Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Kovakkai Crisps (Tindora Fries)

Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora)
Thinly Sliced Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora, Ivy Gourd)

This dish suggested by my sister, tastes as elegant as it looks, yet very simple to prepare. It goes well with rice and dal or chapati and dal, but I would like it anyway, even as one of the filling in a sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps

Wash kovakkai in plenty of water. Take them in a kitchen towel and pat them dry. For each one, with a sharp knife, cut and remove the ends. Slice lengthwise into two and then cut each half to two or three thin pieces. Prepare them all in this way.

Take the Kovakkai pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and olive or peanut oil to taste. Toss to coat. Spread the pieces on a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the oven is ready, place the baking tray and bake the kovakkai for about 15 minutes. Then change the oven setting from bake to ‘broil’ and continue cooking for another ten minutes, until the kovakkai turns to crisp. Keep an eye during broil setting to prevent charring/overcooking.

Remove the baking tray. Sprinkle few tablespoons of pappula podi on the hot and crispy kovakkai. Mix. Serve immediately.

Oven-cooking draws out the sharp sour flavor of kovakkai and the crispiness adds delightful crunch. Kovakkai crisps taste quite good as a side dish to rice and dal/sambar combination, or as a filling in chapati or bread sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps
Kovakkai Crisps Spiced with Pappula Podi ~ for Meal Today

Kay’s Kovakkai Crisps with Frozen and Cut Kovakkai

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dondakaya(Tindora) (Wednesday May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm- permalink)
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Punjabi Tinda, Parval and Tindora

Punajbi Tinda, Parval and Tindora
Punjabi Tinda, Parval and Tindora (from Lt to Rt)
Fresh Vegetables of India ~ for This Week’s Indian Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables, Dondakaya(Tindora), Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen (Sunday October 28, 2007 at 1:35 pm- permalink)
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Dondakaya Pappu (Tindora Dal)

I have postponed blogging about this recipe as long as I could. A dal with Tindora (Dondakaya) and toordal - it may sound preposterous and audacious, but people do prepare it in Andhra (Nandyala), and there are some who like it. In case of me, I like it mainly because everything Indian is precious to me now.:)

If you are one of those who would cook tindoras in a pressure cooker or by adding water to the curry, then you might like this traditional Andhra tindora dal recipe as well. Tomato dal with tindora touch is what this tindora (dondakaya) pappu is.

Green Chillies, Toor dal, Tindora (dondakaya)
Green Chillies, Toor Dal, Tindora (dondakaya)


10 tindoras (dondakayalu), cut thinly crosswise, like coin shape
(Discard red colored, ripe flesh ones)
10 to 12 green chillies - finely chopped
1 medium sized onion - cut into chunks
1 medium sized tomato - cut into small pieces

Pressure Cook:
In a pressure cooker, take 4 fistfuls of toor dal and wash them first. Add the cut vegetables, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, tablespoon of tamarind pieces and 2 cups of water. Cover and pressure-cook till two or three whistles. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to go off. When all the valve pressure is released, open the lid. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt. With a wood masher, mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Do the popu or tadka:
In a dal-pot, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast 6 each-curry leaves and dried red chilli pieces, one teaspoon each of- minced garlic, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds - in the order mentioned. When mustard seeds start to dance, quickly add the mashed dal from pressure cooker and mix. Cover with a lid and let it sit for few minutes for flavors to mingle well.

Serve a big serving spoon size rice on a plate. With similar kind of spoon, serve dal. Sprinkle one teaspoon of ghee. Mix rice, dal and ghee with hand. Shape into small ping-pong shaped rounds. Like a truffle, savor each round. A curry, pickle or papadam on the side not only enhances this experience a lot, this is how the rice-dal combo is eaten in many Andhra households.

Tindora (Dondakaya) dal mixed with rice and on the side tindora curry. A glass of tomato rasam and a glass of buttermilk (not in the picture) - Our meal today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Dondakaya(Tindora), Amma & Authentic Andhra (Tuesday November 14, 2006 at 3:06 pm- permalink)
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Tindora In Sesame Sauce (Dondakaya-Nuvvula Kura)

Another recipe with tindora (ivy gourd, dondakaya, Kovakku), this time with a sauce. Sauce is prepared from roasted sesame seeds, fresh coconut and dried chillies, sweetened with little bit of jaggery. Usually sesame sauce calls for the addition of tamarind, but in this case, slightly sour taste of tindora cancels the need for tamarind.

