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Pavakkai thokku / Gojju | Karela curry | Bitter gourd curry

Pavakkai thokku / Gojju | Karela curry | Bitter gourd curry

Pavakkai thokku, a tasty,spicy and tangy tamarind based bitter gourd curry with video and pictures. How many of you love bitter gourd or pavakkai in Tamil, Karela in Hindi??? Not many I guess as this tastes bitter and the appearance of bitter gourd is also not so appealing 😉

But I have read somewhere that bitter gourd is a beauty Gourd for plenty of reasons, we benefit from this vegetable. There are many ways in India this bitter gourd is used, like Karela juice, Karela chips or pavakka chips and in sambar, curry and many more.

It’s very difficult to make the kids to eat bitter gourd whatever form you make it. I have tried many ways to incorporate this pavakkai in our regular meal, but always I get the expression from my kiddos as “oh Mom this one…no no please”.

Once I happen to taste an excellent recipe(pavakkai thokku or gojju as she calls it)from my dear friend Pavi and believe me, it was awesome. you will never know that it is made of bitter gourd unless you mention it specifically. She was packing it for her husband who went for a Short trip onsite and she gave me a bit to taste. She inherited this recipe from her mom.

From that day on wards, I was thinking to make it one day and got the recipe from her, made it and yes 🙂 it was a hit in our home too. I hope I could achieve 99% of her original recipe taste. Surprisingly my kids didn’t complain about the bitterness and had it happily with potato fry and papad. So I think enough of the background story about this excellent pavakkai thokku and let us see few health notes about this bitter gourd.

Bitter gourd is a rich source of vitamins and minerals it contains iron, magnesium, potassium and vitamins like A and C. It also contains twice the calcium of spinach and Beta carotene of Broccoli. Various antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds are present in bitter gourd. It has polypeptide, which has anti-diabetic properties actively help in reducing blood sugar levels.

It also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels, does reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. That’s not all. It strengthens the immune system, improve respiratory health and many more. So we got enough reasons now to go on and learn this recipe 🙂

Do not worry about over cooking bitter gourd as none of the nutrients are lost except some amount of vitamin C. Our aim here is to overcoming the intense bitterness of this vegetable. You can keep this thokku for a week or two in fridge.

 

Pavakka thokku

Pavakkai thokku Gojju / bitter gourd curry

Sangskitchen
Pavakkai thokku, a tasty,spicy and tangy tamarind based bitter gourd curry with video and pictures.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4
Calories 100 kcal

Ingredients
  

Ingredients:

  • 1 big bitter gourd
  • 2 big onions
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 green chilli
  • 4 Red Chillies
  • 4 garlic pods
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1.5 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp salt or as required
  • 1 tomato sized tamarind
  • Water as required
  • 1 tbsp jaggery powder

To season:

  • 4 tbsp gingelly oil
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1 tsp jeera/cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds/ methi seeds

Instructions
 

Preparation:

  • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly with running water.
  • Cut and remove the seeds.
  • Chop it finely. You can make fine slits as shown and then chop them to get fine small pieces.
  • Soak tamarind in warm water and extract thick tamarind water/juice. Keep aside.
  • Chop onions and tomatoes finely.
  • Crush garlic pods.

Recipe to make pavakkai thokku:

  • Heat gingelly oil in a pan; add mustard jeera seeds and fenugreek seeds.
  • Let the mustard splutter and fenugreek/methi seeds turn to golden brown.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves and fry them nicely in oil.
  • Also add chopped green chillies, slit red chillies and crushed garlic pods.
  • Saute everything nicely until you get a nice aroma from chillies and garlic.
  • Now put chopped tomatoes and fry with onions.
  • Let the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
  • Add salt required for this thokku at this stage. This helps tomatoes to cook fast.
  • Now add turmeric and chilli powders. Mix with masala.
  • Add chopped bitter gourd and saute well.
  • Let the vegetable absorb the spices for some 5 minutes. Keep sauteing to avoid burning the bottom.
  • Add some water (approx. half cup) to cook the spices with vegetable.
  • When the bitter gourd is almost 3/4th cooked add thick tamarind extract.
  • Let the vegetable cook in tamarind water until it shrinks in quantity. Stir often, No need to close the lid. As we have chopped finely, the vegetable gets cooked fast.
  • After around ten minutes the tamarind water thickens and pavakkai absorbs tanginess along with spices.
  • The curry should have thick thokku consistency and not watery. Keep on stove in medium flame until you achieve that stage.
  • At last, when the oil separates and floats on top of thokku, add powdered jaggery and mix.
  • Switch off after two minutes.
  • Serve with hot rice with potato fry or simply papad. This pavakkai thokku/gojju tastes great with dosa and chapati also.

