Monday, December 23, 2013


Pitlai closely resembles sambar but is more nutritious and also thicker in consistency than Sambar. Often this is prepared with bitter gourd and one cannot feel any bitter taste in the pitlai. So this is one of the healthy and tasty ways to include bitter gourd

Pavakkai Pitlai

Bitter gourd/Pavakkai: 1 big
Toor dhal: 1/2 cup
Tamarind: a small lemon size
Salt: 1.5 tsp
Turmeric powder: a pinch
Asafoetida: a pinch
Jaggery: 2 tsp
Oil: 2 tsp
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal: 1/2 tsp
Red chilli: 2
Curry  leaves: a sprig

For pitlai powder:
Oil: 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds: 1.5 tsp
Bengal gram dhal: 1 tsp
Urad dhal: 3/4 tsp
Black pepper: 1/2 tsp
Red chillies: 6
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup

  1. Cook toor dhal with enough water
  2. Chop the bitterguard into medium pieces
  3. Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan and add the bittergaurd
  4. Fry the bittergaurd for 5 minutes
  5. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and turmeric powder and fry for a couple of more minutes
  6. Add the tamarind extract & asafoetida and cuury leaves and cook until the bitterguard becomes tender
  7. Meanwhile heat 1/2 tsp of oil and add bengal gram, urad dhal and fry.Add coriander seeds, pepper, red chillies and fry. Finally add grated coconut and fry till golden
  8. Allow to cool and grind to a fine powder
  9. Add the powder to the cooked bitterguard and allow to boil
  10. Now add the mashed dhal and add salt and jaggery
  11. Cook until the dhal mix well
  12. Heat 1 tsp of oil and add mustard seeds. Once it starts spluttering add red chillies. Add this to the pitlai
Step by step pictures