Pavakkai Varuval – Crispy Bitter Gourd Stir Fry – Bitter Gourd Stir Fry – Varutha Pagarkai – Indian Bitter Gourd Stir Fry – is a slightly crispy, crunchy , spicy version of bitter gourd stir fry. This is one of the favorites at home, yes you heard it RIGHT! favorite it is 🙂 if made this way no one ever realize that they are eating bitter gourd and happily go for second or third serve! This recipe needs to done with chinna vengayam / pearl onion / shallots.. to get the right taste. and also drinks up time… slow roasting the gourd gives the right taste and texture. Lets see how to make this south indian style pavakkai varuval or varutha pagarkai….
Disclaimer: Bitter Gourd thick skin, spongy flesh and soft white seeds are edible… ripe yellowish skin with orange flesh and red seeds not safe to consume, they are poisonous. When you cut the gourd if you see any of the parts looking red or orange, discard right away!
Ingredients - to temper
- 3 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon split black gram
- 5 leaves curry leaves
Ingredients - for saute
- 4 cups bitter Gourd cut into thin discs
- 1 cup onion / shallots preferably chinna vengayam
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon red chilli powder spicy variety
- 1 teaspoon jaggery
- 1 teaspoon salt kallu uppu/ crystal salt
- 1/4 cup coriander leaves finely chopped
- 5 leaves curry leaves finely chopped
- Heat oil in a large wide pan.
- Temper with split black gram, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- Add in the sliced bitter gourd with jaggery and crushed garlic (with skin) and saute for few minutes over high flame.
- Bring the flame to low medium, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring in between.
- Now add in the sliced shallots and saute for 5 minutes.
- Add in turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and and salt. Saute this over medium flame for next 15 minutes.
- The mixture will turn dry, the onions will caramelize and the bitter gourd will turn soft with crisp edges.
- Add in the chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves and saute for another few minutes and switch off.
Wash the bitter gourd, trim the edges and cut them into thin discs.
You may use the spongy flesh along with seeds are edible if they look white and soft. It its too reddish with mature seeds… then discard, its not safe to eat. We at home like to chew on the juice from the seed while eating… you may discard if you think is a hassle while chewing.
Heat oil in a large wide pan. Temper with split black gram, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Add the cut bitter gourd along with jaggery.
Followed by crushed garlic along with the garlic skins, yes you heard it right… with the skin on! Saute for few minutes.
Bring the flame to low medium, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes stirring in between.
After 10 minutes it will cook to tender with light brown crispy corners. Add in the sliced onions(preferably chinna vengayam) and saute for few minutes.
Add in turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt.
Fry them for next 20 minutes over low flame… stirring every now and then.
Slow roasting will gradually caramelize the onions, the bitter gourd will turn brown and lightly crisp. Those dals will turn crunch crunch. KAKARAKAYA KOORA
Now add in the chopped coriander and curry leaves and saute again over low flame for few more minutes and switch off!
And thats how it will look.. perfectly slow roasted bitter gourd which will never taste bitter 🙂
Here’s a closer look… this is our family favorite ….its hard to believe but its true…they ask for more! You got to… try!
- Jaggery is good for you… adding jaggery will balance the bitterness in the gourd.
- Using chinna vengayam / shallots is a must for this recipe… they are naturally sweet and also help with balancing the bitterness.
- Bitter gourd skin, spongy flesh and soft white seeds are edible. But ripe red bitter gourd with red flesh and red seeds are poisonous, do not consume.