A different recipe, sweet and sour - because of jaggery and tindoras, nutty and nourishing due to sesame-coconut combination. A must try, for those of you who are interested in cooking up something new with tindoras.

Tindora slices, Onion, jaggery, Sesame Seeds, Dried Red chillies, Fresh Coconut


20 fresh tindoras - each, cut crosswise into rounds (3 to 5),
1 medium sized onion - finely chopped
½ cup sesame seeds
¼ cup powdered coconut - I used fresh coconut-oven dried
4 to 6 dried red chillies
1 tablespoon powdered jaggery (or to your taste)
½ teaspoon salt and turmeric
Popu or tadka ingredients


In an iron skillet, lightly toast sesame seeds, powdered coconut and dried red chillies. Cool and take them in a blender or food processor and make a smooth paste.

In a pan, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil, do the popu or tadka i.e. toasting one teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves

Add onion, saute a little bit, and then add round slices of tindora. Mix them once, cover and cook, stirring in between for 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat. Allow cooking tindora in its own moisture, sort of steam-saute.

When they are tender and giving off wonderful smell, add the sesame-coconut paste, jaggery, salt and turmeric. Add half glass of water. Stir to mix and cook them covered, until the sauce thickens. Serve warm with rice or chapati.

I have to say this curry tastes great with chapati/roti than with rice.

Tindora in Sesame Sauce with Chapatis
Tindora Curry with chapatis ~ Our lunch today.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sesame Seeds, Dondakaya(Tindora), Coconut (Fresh) (Tuesday January 10, 2006 at 2:24 pm- permalink)
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Tindora Fry (Dondakaya Kura)

Donda kaya, Tindora, Ivy gourd

Until I was married to Vijay, I never tried the donda kaya (Tindora in Hindi). My mother never cooked this vegetable, I don’t know why; lack of availability is not a reason, that’s for sure. One seed, it spreads like wild fire, climbing and occupying every inch of the garden and produces the fruits like there’s no tomorrow. Almost in all seasons, tindora is there to buy. Common and cheap, that’s how we regarded it, back in Nandyala, I never saw anyone get excited or salivated over tindora back then.

They look cute though. This small greenish vegetable with white lines is so pretty, when freshly picked, you just want to bite it. But don’t do that, raw food item it isn’t. It has a very thick skin and insides are white flesh filled with small seeds. Red flesh means it is overripe and not fit for consumption. I heard hearsay of people going brain-dead who ate over-ripe tindoras.:) Well I never tried the over-ripe ones, so I am not sure of its veracity.:) When comes to cooking, some people cook it to the death, but I prefer little bit of crunch, so most often I make a shallow fry of the vegetable.

Tindora fry at the beginning on stove Tindora fry all done, ready to eat


If you have regular Indian cooking stuff in your pantry, then making the curry is as easy as saying 1, 2 and 3.

1. Cut each tindora into half lengthwise, then make another lengthwise cut in each half - you will end up with 4 long thin pieces. To make curry for two, for one decent serving, you have to cut at least 15 to 20 tindoras.

2. In a pan, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil, do the popu or tadka (toasting mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves).

3. Add the cut tindoras, sprinkle turmeric, salt and red pepper flakes to your taste. (Sometimes I also add dry coconut powder.) Mix them once, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, then sauté openly for another 5 minutes or until the veggie reaches the crunchy consistency you desire.

Serve hot with chapatis or with rice and dal.

Tindora Fry and rice with dal ~ Our meal

Tindora fry and fenugreek dal mixed with rice on the background.
Dondakaya kura mariyu menthi kura pappannam muddalu.

Tindora is available fresh or frozen in almost all of Indian grocery shops here in US. Fresh ones are most preferable.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dondakaya(Tindora) (Wednesday December 28, 2005 at 10:02 am- permalink)
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