Thursday, May 08, 2008

Dondakaya vepudu/Ivy gourd stir fry

Dear Foodies,

How many of you like dondakaya/tindora/ivy gourd ? I know I love it! But this vegetable has such a tarnished reputation and powerful lobbyists who saw to it that it never showed up at any home with school going kids, atleast in Andhra they succeeded. It was told to induce dullness as opposed to the ladysfinger which could turn you into a Math wiz (!!). So every mother would sneak in bhendakaya/ladysfinger as often as she probably could and relegate the dondakaya to an occasional day far far away from any Math exam. The poor guy could not fight all that bad energy :( But now that I am done with all schooling, I am going to enjoy this dish in peace :) (and hey! its actually not bad for you)

The ivy gourd is a very versatile vegetable and it cooks in a jiffy. You can use it in a simple stir-fry like I did, or go for an elaborate stuffed version or an usli preparation. you can either use it in a traditional kootu or in a masala gravy or even in a fried rice, the options are just endless. In Hyderabad, you are most certain to find the dondakaya vepudu with a good amount of cashews thrown in, at every wedding menu.

My mom usually made the stir-fry/vepudu with it and thats my favorite way of eating it too. She would cut them into discs and not length-wise. I think the shape you cut it does change the texture of the dish. The discs cook faster, evenly and are crisp and tender at the same time. When cut length wise I think the chances of thicker pieces are more and I just hate biting into an undercooked piece, okay, I am just biased towards the discs (Mom's always rule) :) and so the frozen tindora is not something that I like. Whenever I get access to fresh dondakaya this is how I cook it,

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups - Dondakaya/Tindora/kovakkai
  • 1/2 Tbsp - Oil
  • 2 tsp - Mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp - Channa dal and urad dal (I like the crunch they give, you can adjust the qty accordingly)
  • Pinch of Asafoetida/Hing/Inguva
  • 1 tsp - Turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp - Chilli powder or to taste
  • Salt to taste
Method:
  1. Wash and dice the ivy gourd as per your preference :D. Place a wide pan with the oil on medium heat.
  2. Splutter the mustard seeds, add the dals and allow them to brown. Add the hing, turmeric and the cut gourd to the pan and saute.
  3. Add the salt and cover and cook for about 6-8mins. Stir in between to avoid burning any of the pieces.
  4. Once they are tender to the touch, uncover the pan and cook for 5 more minutes to crisp up the pieces. Add the chilli powder towards the end and mix well.
Serve hot with rice or chapati. I had it with rice and iruvili kuzhambu, the recipe for which I got from my friend Jaya (while you are there check out her travelogue). Its her mom's recipe, so no doubts there about how it turned out... absolutely fantastic! Kuzhambu is nothing but pulusu, for the telugu speaking. Its a dish that has a tamarind base and has no lentils added to it as is the case in sambar. It mostly has an addition of lightly sauted fresh or dried vegetables. (I used onions)

I love anything that is tangy and my personal favorite is an onion pulusu that my mom makes using sambar powder. This one is very similar to that but the freshly ground spices lend the kuzhambu a nice texture and taste..yummmy. The combo of the kuzhambu and vepudu was great. I was actually planning on taking this for lunch the next day, but once I tasted the tangy kuzhambu I had to serve myself some immediately. Do try it out!



Happy Thursday and have a great weekend !

18 thoughts:

Rajitha said...

priya..i hear you on the bad rap my fav veggie has got. i love dondakaya..and i love it when it is made into discs..so so yummy!

shriya said...

First time here and I already love your blog. You have a beautiful collection of recipes and the pics are awesome. Nice recipe of ivy gourd with an awesome pics.

Cham said...

You re right with cutting into disk shape,it is more crispier and cook faster,i know it is time consuming, but worth at the end. Love ur last snap..

Manisha said...

Thank you for not calling it Indian gherkin! I haven't made tendli with urad dal and chana dal in the tadka. Medha calls urad dal in the tadka "crunchies" - so she will probably like this a lot!

ranji said...

i do the same with tindora alogn with coriander pdr....

Priya said...


Rajitha, its your fav too..same pinch, no back pinch :D And the discs seem to have a lot of followers, yayy!

Shriya, Welcome and thank you :) I was right by your blog a while ago.

Cham, I find the discs easier to cut too, simple line them up and get done with it :) For the length wise ones you'll have to do one at a time.

Manisha, the name din't strike me at all :)) The pickles served with sandwiches are made out of gherkins naa ?
Medha is my kinda girl then. Yayy! to the crunchies :) I would ask my mom to add them all the time and now that I am cooking, no dish is spared :P

Ranji, I'll try adding coriander next time. I don't make and store dhania powder in my pantry and so hardly use it. I should start doing that I guess.

bee said...

i adore this veggie. your version looks great.

Madhavi said...

Tindora looks great, very nice pic and recipe!!!

http://vegetarianmedley.blogspot.com/

Divya Vikram said...

I love Ivy gourd..urs looks amazing..

TheCooker said...

This is a favourite of mine too!
Like the addition of daals to the tadka.

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi Priya...
This is a healthy recipe, have heard dondakaya is good for diabetes patient... Looks amazing...Nice picture.... YUM!

Namratha said...

Oh I totally adore this veggie and make it all the time, when I can lay my hands on the fresh ones that is. Nice pics!

soums said...

Looks So Yummy..I looove Dondakaya :)

Soumya

Priya said...


Bee,all of of us have to get together and renew this veggie's bad rep! I use this simple method for most fresh veggies, it simply brings out the flavor in the veggie with no competition from the other ingredients.

Madhavi,Divya Thank you :)

TC, those dals make any dish taste bettah' :)

Sukanya, your right, its good for controlling diabetes. I have a link in the post to an article about it.

Namratha, same here :)

Soums, dondakaya surely has a huge fan base :)

Kalai said...

I absolutely adore kovakkai!! It's one of my all time faves. Awesome, quick recipe! :)

Jaya said...

Awesomeeeee... And hey thanks for linking me in multiple places.. I love kovakkai and yes, I cut it in discs too.. again thanks to Mommy... How was yr weekend with yr folks? I look forward to Gtalking with u soon!

Anu Menon said...

I wanted to make sure i was making this the right way... n it was so easy to find it on your blog:D... thx

Cooking Blog Indexer said...

priya,
i tried the domdakaya vepudu recipe and loved it. i've put a picture in my blog
Deepa

Blogging tips