“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
Rajender prepares this dish wonderfully. Only after marriage I got to taste kovakkai (raw tindora). When I am young I used to eat kovapazham (ripe tindora) which grew near our home. The colour of the fruit is so attractive children will immediately love them. The tindora fruit is also a favourite of parakeets. In tamil literature, tindora fruit colour is compared to the lip colour of women :D.
A dish with raw kovakkai is very new to me and I loved watching Rajender prepare it. He made it so well this veggie immediately became my favourite. When my mom and her sister came here, Rajender prepared this for them too. My amma and periyamma were all in praise for this dish.
The scientific name for Indian ivy gourd is Coccinia grandis. Young leaves, long slender stem tops, raw and ripe fruits of this plant are consumed in many parts of Asia. The root and leaf extract of this plant are used in the treatment of diabetes due to their hypoglycemic properties When I write this I remember what Rajender tells me when I eat the raw ivy gourd '' do not eat it you will get 'mathi marapu' ''. 'Mathi marapu' means disturbances in your memory. Now I understand the reason behind it. If you become hypoglycemic naturally your memory power goes off :). The fruit is a very rich source of many micronutrients including vitamin A and C. Like any other vegetable this tindora is also rich in fiber.
Kovakkai / Timdora / Ivy gourd- 1/4 kg
Onion- 1 no
Green chillies- 4 nos
Curry leaves- handful
Channa dhal and urid dhal- 1/2 tspn
Mustard, jeera seeds- 1/2 tspn
Chilli powder- 1/2 tspn
Turmeric powder- a pinch
Salt to taste
Wash and make thin slices of kovakkai as shown in picture. Cut onions and green chillies into small pieces. Take oil in a pan. When the oil gets heated add channa dhal and urid dhal. When they become brown and emit a nice aroma add mustrd and jeera seeds. After they splutter add onions, green chillies, curry leaves, a pinch of turmeric and salt to taste. Saute well until the onions turn translucent. Now add the thinly sliced kovakkai pieces. Simmer the flame and saute the entire mixture on a low flame. Constantly stir the mixture. Add the red chilli powder prior to removing them from fire. Remove from fire when kovakkai browns a bit and turns crispy. A very delicious stir-fry will be ready to be savoured. This dish makes an excellent companion for chappathis or for hot rice.
Taste enhancing tips for this recipe : If you need a crispy fry make thin slices. Use only the raw ivy gourds. Discard them if they have a reddish tinge inside. When you slice them they must have a firm texture. Curry leaves add lots of flavour to this dish. If you like you can also add thinly sliced garlic when sauting onions. Happy cooking !!!