Bittergourd/Pavakka Kichadi

        My husband who is very choosy when it comes to eating vegetables, loves bitter gourd. I know there are so many people out there like him who have got a liking for this bitter vegetable. Others with strong dislike,kindly try this recipe as kichadi is one of the easiest and tastiest of all bitter gourd recipes.

Pavakka Kichadi


1.  Bitter gourd – 5-6 small chopped fine (I chopped them in a food processor.  You can squeeze out the extra moisture if you want to reduce the bitterness of pavakka since the ones available in USA are very bitter)


2.  Green chilies – 4, chopped fine

3.  Curry leaves – 1 sprig

4.  Salt – To taste

5.  Yoghurt – 1 cup

6.  Coconut oil – 2 tbsp

To temper

6.  Coconut oil – 2 tsp

7.  Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp

8.  Dry red chilies – 2, broken

9.  Curry leaves – Few


1.  Heat about  2 tbsp  oil in a pan and add the chopped bitter gourd/pavakka, few curry leaves, green chillies and salt.  Saute till brown, take care not to burn it. It takes about 20 – 30 minutes. Switch off. When it is slightly cooled, stir in yoghurt and mix well.

2.  In another pan heat 2 tsp oil and splutter the mustard seeds.  Fry dry red chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute and pour this over the pavakka-yoghurt mixture and mix well.  Serve with rice.


1. In our place we usually add only yoghurt but you can also add ground coconut-cumin(grated coconut – 1/2 cup and cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp) mixture to this kichadi. Grind the grated coconut and cumin seeds in a mixie adding very little water and add it to the fried bitter gourd. Cook for a few minutes. Switch off. When it is slightly cooled add yoghurt and mix well. Season with mustard seeds, dry red chilies and a few curry leaves.

2.  You can also deep-fry thinly sliced pavakka for kichadi instead of chopping it finely.

Kerala Pavakka Kichadi / Bitter gourd Kichadi



Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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  • I love pavakka, especially the mezhukkupuratti preparation where its nice and crisped up. Wont this be bitter if you grind the bitter gourd, even if you squeeze out the moisture?

  • Manju,
    This kichadi is only as bitter as you expect from a bitter gourd dish 🙂 All bitter gourd fans will definitely love this kichadi..

    I figured out that squeezing out extra moisture (you can even add some water to the chopped bitter gourd and squeeze it out) and frying it in oil (browning will make it crispy and more tasty) reduces its bitterness to a great extent. If it is still very bitter you can add around 1/2 cup ground coconut-cumin mixture and more yoghurt. Hope this helps.

  • Although there are regional variations KichaTi involves heating (near boil) after yoghurt is added. Since there is enough confusion differentiating KichaTi and PachaTi this could be left to taster’s choice.
    For example when papaya (Omaykka, kappaLanga) is used to make PachaTi it is not heated, but when KichaTi is made with the same thing, after addition of ground-coconut-curd mixture a near boil step is involved.

    Ethnic variations make the recipes very interesting. Fondness to a certain dish is developed depending on geographical placement.

    “kaaLan” is made in different ways depending on were you are from. Here is an example:

  • Hey I made this pavaykka kichadi first time for this Onam and it came out really well..will try it again…thanks for your recipes..i am now a regular follower of yummy o yummy 🙂

  • To reduce the bitterness of bitter gaurd slice it and mix it with salt and green chillies and keep it aside for atleast 20-30min,and prepare the dishes ,never squeeze the water as all the richness will be removed.

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