Kovakkai Poriyal (Ivy Gourd “Fry”)

Ivy Gourd (Tindora, Kundru, Kovakkai) has many other quaint names. Baby Watermelon, Little Gourd, Gentleman’s Toes or even Gherkin. It is an exotic vine. You can, with some surety, buy it in the open market as it is a hardy vine and chemicals and pesticides are not normally used in its cultivation. This hardy vine has several health benefits. It possesses laxative characteristics (I do not mean you are going to run to the loo as soon as you have it, just that it keeps your bowels in good shape)
It can normalise blood sugar
It can help alleviate certain diseases like asthma, leprosy, bronchitis and jaundice (consider seriously in light of NCR’s extremely polluted air quality)
It has high vitamin content
The real issue is how to cook it in interesting ways (and, maybe, make it a social dish, pun intended)
One of my favourite ways is this simple recipe.

250 gms ivy gourd, cut lengthwise or into roundels
2 tsp sambar powder (will post this recipe separately)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp split black lentil (urad dal, uluthamm parupu)
1 dried red chilli, broken into two
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp grated coconut
Salt to taste
Marinate the ivy gourd with sambar powder and a little salt
Set aside for 15 minutes
Roast mustard seeds and curry leaves in a wok
After the mustard splutters, add the split black lentil and red chilli
When the lentil turns golden brown, add the marinated ivy gourd
Sauté for 5 minutes
Add a cup of water, cover and cook on low flame for 7-8 minutes
Keep checking if there is enough water, otherwise the gourd may be burnt
Once the ivy gourd is soft, increase flame and let all the water evaporate
Turn off flame, transfer to a serving bowl
Garnish with grated coconut

One Comment Add yours

  1. thats an amazing authentic summer treat !


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