How to prepare Paavaka Theeyal

How to prepare Paavaka Theeyal

Bitter Gourd (Kaipakka, Pavakkai) Theeyal is one of the best Kerala dishes which are well cooked in tamarind and roasted in coconut sauce. Theeyal that gives unique aroma and taste it from roasted coconut. Tamarind and coconut masks that bitters the bitter gourd pieces which makes it delectable that even to bitter gourd haters.


  • Bitter gourd- 2 big or 3 small 
  • Shallots (Sambhar Onions) – 5 (chopped)
  • Garlic – 5 cloves (chopped)
  • Tamarind – Gooseberry sized 
  • Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
  • Coriander Powder – 3 tbsp
  • Red Chilly Powder – 2 tbsp(or to taste)
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tbsp
  • Curry Leaves – 1 spring
  • Coconut Oil –  2 tbsp


  • Soak up the tamarind in warm water and that soften when you get any other things done.
  • Chop up the bitter gourd into small cubes or into semi circles.
  • Dry up all the roast grated coconut, garlic cloves and shallots on to a low flame until it turns golden brown in color which may take about 10 mins.
  • After it cools just make it into a smooth paste with little water and keep it aside.
  • Just heat oil into kadai and splutter up the mustard seeds, curry leaves and fenugreek seeds.
  • Add up the bitter gourd pieces and saute it for about good for 8-10 minutes. This step reduces the bitter gourd bitterness.
  • Add little coriander powder, tumeric powder, chilli powder. Fry for about 30 seconds.
  • Extract up the pulp from soaked tamarind and add up to it. Add up coconut paste, and add little amount of salt and water. 
  • After the gravy boils that reduce the flame and simmer it to cook for 15-20 minutes till oil floats on top.

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