Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pavakka Thoran - Sauteed bitter gourd with coconut

Do you like bitter gourd?
I do, but my husband doesn’t!
Do you know the health benefits of bitter gourd?
I do, but my husband doesn’t want to know!

Well, bitter gourd is a vegetable loaded with precious nutrients like folic acid, beta-carotene, iron, and calcium, almost double in amount than any other vegetables! And it helps to prevent diabetes, improves eyesight and fights cancer!

He is in enmity with bitter gourd! Each time I pick one he gets annoyed and murmurs like ‘can’t you buy something else?’ And during the early years of marriage he didn’t allow me buy any!

Now things are different and we are responsible parents of two adorable kids and this hesitation can’t go on any more. And I have to find ways to put some into the tummy of my kiddos and hubby!

I tried several recipes like pavakka theeyal, pavakka and mango palu curry and stir-fry…but nothing worked! Then I tried thoran, made of finely shredded bitter gourd and onion, laced with grated coconut, ginger and curry leaves. And I forcefully served two spoonfuls to his plate saying ‘don’t worry, it won’t hurt you.’ Unwontedly he tasted and asked me ‘is this bitter gourd! Not bitter anymore?’ Hurray… It almost worked!!

But still things are not smooth, he still gets unpleasant and raises his eyebrows when I pick some bitter gourd, but now I don’t care!


  1. Bitter gourd (very finely shredded) – 1 big
  2. Onion (very finely shredded) – 2 nos
  3. Freshly grated coconut – 1 cup
  4. Ginger (grated) – 2 cm long piece
  5. Green chillies – 3 nos
  6. Curry leaves – a few
  7. Mustard seeds – a few
  8. Oil- 2 tbsp
  9. Salt – as required

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan and splutter mustard seeds.
  2. Add shredded onion, curry leaves and ginger and fry for a minute.
  3. Add shredded bitter gourd, grated coconut and salt and mix well.
  4. Saute occasionally and cook in medium heat till done.


  1. Nice for me and e shredded veg looks nice

  2. Thoran looks so wonderfully prepared. Excellent color.

    Hamaree Rasoi

  3. Just now had bitter gourd fry for lunch..:)
    loved ur version,never tried wid coconut..looks yumm..hubby is a big fan of bitter gourd..

  4. Thats a great looking and healthy thoran..

  5. This is one of the first bitter gourd recipes that really makes me want to try it. I will go pick one up today. Funny how husbands are about some foods. With my husband it's cucumbers...I can sneak them in anywhere!

  6. healthy thoran bt i dnt like bottleguard.. i cant imagine that bitterness.. my mom makes and asks me to taste it.. kaipilla eennu amma paranjalum kazhikkan thonnarillaa...
    jam roll snap is too good yaar.. really wish to try, bt i dnt have a rectangle pan...

  7. Wow!

    Your blog is amazing -in fact the best that I could find on the net on authentic malayali recipes and presented lucidly and quite easy to follow.

    Btw where in Oz could you find the ingredients like kappa,grated coconuts etc ?