April 04, 2016

Pavaikka Pitlai

Ingredients  needed for Pavaikka Pitlai                                                      
1 cup Pavaikka / Bitter gourd
Tamarind – Lemon sized ball
Tuar Dal – 3 tblsps
Jaggery – 1 tblsp
Turmeric  Powder – ½ tsp

To be roasted and ground to a smooth paste
Asfoetida – small piece
Channa Dal – 1 tsp
Black pepper – ¼ tsp
Dried Red Chillies – 3- 4
Grated Coconut – ½ cup

For Seasoning
2 tsps Coconut Oil
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
a few Curry leaves

How to prepare Pavaikka Pitlai?
Soak tamarind in hot water for about 10 mins. Squeeze and extract tamarind juice. Keep aside.  Pressure cook tur dal. Once cooked mash it well and keep aside. Cut bitter gourd through into two halves.Remove the white part and then slice finely.
Apply a little salt all over the bitter gourds and keep aside for 10 minutes. Squeeze out the extra water to remove the bitterness. 
In a pan, add a tsp of oil and fry the bitter gourd pieces to a golden colour.
In a saucepan,add the tamarind extract, fried bitter gourd pieces, turmeric powder, salt and jaggery.
Let it boil till the raw smell of tamarind goes and the vegetable gets cooked.
Heat a tsp of oil, add asafoetida, channa dal fry for a minute and then add the pepper with chillies. Fry this till the Channa dal turns a nice golden color. Remove and fry the grated coconut in the same pan for a few mins. Grind to a smooth paste.
Once the vegetable is cooked add the mashed dal and stir well. As it starts boiling add the coconut paste. Let it boil for about 2 mins. Check the gravy for consistency and add water if necessary. Remove from heat.
Heat a tsp of coconut oil, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Pour it on top of the Pitlai.
Serve with steaming hot rice and poriyal / thoran.
You can also serve it as an accompaniment with Idly, Dosa or even Adai.

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