Classic Pavakkai Varuval - Bittergourd Stir Fry Recipe

Savor the flavors of South India with our Classic Pavakkai Varuval - a delicious Bittergourd Stir Fry that's packed with spices and perfect for a wholesome meal!

Nithya Anantham
Classic Pavakkai Varuval - Bittergourd Stir Fry Recipe
1161 ratings.

Bitter Gourd is known as Pavakkai in Tamil. Many people do not prefer eating it due to its bitter taste, however it is filled with nutrition. It has the lowest amount of sodium making it an excellent source to lower cholesterol. Also, it stimulates easy digestion and good for diabetics.

This Classic Pavakkai VaruvalRecipe is a simple to make side dish that you can have with parathas or steamed rice and dal tadka as a healthy lunch meal.

Other similar recipes that you can try are:

  1. Cauliflower And Red Bell Pepper Stir Fry Recipe
  2. Chilli Ginger Vegetable Tofu Stir Fry Recipe
  3. Potato and Red Beans Chinese Stir Fry Recipe


Course: Lunch
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep in

20 M

Cooks in

30 M

Total in

50 M


4 Servings


  • 250 grams Karela (Bitter Gourd/ Pavakkai) , cut into roundels
  • 1 Onion , finely chopped
  • 1 Green Chilli , finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
  • 1 teaspoon Sambar Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Mustard seeds (Rai/ Kadugu)
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 1 tablespoon Oil
  • Salt , to taste

How to make Classic Pavakkai Varuval - Bittergourd Stir Fry Recipe

  1. To begin making the Classic Pavakkai Varuval recipe, heat oil in a pan, add the mustard and cumin seeds and let it splutter.

  2. Now, add the thinly sliced bitter gourd roundels, turmeric, season with salt and mix well.

  3. Close it with a lid and let the bitter gourd cook well in its own juices for 10 minutes in low heat.

  4. Once the bitter gourd is well cooked, add the sambar powder, finely chopped green chillies and stir well.

  5. Cook the Pavakkai Varuval (bitter gourd) on low flame in an open pan for 15 minutes until it becomes crisp. Keep stirring occasionally in between. Check the salt and spices and adjust to taste and turn off the heat.

  6. Serve the Pavakkai Varuval along with parathas or steamed rice and dal tadka for a wholesome meal.