak the tamarind in heat water and extract the juice.

Mood the mustard, urad dal, fenugreek and curry leaves in sesame oil.

Fry the shallots within the oil, then add the garlic and salt and turmeric powder.

As soon as they brown add the bitter gourd and fry briefly. Add chilli powder if requited.

Add the tamarind water and the jaggery and let it boil until it reaches a thick gravy (kuzhambu) consistency.

About Ashwin RajagopalanI’ve found cultures, locations and felt at dwelling in a number of the world’s most distant corners due to the varied meals I’ve tried which have been ready with ardour. Generally they’re conventional recipes and at most occasions they have been audacious reinterpretations by artistic cooks. I may not cook dinner typically however once I do, I think about I am in a cookery present set – matching measuring bowls, et all!

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