Tuesday, January 21, 2020



Ivy Gourd, called Kovakkai in Tamil, is a commonly available vegetable in India. It is known as Tindora in Hindi, Tendle in my mother tongue, Konkani, and Thondekayi in Kannada. According to this article in Lybrate, Ivy Gourd has many properties that are good for our health.

Elsewhere in this blog, you will find recipes with ivy gourd such as Tendle Talasani from our Konkani cuisine, Thondekayi Yennegayi from North Karnataka, and Tindora Masala from North India.

Today's recipe is from Tamilnadu and is called Kovakkai Kootu. We enjoyed this as a side dish with lunch. This has been adapted from Ivy Gourd Kootu by Mrs. Ragini in VahChef.

  • Kovakkai ( Ivy Gourd), 10-12 or about 150 grams
  • Moong Dal, 1/2 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Turmeric Powder, 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander Leaves, finely chopped, for garnish
 For the Masala:
  • Coconut Gratings, 1/4 cup
  • Green Chillies, 2
  • Ginger, 1/2" to 3/4 " piece
  • Cumin Seeds, 1/2 tsp
For Seasoning;
  • Mustards Seeds, 1/2 tsp
  • Urad Dal, 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chillies, 2, broken into halves
  •  Curry Leaves, a sprig
  • Oil , 1 tbsp

Wash the ivy gourds and snip off both the ends
Cut them into roundels of about the same size. They should not be too thin.
Wash and soak the moong dal in adequate water for about half an hour. Then discard the water.
In a small mixer jar, grind together the coconut gratings, green chillies, ginger, and cumin seeds to a smooth paste adding just the required amount of water. Keep aside.

In a thick-bottomed kadhai, heat 1 tbsp oil and on medium heat add the mustard seeds, when they splutter add the urad dal and sauté till it changes color then add the broken red chillies and curry leaves and sauté for about half a minute
Next, add the kovakkai roundels, turmeric powder and fry on medium heat for 2-3 minutes till the kovakkai becomes slightly golden
To this, add the soaked moong dal, salt, and a little water and cook covered for about 5 minutes or till till both the kovakkai and the moong dal get cooked 
Now, add the ground paste prepared earlier to the cooked moong dal and kovakkai, mix well and bring to a boil
Allow it to simmer for 1-2 minutes
Lastly, garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

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