Pavakkai fry |karela fry | Bittergourd fry

Pavakkai fry (sweet and tangy version) is South Indian dish which is prepared by adding spices ,tamarind juice,jaggery powder to the bitter gourd. I hate Pavakkai fry from my childhood because of its bitterness and my mom tries to retain the bitterness as she prepares for my dad and this is very good for diabetes too.My friend Anagha who was keralite brought sambar rice with bitter gourd fry in her tiff-in box which was so tempting to eat so tried one piece ,it did not taste like bitter gourd which i had been eating before :p .Because of her i came to know that they add jaggery at last for sweetness. So customized the spice mixture as per my taste and added jaggery at last which my husband also liked it and wanted to share this recipe with you 😉


  • Pavakai/Karela/bittergourd-3
  • oil – 2 tbsp
  • tamarind juice- 2 tbsp
  • salt – as required
  • Brown sugar-2 tsp

To Grind:

  • channa dal – 1 tsp
  • urad dal – 1 tsp
  • red chilli -3
  • coconut – 1/4 cup
  • coriander seeds -1 tsp
  • poppy seeds – 1 tsp
  • cashews-4

pavakai fry


  • Clean the bitter gourd well and cut into thin pieces.Heat pan with 1 tbsp oil and fry the bittergourd for 5 mins by closing the lid then keep it aside.

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  • Heat pan and dry roast poppy seeds first and once it s color changes slightly transfer to mixie jar.Grind it with cashews

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  • Dry roast the ingredients under to grind section and when it cools  make coarse powder.

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  • Heat pan with 1 tbsp oil and add grinded mixture,bittergourd & tamarind juice then stir well and cook for 10 mins by closing the lid.

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  • Add brown sugar and saute it well and cook for 5 mins.

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Serving Suggestions:

  • Serve with Sambar rice/curd rice.
  •  Dip this sweet bitter gourd fry with ranch and eat it :p

bitter gourd fry

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