Pavakka Mezhukkupuratti

(Bitter Gourd Stir Fry)
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian


  • 3 medium-sized Pavakka (bitter gourd or bitter melon)
  • 3 tbsps. coconut oil *
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 green chilies, slit
  • 1 stalk curry leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1⁄4 cup coconut slices ** (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1⁄2 tsp turmeric
  • 1⁄2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1⁄2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp of water


  • Cut both ends of the bitter melon and slit it lengthwise and remove the soft part of the melon (It is easy to take it out with a spoon).
  • Wash and cut the slit pavakka into 1-inch long pieces and further cut it into thin slices.
  • Soak the cut pieces in about 4 cups of water with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and with 1 teaspoon of salt for 10 minutes to reduce the bitterness.***
  • In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons of oil.
  • When the oil is hot, fry the coconut slices.
  • When the coconut slices are slightly brown, add the green chili, garlic, curry leaves and onion with 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt.
  • When the onions are slightly brown, add turmeric, chili flakes and black pepper.
  • Sauté for a minute.
  • Add in the bitter melons.
  • Stir well and cook until the bitter melon is well-coated with the spices.
  • Add a tablespoon of water - cook on low heat-and close with a lid and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes
  • Stir in between and taste for salt and add more, if needed.
  • Remove from stove.
  • The Mezhukkupuratti is ready to serve.



This dish goes well with rice, chapati, etc.
*Any oil will do - coconut oil provides its distinct taste.
***Skip this step if you prefer the bitterness.
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Keyword vegetarian


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