Aloo Kundru (Ivy Gourd And Potatoes)

Ivy gourd is a vegetable that is easily available throughout the year. It is not a sexy vegetable in the sense that we can prepare exotic dishes with it. But several tasty dishes can be prepared with this humble vegetable. One of the reasons for its easy availability is that there is no need to buy organic ivy gourds – it grows wild and prolifically. Once in your garden, it is difficult to be rid of it. Therefore, no chemical fertilizers are used in its cultivation. Therefore, it is safe to buy even from local vendors who are not organic in their cultivation. Nowadays, ivy gourd is also available in the organic markets. But unfortunately, the price is almost twice the price of the ones procured from the non-organic vendors. So, it doesn’t often sell in large quantities in the organic markets.
Whatever the case may be, it is a vegetable that is not only tasty and easy to prepare, but also has an indeterminate taste that permits you to cook it with various spices of your choice. In the version here, I will detail ivy gourd with potatoes and some commonly used spices used in Indian cooking,

Aloo Kundru

250 gms ivy gourd (kundru, kovakkai)
1 large potato
1 green chili, slit
1/2 tsp turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 tsp coriander powder (dhania powder, kothamalli podi)
1 tsp cumin powder (jeera powder, jeeraga podi)
1″ piece ginger, chopped fine
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (sabut jeera, jeeragam)
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1/2 cup water
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
Unrefined salt to taste
Wash the ivy gourd well and pat dry
Then cut lengthwise into 4 quarters
Heat a pressure on low flame and add mustard seeds
When they begin to splutter, add the cumin seeds
Next add the curry leaves, green chili and ginger
Sauté for about a minute
Add the ivy gourd and potatoes
Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin and chili powders
Mix well
Add 1/2 cup water and salt
Pressure cook on medium heat for 2 whistles till both potatoes and ivy gourd are cooked
If there is excess water in the cooker, place it on sim and cook till the water evaporates completely
(If you want the dish with gravy, sim only for a few minutes)
Remove from flame and garnish with chopped coriander leave
Serve hot with Indian breads or red/brown/millet rice

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