There is a good probability you’ve got looked for immunity boosting elements or recipes ever for the reason that COVID-19 lockdowns started. One of many elements which may have popped up throughout these searches is bitter gourd – a vegetable filled with anti-oxidants. It additionally boasts of a excessive Vitamin-C content material. If there’s one factor I miss throughout this time, it is the well being juice and smoothie counters at breakfast buffet counters that assist you to add wholesome elements like bitter gourd into morning juices together with different fruits or greens. The proper detox drink on an empty abdomen. Bitter gourd (or bitter melon) does not simply belong in juices although.

Throughout Asia, this vegetable is used creatively, nowhere extra so than South India. There’s greater than only one technique to prepare dinner bitter gourd, and due to this fact, improve the frequency of consumption of this vegetable that additionally incorporates phytonutrient, polypeptide-P – a plant insulin that helps decrease blood sugar ranges. Therefore, this vegetable is really helpful by diabetologists throughout India. Bitter gourd is a surprisingly versatile vegetable. I’ve found quite a lot of dishes throughout South India which are made with each sizes of this vegetable accessible in markets within the area.

Additionally Learn: Why You Must Begin Including Bitter Meals in Your Every day Weight-reduction plan


Right here Are 3 South Indian Recipes That Might Assist Increase Your Immunity:

Pavakkai Pitlai

Recipe Courtesy – Viji Varadarajan

(Creator and recipe skilled)

This dish all the time evokes nostalgia and is without doubt one of the first bitter gourd dishes that I loved as a toddler. I sampled an genuine model of this dish throughout a culinary session with Viji Varadarajan, culinary skilled and writer in Chennai. In response to her, the important thing to this straightforward dish, is the pitlai powder or the easy masala that’s used on this dish. A delicacy in lots of vegetarian houses, it is a dish reserved for particular and festive events. This dish is greatest eaten with rice.

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Bitter gourd: 200 gm

Tur dal: 1/2 cup

Thick tamarind pulp: 1.5 teaspoons

Asafoetida powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Turmeric: 1/4 teaspoon

Curry leaves: 10

Salt: 1/2 teaspoon (or to style)

Cooking oil: 1 teaspoon

Mustard: 1/4 teaspoon


Prepare dinner the dal.

Quarter the vegetable discarding the inside seed (You can prepare dinner it with the vegetable if the seed is mushy).

Boil the bitter gourd (add salt as you do) for 10-12 minutes or till tender.

Warmth oil, pop the mustard.

Add cooked lentil, tamarind paste, the cooked bitter gourd and pitlai powder (you would purchase this or make it at residence. Dry roast just a few items of coconut after which in a separate pan add asafoetida to a spoon of oil after which 2 tablespoons of urad dal and channa dal after which 3 tablespoons of coriander seeds and 10-12 purple chillies. Grind this combination together with the coconut and retailer in an hermetic jar in a cool, dry place).

Simmer it for a couple of minutes until the gravy turns thick.

Add the crushed curry leaves and stir earlier than you’re taking it off the range.

Pavakkya Pachadi – recipe

This conventional Kerala pachadi that I first sampled as a part of a sadya (conventional banana leaf meal) in central Kerala is sort of as scrumptious as a vendakai pachadi (bhindi raitha). This can be a nice technique to serve bitter gourd and would possibly even work for youths. Serve this with rice, sambar and a poriyal or thoran (stir-fried greens) or fried-fish.


Bitter gourd: 3-4

Shallots: 8-10

Inexperienced chilli: 1 (non-obligatory)

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Curd: as required

Salt: to style

Grated coconut: 50 gm

Mustard: 1 teaspoon

Pink chilli: 1

Curry leaves: just a few


Grind the coconut with 1/4 teaspoon of mustard seeds and a dollop of curd.

Clear the insides of the bitter gourd.

Fry the shallots until they alter color, then add the bitter gourd and slit inexperienced chilli.

Add this to the curd with the coconut paste and stir.

Mood the mustard, purple chilli and curry leaves and pour it over the curd and bitter gourd, Stir effectively.

Pavaykkai (Bitter Gourd) Puli (Tamarind) Curry – recipe

This can be a easy recipe that I first tried in Southern Tamil Nadu. It really works solely with the smaller, bite-sized bitter gourd. The tamarind (therefore the title puli curry) and jaggery neutralise the style of the bitter gourd. This dish is a superb accompaniment for dosa or idli and may also be blended with rice like a kuzhambu (thick gravy).


Small bitter gourd: 250 gm

Shallots (Small onion): 100 gm

Inexperienced chilli: 3-4 (slit)

Tamarind: measurement of a small lemon

Sesame oil: 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon

Grated jaggery: 1 tablespoon

Garlic: 5-6 pods

Fenugreek: 1 teaspoon

Curry leaves: just a few sprigs

Sambar powder (non-obligatory) 1 teaspoon

Urad dal: 1 teaspoon

Salt: to style

Chilli powder: to style

Turmeric: 1/2 teaspoon


Soak the tamarind in heat water and extract the juice.

Mood the mustard, urad dal, fenugreek and curry leaves in sesame oil.

Fry the shallots within the oil, then add the garlic and salt and turmeric powder.

As soon as they brown add the bitter gourd and fry briefly. Add chilli powder if requited.

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Add the tamarind water and the jaggery and let it boil until it reaches a thick gravy (kuzhambu) consistency.

About Ashwin RajagopalanI’ve found cultures, locations and felt at residence in among the world’s most distant corners due to the varied meals I’ve tried which have been ready with ardour. Generally they’re conventional recipes and at most instances they have been audacious reinterpretations by artistic cooks. I won’t prepare dinner typically however once I do, I think about I am in a cookery present set – matching measuring bowls, et all!