Feb 1, 2016

458: Pavakkai Masala Fry/ Bitter gourd Masala Fry

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Bitter gourd or bitter melon as it is called has always been a neglected food among a large part of the population. But what we tend to forget is the wonderful health benefits that are hidden in this not-so-frequently-used vegetable. Bitter gourd is rich in various vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. The vegetable helps strengthen the immune system in children, rendering them less vulnerable to diseases.

Indian cuisine seeks a satisfying balance of taste - Sweet, sour, Salty and three types of bitter. According to Ayurvedic belief eating layered and balanced flavors, encourages proper digestion and the release of positive, nurturing energy from the foods we eat.

This masala based bitter gourd fry is very easy to prepare and tasty too.
I bet you would surely like this recipe, if you are a fan of bitter gourd.


Bitter gourd/Pavakkai -         4 nos.  
Turmeric Powder                   ¼ Tsp.
Salt                                     To Taste.
Coconut oil                           2 tbsp.

For Fry and Grind Coarsely

Tamarind                               very small ball. (Goli size)
Coriander seeds                     1 ½ Tbsp.
Fennel seeds                          ½ Tsp.        

Roasted Peanuts                     3 Tbsp.
Dry Coconut                           ¼ cup
Coriander leaves with stalk     ½ bunch
Byadagi /Guntur Chilies          10 no.

For Seasoning 
Coconut Oil                            1 Tbsp.
Mustard seeds                        1 Tsp.
Chenna dhal                           1 Tsp.
Urdh dhal                               1 Tsp.
Curry Leaves                          1 string


  • Wash and cut the bitter gourd cube sizes.  (if you want  you can Remove the seeds ).
  • Heat  oil in the pan, fry all the grinding masala except coriander leaves and dry coconut.
  • Grind the ingredients under for grinding, except Copra, when it is powdered coarsely and Copra and grind once more, keep aside.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a kadai and add all seasonings and fry them until they change colour to golden brown.
  • Now add the chopped bitter gourd and salt, sauté them for 10 mins or till slight colour change (Take care not to burn the bitter gourd).
  • Now add Once the bitter gourd is fried well, add this powdered mixture to it, and sauté well, until well combined, adjust salt and use the rest of oil remaining and close the lid and leave it in the low flame for at least 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Now your Bitter gourd dry curry is ready to be served with hot rice.
  • This curry stays for 2 days at least.

  • To reduce the bitterness select bitter gourd which are less green in color and with less thrones.
  • Soaking the pieces in salt water will reduce the bitterness.
  • Try to slice the veggies evenly.
  • You can try the similar method with vegetables like brinjal or cauliflower and  potatoes too .

My Other Bitter gourd Recipes are:

Pavakkai Kichadi                                    Pavakkai Puli Kuzhambhu

 Pavakkai Kichadi                                 

Bittergourd Stir Fry                                Pavakkai Fries

 Bitter Gourd Stir Fry                               

Jan 29, 2016

457: Vendakkai Sambhar/ Ladyfingers Sambhar/Okra Sambhar

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South Indian meal is incomplete without Sāmbhar. Though I already posted few Sāmbhar recipes, I want to post one more Sāmbhar recipe.   Make delicious Vendakkai /Lady Finger Sambhar using this simple recipe from Madappalli.


 Chopped Lady Finger            1 ½  cups
Toovar dhal/ Pigeon Peas          1/2 cup
Chopped Green chilies           2 Nos
Tamarind                             gooseberry sized
Curry leaves                         few
Tomato                                1 No.
Salt                                     to Taste.

Spice Powders
Coriander Powder                  1 Tbsp.
Red chili Powder                    1-2  Tsp.(Adjust to your spice level)
Sambhar Powder                   2 Tbsp.
Asafetida Powder                  ¼ Tsp.
For Seasoning    
Coconut Oil                           1 Tbsp.
Mustard seeds                       1 Tbsp.
Methi seeds                           1/8 tsp.         
Dry red chilies                       4 no. (Split)


  • Pressure cook the dal with tomato, green chilies and turmeric powder with 1 ½ cup of water until dal is soft for 2-3 whistles. Mash is gently and set aside.
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and pureed the juice throwing out the fiber and keep aside.
  • Wash the okra using a colander drain the excess water. Place it on a kitchen towel pat dry.
  • Chop the okra into 1 inch pieces please check it there is any bug inside use a dry chopping board and knife.
  • Heat the 1 Tsp of coconut oil in  a pan , add chopped okra fry for 3 mins in medium flame.When its thoroughly fried, add all spice Powder  and fry for a minute.
  • Now add the tamarind water and salt and cook for 8 to 10 mins , until its cooks well and leaves out nice aroma.
  • Once it cooks well, add the cooked dal to the mixture and bring it to a boil.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the dry red chilies and curry leaves. Fry well.
  • Add this tempering to the sambhar. Now Tasty Sambhar is ready to serve.
  • We can also pair this sambar with simple and delicious potato fry, plantain fry (varuval), just any easy dry side dish makes a great complete meal.

Some Simple Tips

  • Toovar dal must be cooked very well and mashed well while it is hot itself.
  • Tamarind proportion should be correct. (not more and not less than required).
  • Sambar powder(click the link to see the recipe) is the main thing which decides the taste (I have posted recipe of sambar powder which my mother has been making all these years and praised by all)
  • Using Coconut oil for tempering and adding very little Methi seeds along with mustard makes a lot of difference.
  • Don’t allow to boil the sambar after adding dal water.
  • Just have these points in mind, prepare sambar, you will end up with an excellent one.
  • Taste differs from home to home or even person to person. The quantity of ingredients such as Sambhar powders, chili powders, salt can be varied according to individual taste.

You can also check other Sambhar Recipes here:

Hotel Sambhar                                    Udipi Sambhar             


Milaghai Sambhar                                           Sambhar



Jan 22, 2016

456: Dahi Papdis Chaat

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Papdi chaat as the name suggests has lots of papdis, tossed in a blend of chutneys, curds and potatoes. Mix the papdis, chutneys and curds the way you want. Here Is a Quick Delicious Chaat Recipe to trigger your taste buds!


Crispy Papdis                                20 nos
Potatoes boiled and chopped          2 medium
Whisked Plain curds (Yogurt)         1 cups
Sweet tamarind chutney                4 Tbsp.
Green Chutney                             4 Tbsp
Roasted cumin powder                  1 teaspoon
Chaat masala                               1/2 teaspoon
Red chilli powder                           1/2 teaspoon
Sugar                                          1 Tsp.
Salt                                             To Taste.  
For The Garnish

Finely chopped coriander              4 tbsp
Sev                                            as required 


  • Add salt and sugar to yogurt and whisk till smooth. Keep it in the refrigerator till use.
  • Coarsely crushed Papdis and arrange them on a serving plate.
  • Place some potatoes on each papdi. Drizzle a little green chutney and sweet tamarind chutney.
  • Sprinkle cumin powder, chaat masala, a little red chilli powder and salt.
  • Top it all up with chilled yogurt.
  • Drizzle some more of the sweet tamarind chutney, Green chutney on it.
  • Serve immediately garnished with coriander and sev.

Ready Steady Go...... Gulp Gulp Mmmmm Mmmm.........
Enjoy Making this yummy chaat and feasting over it!! 

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