Friday, April 1, 2011

Pavakka Kuzhambu (Kakarakaya/Karela/bitter guard)

You only have 1 Pavakka and you have to make do with that. Who do you? Ha ha! we will make Pavakka kuzhambu :)
Like any other zuzhambu's this is very tasty and requires very less oil. Apparently eating bitter guard is really good for diabetic people.

Pavakka: 1, chopped in to round slices
Onion: 1 medium, chopped
Tomato: 1 medium, chopped
Curry eaves: 1 tring
Garlic Cloves: 4 big or 8 small
Jaggery: 1 tsp (Optional)
Oil: 1 tbsp

Sambar powder: 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/8 tsp
Salt: 1 tsp
Tamarind paste: 1 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds: 1/8 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds. When they dance, add the fenugreek and fennel seeds followed by curry leaves. Now add the garlic.
  • Now add the onions and tomatoes. Roast for a minute and add the bitter guard pieces. 
  • Fry until bitter guard is close to being completely cooked.
  • While the bitter guard is being fried, take 3 cups of water and mix everything under "Masala".
  • Once the bitter guard is close to completing, pour in the masala water and stir.
  • Simmer down the flame and let the curry boil until it reduces to 1/3 or until the desired consistency. You can now add the jaggery.
Switch off the stove and enjoy the kuzhambu with hot rice :)

Tip: Usually kuzhambu's give a great taste when cooked in simmer for a long time.


  1. Pavakka Kuzhambu looks nice...My hubby wud love it...without jaggery..;)

  2. Love pavakka and this looks a drool worthy curry,love this with hot rice.

  3. wow...loved the recipe dear ! my hubby loves bitter gourd a lot ! would love to try this recipe !

  4. Very healthy recipe...i will prepare at least once in week,love ur version...delicious kuzhambu.

  5. Very healthy and inviting dish dear. Looks awesome.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  6. A very healthy dish. Hope to make it some time:-)

  7. never try in this style healthy dish

  8. lovely recipe bittergourd with tomato, tamarind paste and sambar powder. sure the taste will be grt. yummy

  9. Healthy delicious kuzhambu dear :)

  10. My mom make this kuzhambu as urs,havent had since a long,simply drooling here..

  11. Nice n new way to cook karela- will try your version!

    US Masala

  12. love this recipe and karela tooo a lot!! :)