Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Broiled Bittergourd (Pavarkai Varuval)

Schools have started the roads are clogged, the office has full attendance more or less now that every one is back from vacation and the day light hours are decreasing and the sad realization that relaxed summer days are almost over. One nice thing about summer is the fresh veggies from the garden. The Bitter Gourds have never disappointed me. This week I got about 6-8 of two different varieties one is dark green and other one lighter close to white. Remember Poori Aunty, this recipes is again thanks to her. Quick and easy and extremely tasty. I invariably tend to make tamarind based curries when cooking bitter gourd but this one is really a great way to cook bitter gourds.

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1. 6-8 Medium sized Bitter Gourds, Cut into rounds and remove the seeds.
2. 3/4 Red Onions Sliced
3. 4 Green Chillies cut into 2 (if not adding sambhar or chilli powder)
4. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
5. 1 tsp amchur powder
6. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
7. 2 tsp of sambhar powder or chilli powder
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil


1. In a pan heat oil and season with the cumin seeds
2. Add the onions and Bitter Gourd, saute a little bit
3. Add the Green Chillies if doing so, close the lid and cook till the bitter gourd is almost cooked.
4. Open the lid, add the powders and mix, saute for a few more minutes. Turn off the heat.
5. Set the Oven to Broil setting, spread the bitter gourd mixture on a baking sheet
6. Place in the oven and mix them around to avoid burning.
7. Switch off when the desired crispness is reached.

I like it slightly soft and not completely crispy.

Serve as a side or as a snack, the bitterness is hardly noticeable.


  1. ISG, you and your Poori Aunty are making me crave even a bittergourd dish now! :)

    I'll make this with sambhar pwd, thanks ;)

  2. lol@ poori aunty. any recipe with my fav veggie is welcome. i esp like the bit about 'sambar powder or chilli powder'. the 'or' is very important here. :D

  3. Hi Indo,
    I do this dish with the same ingredients only. But the 'roasting in the oven' is a new step to me. Really cool idea. I'll try it next time. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Nice recipe! I love bitter gourd, but never made with onions! Must try now.

  5. Broiling is a nice tip. Will give it a crunch.

  6. Give me bittergourd any day any form... always looking for new ways to use my favorite veggie, so thanks for this recipe Indo... looks so crunchy...

  7. That is a great recipe ISG. I will give it a try.
    Its a never-failing way to incorporate bitter gourd in our meals, especially for people who are not big fans of it.
    I was one earlier, but now, its one my favos.

  8. That is a great recipe ISG.

    Its a excellent way to incorporate bitter gourd in our meals in various forms whichever works out..

    Keep it going..

  9. yum.. i love the bittergourd fry nice one ISG!

  10. ur poori aunty is wonderful indo:) i love bittergourd and this is what i am gonna make next time i get fresh karela from market

  11. Poori aunty hit it again on the head!:D
    Looks great Indo,easy too.Just shove under the grill and there yu are!

  12. sounds wonderful. I'm not ready for autumn, but this recipe will make it more bearable.

  13. yup, summer is coming to a close :(
    subzi looks so good, and homegrown always the best :)

  14. I love bitter gourd:) Liked your blog too:)

  15. This is how I like bitter gourd also is a dry-fry and to be eaten with dhal and rice.

  16. hmm.. never had bitter-gourd with onions.. must try this version..looks yummy

  17. Hi...This is looking amazing....Nice way to eat bittergourd.....

  18. I made bittergourd once in 6 months and with much difficulty gulp it up..sometimes I deep fry it which makes it less bitter.Roasting in the oven is new to me too.

  19. yeah this is a different recipe here... will def try indo...

  20. Summer's over, feeling low :(

    Not really my fav veggie but it is for D

  21. Linda, if you get some bitter gourd you should give this a try surely, will satisy your craving.

    Bee, it is second nature for me to add sambhar powder to spice it up, you know sambhar powder tastes nothing like the actual sambhar but chilli powder will work great too.

    Kribha, roasting in the oven makes it really snappy and no need to stand in front of the stove. Might be a great idea during winter will heat the house and crisp the bitter gourd too.

    Latha, the onions turns crunchy and sweet, with bitter gourd make a great combo.

    Sure does, Suganya.

    Sig, I am totally in agreement with you.

    ANI, sure the taste of bitter gourd sure grows on you and then you are hooked.

    Roopa, thanks give it a whirl you would love it.

    Sia, Poori aunty has so many tricks up her sleeve, I wish she had stayed for a week.

    Asha, sure easy breezy way to cook bitter gourd.

    Urban Vegan, nice to have you over, sure the recipe is perfect for autumn.

    Richa, nothing like home grown, give it the extra crunch and taste.

    RV, Welcome, glad you stopped by and thank you.

    Cynthia, deep fried bitter gourd perfect with dhal and rice. I have to try it too sometime.

    Rajitha, the broiled onions give it the extra sweetness which goes well with the bitter taste.

    Sure is Sukanya, you can actually enjoy eating the bitter gourd.

    Prema, if you don't like the taste of bitter gourd, broiling them makes them taste like a chip and you won't even feel the bitter taste.

    Rachna, it has become one of my favorite recipes, easy to make but sure tastes great.

    Sandeepa, you have to make it, D will love it and you might even be surprised :)

  22. Try adding some fennel seeds to the tadka...umm, ummm! You'll love it!

    I too add sambar powder to dishes when I need to up the spice and the texture in the great with eggplants...

  23. Hello, I'm looking for instructions for dehydrating bitter melon using an oven. Any suggestions? Should I blanch the bitter melon first? I want to make very thin dried melon chips, which I can have on hand for cooking.

  24. thanks for sharing! I have them in my spice rack


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