Pitla is definitely a Maharastrian comfort food. Pitla is famous in Tamilnadu as “Pavakkai pitlai”. Apart from pavakkai (bitter gourd) we can prepare pitla with other vegetables too. Thanjavore Maharastrians enjoy relishing different varieties of pitla.
- Pitla – Ambat pitla to be precise. Made with toor dal, masala and tamarind extract
- Sappaka pitla – Recipe given below. Prepared with moong dal and masala ingredients (but no tamarind)
- Goddu pitla – Quiet similar to goddu rasam. Use tamarind extract and masala in the recipe (but do not add dal)
Generally sapakka pitla is prepared with moong dal. But I have also tasted sappaka pitla with toor dal. Some people do not like moong dal so they use toor dal (thuvaram paruppu) instead. I had some tomatillos at home which I have used in this recipe. You can replace it with carrots/beans/chow-chow/bitter guard or any greens.
Time Taken:30 mins
Moong dal (payatham paruppu): 1 cup
Tomatillo: 4-5 (or use any veggie of your choice)
Cooking oil (preferably sesame oil): 3-4 tsp
Turmeric powder: 1/4 tsp
Salt: to taste
To roast & grind:
Red chillies: 4-5
Urad dal (ulutham parauppu): 1 tbsp
Chana dal (kadalai paruppu): 1 tbsp
Black pepper (milagu): 1/2 tbsp
Grated coconut (fresh or frozen): 2 tbsp(add more if you prefer)
Mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
Urad dal: 1/2 tsp
Hing (perungayam): 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves: few (chopped)
Cilantro: few (chopped)
- Cook moong dal adding a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil and roast red chillies, urad dal, chana dal and pepper until dal turn golden brown in color.
- Add coconut (and little water) and grind it to fine paste.
- Heat 1 tsp of oil and sauté tomatillos (or the veggie you plan to add) for 2-3 or until soft.
- Add the ground paste and cook for 1 Min.
- Add cooked dal & salt and keep stirring for 1-2 Min.
- Add water as necessary to adjust the consistency (pitla should not be too watery).
- Remove from the stove top.
- Heat remaining oil and do seasoning with mustard seeds, urad dal and hing.
- Add it to pitla.
- Garnish with cilantro and curry leaves.
- Serve with hot rice / roti.
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