Bitter Gourd Pitlai
Course: Side
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Vaishali Honawar
  • 4-5 bitter gourds , deseeded, then chopped into a medium-small dice
  • 1 lemon-size ball of tamarind , soaked in about a cup of water. After the tamarind softens, crush it in your fingers to extract all the juices from it. Discard the solids.
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2/3 cup of tuvar dal (yellow lentils) and 1/3 cup of bengal gram (chana dal) cooked until tender
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • For the masala:
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 1 tsp black gram (udad dal)
  • 2-3 red chilies , broken into pieces
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  1. Roast the first four ingredients for the masala until reddish. Grind into a smooth paste with the coconut milk.
  2. Boil the pieces of bitter gourd with half the tamarind water, adding more water if necessary, until the vegetables are tender. Drain and reserve.
  3. Heat the remaining tamarind water in a saucepan.
  4. Add the ground masala and let it simmer for a couple of minutes
  5. Add the cooked mixture of bengal gram and tuvar dal and the drained bitter gourd.
  6. Add salt to taste and simmer about 10 minutes
  7. Heat oil in a separate saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds sputter, add to the cooked Pitlai.
  8. Serve hot with rice.