Pavakka Thoran / Bitter Gourd Thoran

Here is another traditional Kerala Thoran. Bitter Gourd is known as Pavakka in Malayalam and karela in Hindi.

It is also used as a medicine for diabetics. Bitter gourd can be used to prepare variety of dishes. The grated coconut in Thoran reduces the bitterness of the dish.

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Pavakka Thoran/ Bitter Gourd Thoran

Prep time             : 10 minutes
Cooking time      : 15 minutes
Total time            : 25 minutes

Servings     : 3

Category    : Side dish
Cuisine       : South Indian, Kerala


1 Big bitter gourd
5-6 Shallots
2-3 Green chilies
1/4 Cup grated coconut
1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
Salt to taste

For seasoning:

1 Teaspoon mustard seeds
1 Teaspoon coconut oil
Curry leaves


  • Wash the bitter gourd and slice it open. Discard the seeds and pith. Slice the bitter gourd into small thin pieces.
  • Thinly slice the shallots and green chilies.


  • Heat oil and add mustard seeds, when splutters add curry leaves.
  • Add green chilies, shallots and salt. Sauté until transparent.
  • Add in the bitter gourd and turmeric powder, sauté for few minutes.
  • Now, add in the grated coconut, mix all together and cook for 5 minutes covering the lid on a low flame, stirring occasionally.
  • Now, remove the lid and keep sautéing until all water evaporates completely and gets crunchy.

Serve with steam rice, dal and pickle. A perfect combination.


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