Home / Lunch / Kasappu Illatha Pavakkai Varuval || Bitterless Bittergourd Fry

Kasappu Illatha Pavakkai Varuval || Bitterless Bittergourd Fry

Pavakkai varuval
Sweet Bittergourd

Bitter-Sweet Bitter gourd Fry..
Bitter gourd isn’t everyone’s’ favourite vegetable. Even it was not in my menu until my husband introduced me to this recipe. And now I am addicted to bitter gourds 😀 Simple and fast cooking is my Husband’s slogan 🙂 So he takes the shortest route to finish his cooking 🙂 This is his method to speed up the frying process….
After the vegetable gets cooked it takes few minutes rather than the regular method where oil needs to be coated on the vegetable to avoid scorching. My mother though has the same procedure but she adds more oil to get the crispiness. And this recipe needs just 2 tbsp of Oil.. Give a try 🙂
Usually there are three ingredients added to bitter gourd to reduce its bitterness. First before cooking, bitter gourds are sprinkled with salt and allowed to release its bitterness and later washed and cooked.
The next is addition of Onions and tomatoes in larger quantity so that the sweetness of onion and tomatoes override the vegetable’s original taste.
The third, Oil, either the vegetable is fried in oil or added in pretty good amount while making the curry.

There are many varieties of bitter gourd available in the market, the long, short, shiny, ridged.. But the basic bitter taste remains the same. The mithi pavakai or the baby bitter gourds which has the lower bitter level when compared to other varieties. Those are seasonal and available during summer season in around Trichy. And who could ever say no to home produce, we do get the share directly harvested from our fields for home us.

Bitter gourd – 2 cup
Onion – 1.5 cup
Tomato – 1.5 cup
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red Chilli powder 1.5 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds and Urad dhal – ¼ tsp each.
Curry leaves

1.In a kadai, add 1 tsp of oil and to it add mustard. After mustard splutters add urad dhal and curry leaves, onions, tomatoes and bitter gourd. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and required salt to the dish .

2.Cover the kadai with a lid and allow the bitter gourd cook for 5 mins in half cup of water.
3.Now it’s the time for the the real process of minimising the bitterness from the dish. You need a tawa, better if it’s a griddle.
4.From kadai, transfer the cooked veggie to oil coated griddle and cook on a medium heat for first 10 mins and later, on a low heat. Give a stir and add oil to avoid scorching .


It’s the caramalisation process which takes over the taste of the dish. The onions and tomatoes break down their heavy structured disaccharides to monosaccharides, which gives the sweetness to the dish.
This process takes around 20 mins , but worth to take a try. If you need more crispy, Oil does that part, add extra oil apart from the given quantity in the recipe.
If you want more sweetness to the dish increase the quantity of onions and tomatoes, but you may need extra chilli powder and salt to balance the sourness of the fruit.

Pavakkai varuval
Sweet Bittergourd

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