Video

Notes

Tips: 1. Adding jaggery enhances the tanginess of the thokku and you can avoid if you don’t like. 2. Adjust spice level based on your taste. 3. Use only gingelly oil as this gives excellent taste.

Nutrition

Calories: 100kcal
Keyword bitter gourd spicy curry, karela curry, pavakkai thokku
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Pictorial:

Preparation:

  • Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly with running water.
  • Cut and remove the seeds.
  • Chop it finely. You can make fine slits as shown and then chop them to get fine small pieces.

Pavakkai thokku - slits

  • Soak tamarind in warm water and extract thick tamarind water/juice. Keep aside.
  • Chop onions and tomatoes finely.
  • Crush garlic pods.
  • Actual recipe calls for frying the bittergourd pieces before starting the procedure of cooking. I didnot do it for oil reasons. You can fry and keep aside if you like.

Recipe to make pavakkai thokku:

  • Heat gingelly oil in a pan; add mustard jeera seeds and fenugreek seeds.

Pavakkai thokku - methi seeds,mustard Pavakkai thokku - jeera

  • Let the mustard splutter and fenugreek seeds turn to golden brown.
  • Add chopped onions and curry leaves and fry them nicely in oil.

Pavakkai thokku - onions,curry leaves Pavakkai thokku - green chilli

  • Also add chopped green chillies, slit red chillies and crushed garlic pods.

Pavakkai thokku - red chilli Pavakkai thokku - garlic

  • Saute everything nicely until you get a nice aroma from chillies and garlic.
  • Now put chopped tomatoes and fry with onions.

Pavakkai thokku - tomato

  • Let the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.
  • Add salt required for this thokku at this stage. This helps tomatoes to cook fast.

Pavakkai thokku - salt

  • Now add turmeric and chilli powders. Mix with masala.

Pavakkai thokku - turmeric Pavakkai thokku - chilli powder

  • Add chopped bittergourd and saute well.
  • Let the vegetable absorb the spices for some 5 minutes. Keep sautéing to avoid burning the bottom.

Pavakkai thokku - bitter gourd

  • Add some water approx. half cup to cook the spices with vegetable.

Pavakkai thokku - water

  • When the bitter gourd is almost 3/4th cooked add thick tamarind extract.

Pavakkai thokku - 3/4th cooked Pavakkai thokku - tamarind

  • Let the vegetable cook in tamarind water until it shrinks in quantity. Stir often, No need to close the lid. As we have chopped finely, the vegetable gets cooked fast. Add extra water to adjust consistency.

Pavakkai thokku - tamarindwater

  • After around ten minutes the tamarind water thickens and pavakkai absorbs tanginess along with spices.
  • The curry should have thick thokku consistency not watery. Keep on stove in medium flame until you achieve that stage and keep stirring.
  • At last, when the oil separates and floats on top of thokku, add powdered jaggery and mix.
  • Switch off after two minutes.

Pavakkai thokku - jaggery

  • Serve with hot rice with potato fry or simply papad. This pavakkai thokku/gojju tastes great with dosa and chapati also.

Pavakkai thokku - ready

Pavakkai thokku - serve

Tips:

  1. Adding jaggery enhances the tanginess of the thokku and you can avoid if you don’t like.
  2. Adjust spice level based on your taste.
  3. Use only gingelly oil as this gives excellent taste.
  4. You can fry the pieces in the same pan and keep aside if you like. That way you will get even more tastier thokku.

You may like my other recipes:

Potato fry, Avarakkai poriyal, Beetroot stirfry, Omapodi mixture, Onion bajji

Vendaikkai fry

4 Comments

  1. Beautiful blog of beautiful gourd from a beautiful hands….????????with a beautiful background story????semmma….????????

  2. Thank you…it’s my friend’s recipe…

  3. Super recipe. With hot rice very good taste.

  4. 5 stars
    Thanks Guys, Your Recipe Was Too Fantastic. Me and My Family Loved it. I Will definitely Share your Rrecipe with my friends.

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