Spicy Tindora stir fry
Kovakka or Tindora is my favourite vegetable. I consider it as one of the tasty gourds and never fail to buy it if I happen to see it while shopping. Ivy gourd is a less consumed vegetable but it is so delicate and has a subtle taste that is pleasant to the palate. It looks like a tiny cucumber with its seeds and high water content. It is rich in minerals and also has medicinal values. The tender ones are the best and can be eaten raw. When it is fully ripe it turns red and gets very tough. The stage in between when they are fully grown and not ripe is the best time to cook them.
My mother’s kitchen garden has a medley of all kinds of vegetables but I am very partial to Kovakka. She has some growing at the right season and when visiting I love to go and pick them. If not available at home, I would hit the nearest market to get a batch of these as our whole family unanimously admires it. My mother cooks it differently by adding grated coconut at the end of her simple preparation. I like it a bit spicy and this is my choice. I had this in a wedding feast and liked the combination of strong flavours to enhance the simple gourd.
This stir fry is pretty easy, but a great side dish for rice and flat breads like chappati and paratha. Oh, I can eat it just like that without any help!
- 2 cups Kovakka/ Ivy gourd
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp coriander powder
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- salt to taste
- 1½ tbsp coconut oil
- few curry leaves
- ½ tsp mustard seeds
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- Wash Ivy gourd and cut each one lengthwise into four pieces.
- In a non stick pan, heat coconut oil
- When hot splutter mustard and cumin seeds and add curry leaves and fry it.
- Drop chopped Ivy gourd pieces and saute on medium heat.
- Add all the powders and salt and stir it a few times to infuse Kovakka with the spices.
- Cover the pan and cook on low heat.
- Allow Kovakka to cook in the oil and its own water until it is tender but still crunchy.
- Serve it hot.