arachuvita pagarkai puli kuzhambu / bitter gourd in tamarind sauce

Puli kuzhambu must be everyone's favourite. Pagarkai has wonderful medicinal property and used for the treatment of diabetes patients. I was thinking that bitter gourd grows only in india. But this is not true. It grows in many other southeast Asian countries, also in china and Africa . It is often used in chinese cooking in stir fried meat dishes. i have heard that bitter gourd juice helps to enhance body stamina. but overconsumption of the same may surely cause very low blood sugar level in the body.

  • pagarkai / bitter gourd 1 (cut into round, thin slices)
  • shallots 8
  • medium sized tomato 1
  • garlic 4pods
  • tamarind paste 1 1/2tbsp
  • coriander powder 1 1/2tbsp
  • Red chilli powder 1tbsp
  • kuzhambu milagai thool 1tbsp ( i used aachi brand)
  • turmeric powder 1/2tsp
  • red chilli 1
  • curry leaves few
  • jaggery little (optional)
  • mustard seeds 1tsp
  • fenugreek seeds 1/2tsp
  • fennel seeds 1/2tsp
  • salt to taste
  • canola oil/sunflower oil/ gingelly oil 3tbsp

  • heat 1tbsp of oil in a kadai and fry onions, tomatoes, and garlic in it. Grind it into a paste.
  • Now, heat 3tbsp of in a pan and add mustards, fenugreek seeds,fennel seeds, curry leaves and red chilli.
  • Add the bitter gourd to it, and saute well till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add the ground paste and fry till the oil seperates from the paste.
  • Add coriander powder, red chilli powder, kuzhambu milagai thool and turmeric powder to it and fry well.
  • add tamarind paste with 4 cups of water. add salt to taste. allow it to boil for 7 to 8 minutes. The kuzhambu has to become think in consistency. you can even add a pinch of jaggery (optional) before putting off the stove.
  • serve it with steamed rice and pappad.


  1. Hey I tried this bitter recipe...tats was really tasty...

  2. Hi, I have an event for bitter gourd, if you wish you can send it to that..plz. check out my blog for details..

  3. I am an amateur, but following the recipe directions, I made a wonderful kulambu. For consistency, I added Amchur Powder (Maavatral podi) available in Indian stores.

    Thanks for the recipe!


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