Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Not So Bitter Affair!

Recipe: Kaipakka Pachadi (Bitter Gourd in Coconut and Curd Gravy)

 I post this recipe on special request by my dear cousin sister V.
Kaipakka Pachadi is a traditional Kerala dish usually eaten mixed with rice and tastes even better if you could manage to get some spicy, tangy mango pickle to lick on.

I am not usually a bitter gourd person …. But the way my mom makes it, I think, anyone can have and even enjoy bitter gourd, bitter- less!!!

The rule of thump to be followed while choosing bitter gourd is to always go for the white or light green variety and to avoid the dark green ones. The white/ light green ones are much less bitter than their other counterparts and makes tastier pachadi too.
Another tip for making good pachadi is to use curd that’s sour.

Here where I live, the white variety of bitter gourds are not always available, so bitter gourds are never on my shopping list. But this time turned lucky for me as I arrived at the supermarket right in time to see a fresh load of white bitter gourds being stacked.
I wasted no time in grabbing a couple of them as I had been waiting to make this dish ever since my sis had asked me to.

 So, this one is for you chechi.

KAIPAKKA PACHADI (Bitter Gourd in Coconut and Curd Gravy)


Bitter gourds – 1 big sliced finely
Grated coconut – ¾ cup
Curd – if not sour 1 cup. If sour ½ cup
Mustard seeds – a pinch
Green chillies – 4-5
Oil (coconut oil preferred)
Dry red chillies – 2 halved
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Curry leaves – a bunch
Salt to taste


Rub some salt into the finely sliced bitter gourd, keep aside for 15 mins and then squeeze out the water. This step helps reduce the bitterness of the vegetable.

Heat some oil in a pan and fry the bitter gourd till light brown. Use a slotted spoon to scoop out the fried bitter gourd and place them on a tissue paper to drain out excess oil.

In the same oil fry the green chillies till crisp and strain them out too.

In the jar of your blender add the grated coconut, fried chillies, curd and a pinch of mustard seed and blend into a smooth paste. Add water as required.

Heat a tbsp of oil in a wok, when the oil is hot enough add ¼ tsp of mustard seed and wait for them to splutter. Now add the dry red chillies and curry leaves and finally pour in the ground coconut- curd paste and stir continuously. Now add the fried bitter gourd into this mixture.
If you feel you curry is too thick you may add some water.

Just as the curry starts boiling switch off the flame and transfer it into a serving dish.

You may now enjoy your very bitter less bitter gourd pachadi (curry)

PS: sending this too to the hostess , Kaveri of Palakad Chamayal, for this months Kerala Kitchen Contest


  1. i love pachadis... but never tried bitter gourd pachadi.. this looks tempting!

  2. I actually love bitter gourd a lot! This is a perfect dish for me.

  3. sarah,angie.... bitter gourd pachadi is really worth a try and never ever bitter too :)