No Need of Onions!!! · Poriyals / Kootu Varieties.

Healthy Pavakkai Fry. (Healthy BitterGourd Fry )

Healthhy Pavakkai Fry.
Healthhy Pavakkai Fry.

Bitter gourd predominantly grows in tropical areas, including parts of Asia, East Africa, the Caribbean, and South America, where it is used both as food as well as a medicine. The plant’s fruit truly lives up to its name, because it really tastes bitter. Although the seeds, leaves, and vines of this fruit have different uses, the fruit is considered as the safest and most predominantly used part of the plant.

The lowly Bitter Gourd has the following beneficial aspects:

– Helps to disinfect and heal cuts, wounds & burns

– Is useful as a cough & fever remedy

– Used in the treatment of intestinal worms and diarrhea

– Helps prevent some types of cancers

– Helps enhance the body’s immune system to ward off infections

– Serves as an effective antioxidant, antibacterial & antipyretic agent

(Courtesy –Health Benefits of  Bittergourd By Vanessa A. Doctor )

As a child, since the bittergourd was almost a bi-weekly addition to our food, I actually started liking it., I used to ask my mom to serve it along with curd rice, so I could conceal the bitterness inside the sourness of the curd. After many days, I realised that I actually started enjoying the taste. In my opinion, when cooked well, and spiced sufficiently, the bitterness ceases to be a detterant – it simple transforms to another taste just like sweet and i dont notice it anymore. I do NOT actually fry it till it turns black with a lot of oil. I simply cook it with a little oil, and some water so its more of a wholesome side.


3 fresh bitter gourds.



1 spoon Red Chilli Powder


Mustard, Broken Urad Dhal & Curry Leaves.


  • Chop the bitter gourd in to small pieces after discarding the inner soft flesh with the seeds. Set aside on a plate.
  • In a kadai, add 2 spoons of oil and season with mustard, broken urad  dhal  and the  curry leaves.
  • Immediately add the chopped pieces of bittergourd and add salt, turmeric, hing and required red chilli powder.
  • Mix well and sprinkle a few drops of water and allow to cook over a medium low flame with stirring now and then.
  • If you feel its too dry, feel free to add another spoon of oil.
  • When well cooked switch off and serve with Venthaya Kuzhambu and appalam.

Poriyals / Kootu Varieties.

Amma`s simple Alu Fry.

Simple Alu Fry.
Simple Alu Fry.

As I have already mentioned in my previous posts, every sunday afternoon lunches are slow and lazy and filling. D and me would devour the amazing vengaya vethakuzhambu and alu fry made by amma and lounge on the chair and try to solve the Express Sunday Crossword and the Jumble. I always remember such sunday afternoons with relish as those were the days…as a student, eating food cooked by amma, studying, watching some tv, reading books ad magazines, and sleep happily in the nights. Now, as a mother, I realise what a pleasure it is, to stay young and enjoy the thrills and innocence of childhood. Yesterday I was reminded of amma, and so I decided to treat my husband with the same menu. It`s very simple and easy, but very delicious and tasty.


5 Medium Potatoes.

1 spoon of salt

1 spoon of red chilli powder.

1 spoon of flax powder.

1/2 spoon of dhania powder.



3 spoons of oil.


Mustard, Urad Dhal and Curry Leaves.


  • Remove the skin from the potatoes and chop them in to really fine pieces, dropping them in a vessel with water. This prevents them from blackening and cutting  them fine, helps it to cook faster and consume much less oil.
  • Drain all the water and pop it in to the microwave for a good 4 minutes.
  • Take a heavy bottomed kadai and add 3 spoons of oil. When it starts to smoke, add mustard, urad dhal , curry leaves and a dash of hing before adding the chopped potatoes.
  • Sprinkle more hing, salt, red chilli powder and dhania powder and incorporate them in to the potatoes.
  • Allow to cook and roast well and stir in  intermittently if you feel that the potaotes are sticking to the bottom.  You could spray a little oil, if you feel that the alu is getting too dry.
  • After about 25 minutes of roasting well, switch off the stove.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with Vengaya Vethakuzhambu or VethaKuzhambu. Alternatively is an excellent option for filling bread to make sandwiches or to go with rotis and phulkas.