Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Paarkai ( Bitter Gourd) Pitley

This is a very popular recipe in the Tamil Brahmin households. More of a cousin of Sambhar.....tastes good when made with brinjal or bitter gourd. There could be variations to this but after a lot of tests and tries, I have finally arrived at the perfect recipe for Pitley...Hope you all enjoy making it too...


1 medium bitter gourd cut into round pieces with seeds removed.
1/4 cup toor dhal
1/4 cup channa dhal
2 cups pureed tamarind ( keep it to ur taste)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
Curry leaves and mustard seeds for seasoning
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

For grinding

1 tsp channa dhal
2 tsp coriander seeds
4 dry red chillies
1- 1/2 tsp coconut
1/8 tsp hing

Prep time: 5 mins Cook time: 20 mins

For grinding

- In a kadai, heat 1/4 tsp oil and roast the coriander seeds, channa dhal and red chillies (given above under "for grinding")
- In the end add the coconut and hing, mix a few seconds and remove it on a plate and set aside.
- Grind with little water on cooling.

For the Pitley

- Pressure cook the toor dhal and channa dhal together.
- In the kadai, heat the remaining oil and temper the mustard and curry leaves.
- To this, add the tamarind puree, bitter gourd, salt and turmeric powder and let them boil on medium heat.
- Once the bitter gourd is cooked, add the ground paste to the kadai and let it boil for a minute.
- Meanwhile, if you are able to open the cooker, add the cooked dhal to the above and boil for another 1 or 2 mins until everything comes together to a boil.
- The consistency of this dish should be thicker than sambhar.
- Your Pitley is ready to be eaten with hot rice and ghee or sesame oil...

Foot note:
- Mash the dhal a little once you take it out of the cooker.
- If after adding the ground paste, you are not able to remove the dhal from the cooker, switch off the heat. Do not keep heating the pitley after adding the paste as it has coconut.
- Once you add the dhal, heat the mixture again for a min or 2.
- Instead of bitter gourd you could use big cubes of brinjal too.
- Instead of adding boiled channa dhal you can substitute with some boiled chick peas too. This is a variation.


  1. I came to chk the kathirikai recipe and saw this! You seem to be making everything with the vegetables I have in my fridge;) I'll try this too sometime:)

  2. hey Chitra...cos i also hv those same veggies in my fridge...lol! njoyyyy