Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kovakkai (Tindora / Ivy Gourd) Curry / Poriyal

Kovakkai is one of my favorite vegetables.  I will probably say this about a lot of vegetable, because I really do love most veggies!  The fresh kovakkai that we get here is not consistently of good quality.  Sometimes, it feels like it has been harvested too late and has lost some of its flavor.  So I tend to buy frozen kovakkai.  It also helps to have some frozen veggies ready for those days when I am rushing from work to soccer practice to other errands.

Both my kids love kovakkai, but don’t know what it is called.  So if I am making it for dinner, I will tell them that I have made the other vegetable that they like.  They like to eat this with rotis.

Like I was explaining to my friend, in my house, any dry vegetable dish was called curry - vendaikai (okra) curry, urilaikizhangu (potato) curry, seppankizhangu (taro) curry, vazhakkai (plantain) curry, cabbage curry etc, even though there is no "curry" in them.   A lot of people call this poriyal too.

The fresh masala powder that I have used in this recipe is the same one I used in my seppankizhangu (taro) curry.

Kovakkai (Tindora/Ivy Gourd) Curry


Here is what you need: 

  • 1 lb. fresh or frozen kovakkai (tindora), quartered lengthwise
  • 2 tsp. oil
  • ½ tsp. mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp. jeera (cumin seeds)
  • salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 2 – 3 tsp. fresh masala powder (recipe below)
    • dry roast 2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, 2 Tbsp. channa dal, 1 Tbsp. urad dal, 1 Tbsp. black pepper corns, 1 Tbsp. cumin seeds, 4 -6 red chilies.  Powder and store in airtight container.

Here is how I made it:

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan.  Add mustard seeds and jeera.
  2. When mustard seeds sputter, add the fresh or frozen kovakkai.  If you are using frozen kovakkai, cover the pan with a lid and let the vegetable thaw on low heat.
  3. Add salt, turmeric powder, and chili powder.
  4. Fry covered on low heat for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, till the vegetable is cooked.
  5. Add the freshly ground masala powder.  Stir well.
  6. Fry for a couple of more minutes and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with rotis, rice, dal or rasam.

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