According to Ayurveda Bitter Taste or Rasa has to be included in a diet along with the other five Tastes / Rasas to maintain a healthy body. Studies have proved that the bitter vegetable Pavakka / Bitter gourd has various health benefits. It activates the digestive juices and keeps the digestive tract clean. It expels toxins and worms from the system. It is also said to be an anti diabetic food. A popular restaurant serves a Bitter gourd dish as the first course in their Ayurvedic Thali Meal. Pavakka can be used in the preparation of  various South Indian dishes like Gojju, Chips and  Pitlai. It can also be stuffed with masala. Pavakka Oorugai is an instant Bitter gourd pickle and it can be prepared in two methods. I love to start my meal with a spoon of Pavakka Oorugai with or without rice.


Washed and finely chopped Bitter gourd – 1 cup
Chopped green chillies – 2 big
Chopped fresh ginger – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp
Juice of one big lime
Sesame oil – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
1. Heat oil in a pan and splutter mustard seeds.
2. Stir in asafoetida and turmeric powder.
3. Add the chopped green chillies and ginger followed by chopped Bitter gourd.
4. Add salt and stir for two or three minutes.
5. Squeeze in the juice of lime and switch off flame.


6. Mix well, store in a clean jar after the pickle cools down and refrigerate.
Washed and finely chopped Bitter gourd – 1 cup
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder  – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Tamarind – a small marble size ball
Sesame oil – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp
1. Take chopped Bitter gourd in a bowl.
2. Add chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt on top.
3. Dry roast fenugreek seeds till it emanates a pleasant aroma.
4. Heat 1tsp of oil and fry the tamarind till it becomes crisp and allow to cool.
5. Powder the roasted fenugreek seeds and tamarind into a fine powder.
6. Add the above powder to the ingredients in the bowl.


7. Heat the remaining oil and splutter mustard seeds.
8. Add asafoetida and pour the oil on to the Pickle ingredients in the bowl.
9. Mix well till the spice coats all the chopped pieces of Bitter gourd.
10. Cover and keep it aside for a day so that the vegetable releases all its juices.


If you feel that the pickle is dry you may add some more oil. Keep it refrigerated. Stir the pickle every day as long as it lasts. 

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