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Pitlai is kind of similar to sambhar but a thicker version.

Ingredients for Pitlai:

  • 2 medium bitter gourds ("karela")
  • 3/4 can chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup cooked toovar dal
  • 3 green chillies slit
  • 1 1/2 tspn tamarind paste
  • 3-4 red dry chillies
  • 2 tspns urad dal
  • 1 1/2 tspn coriander seeds
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • few peppercorns
  • a little jaggery or sugar
  • turmeric, salt to taste
  • mustard seeds, curry leaves, oil for seasoning

Directions for making Pitlai :

  1. Slit bitter gourd into four quarters and cut 1/2 inch thick pieces across.
  2. In a little oil, saute cut bitter gourd and green chillies.
  3. Add 2 cups water, tamarind, turmeric and salt.
  4. Let simmer until bitter gourd are tender.
  5. Add chickpeas and jaggery/sugar.
  6. While bitter gourd are cooking, in another pan sprinkle a little oil and fry coriander seeds, urad dal, red chillies and peppercorns until well roasted.
  7. Add coconut, stir a minute or two and then grind in a blender.
  8. Add a little tomato paste if handy for color.
  9. Blend in coconut paste into the bitter gourd-tamarind mixture.
  10. Add the dal. Mix well and reheat a till it begins to simmer. Take off stove.
  11. Pour seasoning on top.
  12. Enjoy your Pitlai. Hope you love this Indian recipe.


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