Pagarkai theeyal – Pavarkka theeyal – Bittergourd in roasted coconut and spices curry

As we are in the month of Ramadan I couldn’t make recipes for the blog. I cook at night for fasting and prepare food for breaking the fast in the evening so I was not able to take pics for the blog. The recipes I have been posting this month are mostly the ones which I took before Ramadan.

I prepared this Curry like two weeks back. Theeyal is something that goes yummy with Rice. My grandma makes theeyal so amazingly. They are so delicious. I used to grab a plate put some curry and have it plain. It’s that tasty. My grandma, mom and mom’s sisters are the ones who inspired me to cook. The recipes that I cook daily are the ones which I have learnt from them. Try this recipe which has been passed down through generations.

Click here for more Bittergourd recipes

Preparation Time : 10 mins

Cooking Time : 40 mins

Serves : 3


For roasting and Grinding

  • Shallots – 6 to 8
  • Grated coconut – 3/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp

For Tempering

  • Oil – 1 tbsp (I used coconut oil)
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – a pinch
  • Curry leaves – a sprig

For curry

  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Bittergourd – 1(long size) or 1 cup sliced bittergourd
  • Salt to taste
  • Tamarind – a small lemon size


1.Roast shallots for about 2 mins until it turns light golden. You can add a few drops of oil if required. Then add grated coconut to it. Roast them until the colour changes to brown. Place the flame in low and Then add Turmeric powder, Red chilli powder and coriander powder. Roast them well for a minute. The mixture should be dry and roasted well. Transfer them to a blender and grind them well into a fine smooth paste adding water. Soak tamarind in 1/2 cup of water and extract the juice.

2. Wash and cut the bitter gourd into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut them into slices. In a kadai or pan add a teaspoon of oil and saute them well for 5 mins. The bitter gourd will turn light golden. Add salt to it. Add the ground paste, tamarind juice and 1/2 cup of water. Bring it to boil. Cook for 10 mins in low flame. The colour will change and the curry will become thick. Switch off the flame.

3. In a tadka pan add 1 tbsp of oil and temper it with Mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves. Add the Tempering to the curry.

Serve with Rice.

Click here for more Vegetarian curry/kuzhambu recipes.