Pavakka kichadi / Bittergourd in Yogurt / Nadan pavakka kichadi / Kerala recipe

Bitter gourd kichadi for all those who can stand a little bit of bitterness 🙂

 You know how people from North and South  Kerala still continue to differ on recipes of  kichadi and pachadi. I guess there is no right or wrong ,what’s in the name when you relish the curry right!!! Really thick version of this curry is usually served for feasts.Okay before you start thinking is this served in my place.. I will come back with the white recipe soon if ur side of Kerala does not serve this for Sadhya!!!:))

I can tell you that pavakka kichadi has perfect balance of flavors with salty,sweet ,sour and of course lil bitterness.This age old recipe comes to you directly from our Granny.

We generally use white bitter gourd to make kichadi at home but I have used green ones here which  have  a really strong bitter taste.



Bitter gourds-3 small

Coconut grated- 1/2 cup
Jeera/ cumin- a small pinch
Green chili- 1-2
Yogurt / curd- 1 cup(really sour)
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Mustard- 1/2 tsp
whole red chili-1 -2
Curry leaves -a few
Salt to taste
Small pinch of sugar
Use coconut oil



1.Wash and cut bitter gourd into two ,remove seeds and  slice each half into very thin slices.
2.Heat coconut oil -( few spoons) and fry the gourd pieces till crisp and brown.Or heat two tsp of oil and saute gourd till it is slightly brown then sprinkle some water cover and steam it till tender and cooked.That way u can reduce oil (but it will tender not crisp).Add salt  and keep aside
3.Grind the coconut , cumin , green chili and turmeric powder,  little salt adding yogurt to a coarse mixture adding 1/2 glass water(optional) .
4.Heat the mixture when one bubble comes remove from flame.
5.In another pan heat coconut oil -2 -3 tsps add mustard when it crackles add whole red chili ,curry leaves when it becomes crisp pour it onto the curry.
6.When the gourd pieces and the curry is slightly cool mix both together and add a very small pinch of sugar
Serve it along with rice and other curries ,thoran etc..

Note :

  • Add bitter gourd to curry when both have cooled down or the curry will taste slightly more bitter.
  • You may make it very thick or little bit watery to pour on top of rice.
  • I prefer the cover and cook method to deep frying one for all the nutritional value.

One of my  dear readers PKT  have suggested a brilliant idea of replacing fresh bitter gourd with dried one (kondattam/ vattal) to reduce bitterness.

If only everyday was a festival or feast day! Since it is not the pavakka  kichadi is ideal for a simple Sunday lunch to go with Kerala rice ,fish fry and some mezhukupuratti.

PS: A full plate of rice simply shows  our love for serving a meal .Please don’t mistake it as our portion sizes everyday:))

 Oh almost forgot… here is a parcel that came for me recently any guess on what it could be ??? and there is a impatient one trying to open it:))

Hope to hear from you guys.


34 Replies to “Pavakka kichadi / Bittergourd in Yogurt / Nadan pavakka kichadi / Kerala recipe”

  1. Chitz

    That's an ipad??? Or a tab?? Tell me fast pls 🙂 This recipe is something new to me or as u said the name differs in different parts of Kerala.. Have not heard of using pavakka in moru curry… But am soo happy that u shared this.. I was looking for new recipes with bitter gourd and here comes urs.. Bookmarked.. And ur platter of kuthari choru & meen varuthathu is tempting me now !!

  2. Meena Kumar

    Hey Chitz,suspense annu ,gadget alla more valuable thing :)It is really surprising to find so many variation in moru curries in such a small state right!
    Hope you will try it and let me know .

  3. Navaneetham Krishnan

    Bitter gourd is cooked for my other's half diabetics and yogurt is something I must have everyday. When both of these are combined, its a dish we both simply love. The Asian flavors are so alive as I can see from the pictures.

  4. Reni

    Never knew that u cud add bitter gourd to moru curry ! looks healthy and flavorful ! does the curd help with alleviating the bitterness ?:)is that a kitchen gadget in that pack???

  5. Rekha Vengalil

    Aiyo ravile kothippikkukayano? Looks delicious and the pictures look wonderful..
    I know what's in the pack but not telling you 😉

  6. Preeti Jaipal

    ohhh wow… something new and interesting recipe Meena, as i always make stuffed bitter gourd, which is quite common in north india, next time i will gonna make this!!!

  7. Priya

    'Grumble grumble grumble, why am I not having this for lunch today' is what the tummy is saying Meena. That pavakka kichadi is something that has been forgotten for long here! We do it a bit different – No turmeric powder! (Although, I think it does give a welcome colour to it.)Pinne kurachu chuvannulliyum idum. I'm so going to fry some fish and do a Kerala meal for lunch tomorrow! If I can get a bitter gourd, then I will make this too 🙂

    And what is in that pack? Hey, didn't you win Rafee's event some time back? Is it her gift? 🙂

  8. Divya Shivaraman

    am sure using bitter guard with curd would reduce the bitterness…morukari with this is something new

  9. Rafeeda AR

    i always get to learn different kerala curries, because we people from “malabar” only know how to make fish curry!!! 😀 i love that last pic, can't wait to see ur post darling… xoxo..

  10. Priya Kheroun Tessy

    Meena, thats my H's favourite, only difference as u said, its white in colour. Have tried the same with kaipakka kondattam..those who prefer a lil bit less bitterness can go for it I guess. Thanks for posting this recipe and reminding me that I have not made this since ages. And the it a cookery book?

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