Pavakai Peratal (Karela Masala)

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Ingredients Nutrition

  • 5 pavakkai or 5 karela
  • 5 tablespoons coconut, shredded (If you want less use about 3 tbsp.)
  • 7 small onions (can use pearl onion)
  • 1 medium tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon khus khus
  • 12 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder (use according to how hot you want the peratal to be)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder (I use my Mother in law's mix but can use the ordinary coriander powder)
  • 1 small tamarind pulp
  • 12 teaspoon mustard (for tampering)
  • 6 -10 curry leaves
  • salt
  • 3 tablespoons oil (Health Conscious can use around 1-1/2 tbsp.)


  1. Soak the Tamarind in 1/2 cup warm water.
  2. Wash and Cut pavakai into small pieces removing all seeds.
  3. Add salt to the pavakai and let it sit for 1/2 hr.
  4. Cut small onions and tomato to small pieces.
  5. Grind Coconut, Khu Khus and Tamarind in mixer to a smooth paste.
  6. Remove the paste from the mixture and add the masala powders and salt to the ground mixture.
  7. Make sure you do not add too much salt as pavakai already has some salt in it.
  8. Rinse the mixture with 1 cup of water and reserve the liquid.
  9. Heat 1 tbsp.
  10. oil in kadai.
  11. Squeeze water out of the Pavakai and add it to the hot oil.
  12. Fry the pavakai till it becomes half done.
  13. Remove it from the kadai.
  14. Add 2-tbsp.
  15. oil to the same kadai.
  16. Using sesame oil will enhance the taste.
  17. Add mustard to the oil.
  18. Once it stops spluttering add curry leaves.
  19. Add onions and keep stirring till the onion becomes soft and starts changing colour.
  20. Add tomato and stir for 2 min.
  21. Add the ground mixture and the reserved liquid from the mixture.
  22. Once the masala starts boiling add the pavakai and stir the mixture once.
  23. Put a lid and let the pavakai cook.
  24. Keep cooking till pavakai is well done and the mixture has a semi solid consistency.
  25. This can be used as a side dish or as a main dish to go with plain white rice.

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