Pitlai is another tasty south Indian dish similar to sambar. We do not use sambar powder, instead prepare with ground spices and coconut. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad(appalam).
Many does not prefer Bitter gourd due to its taste even though it has excellent medicinal values.when bitter gourd is used as the main vegetable along with chickpea| Mochai(Field bean), you will start loving the taste of the bitter gourd due to the aroma and taste.
Bitter Gourd, cut into thin circular pieces – 2-3
Toor dal, cooked – ½ cup
Chickpea or Field bean, cooked – ¼ cup (optional)
Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10
Refined oil – 2tsp
Mustard seeds – 1tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Coriander seeds – 2 tbs
Chana dal – 2tbs
Black peppercorns – 4-5
Dry red chillies – 2-3
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt to taste
Coconut, scraped – ½ cup
Curry leaves – 4-5
- Squeeze out the tamarind juice and keep aside.
- Heat ¼ tsp of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds. Add the vegetable, turmeric powder, tamarind extract and salt. Allow to boil till the vegetable is cooked, adding water if necessary.
- Heat the remaining oil and sauté the remaining ingredients except curry leaves and chickpea or Field beans till the coconut is reddish brown in color. Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder.
- Add the cooked toor dal, curry leaves, spice powder and chickpea to the bitter gourd mixture. Stir and cook for few minutes. Add water, if required to get the correct consistency.
- Serve with plain rice and papad.
- To remove bitterness from the bitter gourd, rub salt all over the cut bitter gourd slices and leave it for 15-20 min and rinse off the salt and the water beneath the vessel. Squeeze the water out of the bitter gourd.
- You can alternatively use vegetables like brinjal or drumstick or kothavaranga (cluster beans) instead of bitter gourd. instead of bitter gourd.