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Pavakkai Gojju | Hagalakayi Gojju | Pavakkai Kara Kuzhambu | Bitter Gourd Tamarind Gravy

Pavakkai Gojju is a rice accompaniment prepared with bitter guard , tamarind and spice powder. Sesame seed gives nice flavour to this Pavakkai Kara Kuzhambu. Pavakkai kuzhambu stays good for two days. It is also a nice side for upma.
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Course: Kuzhambu
Cuisine: Indian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
Author: Vidya Srinivasan


  • Pavakkai / Bitter gourd - 1 big, deseeded and put into small pieces
  • Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball
  • Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1/2tablespoon
  • Jaggery powder - 1 tablespoon optional
  • Turmeric powder - pinch
  • Green chilli - 1
  • Salt – to taste
  • To temper:
  • Sesame Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek – 1/8 teaspoon
  • Channa dal - 1 tablespoon
  • Curry leaves – few
  • To grind:
  • Sesame seed - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Coconut - 3 tablespoon


  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup + 1/2 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Microwave pavakkai with enough water, turmeric powder and tamarind extract for 6 minutes. Once it is cool discard the water and squeeze the pavakkai well and rinse twice
  • Dry roast sesame seed till aroma comes. After it comes to room temperature grind it and add coconut and make a paste
  • Add oil to the heavy bottomed pan. When oil is hot add ingredients under "to temper" and let them splutter
  • Add the cooked pavakkai and let it cook for 2-3 minutes in low flame
  • Add sambar powder and givve a quick stir for 10 seconds
  • Add the tamrind juice, turmeric powder, 1 cup of water, salt and cook till the raw smell goes off and kuzhambu reduce to 3/4 th of the portion; for about 15- 17 minutes
  • Add the ground paste and cook for 3 minutes
  • Add jaggery and cook for 5 minutes and switch off
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  1. Pavakkai can also be directly cooked in pan instead of microwave
  2. White sesame seed can also be used instead of black
  3. Coconut oil can be used instead of sesame oil
  4. Boil the kuzhambu according the consistency you desire and adjust the water accordingly
  5. If you think Kulambu is watery in a small bowl add 1/4 teaspoon of rice flour and mix it with 2 tbbp of water make a paste, add to kuzhambu and let it boil for 3-4 minutes
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