I am back again with another post for a favorite veggie gravy dish...creamy yet spicy and tangy tindora or kovakkai(ivy gourd gravy).
Back in my childhood days, Tindora was not one of my favorite veggies...back then I mostly liked potatoes
or okra or sometimes, a well-fried(ouch!!) eggplant dish. Now however, tindora is one of my many favorites in the veggie world.
I like this gravy dish almost as much as all the varieties of tindora (kovakkai stir-fries) that I make.
Masala Tindora Gravy Recipe:
Serves: 3 or 4
Prep/cooking time: 20-2 mins.
Tindora/kovakkai/tinda/ivy gourd - 1 lb cut into 1 inch long pieces or round slices(according to your liking - both have worked fine for me)
Onion - 1 big cut into big chunks
Green chillies - 3 or 4 cut into thin slices
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp or tomato puree - 1/2 cup
Fresh yoghurt - 1 cup (whisk it lightly to remove any lumps and keep aside)
Cashewnuts - 7 or 8 chopped
Peanuts - 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds(khus-khus) - 1tsp
Garam Masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Dhania powder - 2 tsp
Cummin or jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Paprika or red chilli powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp(optional)
Salt - according to taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Oil - 3 to 4 tbsp
For seasoning: Fennel seeds(saunf) - 1 tsp, fenugreek seeds(methi seeds) - 1/2 tsp
For garnish: Cilantro and/or tomato slices
In a pan, add 1 to 2 tbsp of oil and add cut tindora and let cook till almost done (until the veggies become tender and almost cooked) which takes about 6 to 7 minutes. Keep aside.
In a separate pan, add a little oil(less than a tsp) and roast the cut onion, cashewnuts, peanuts and poppy seeds till the nuts turn brownish in color and the onions become slightly translucent. Let cool for a few minutes and grind into a smooth paste.
In a pan, add the remaining oil and then the fennel seeds and fenugreek seeds until the fennel seeds start crackling. Then, add the sliced green chillies and ground onion-nuts paste, turmeric, salt and sugar(optional)and let the mixture cook for about 2 or 3 minutes until any raw smell in the onions disappears.
Then add the tomato paste or puree and let it boil together with the onion gravy.
Then add the cooked tindora and also all the spice powders(coriander powder, cummin powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder) and let everything come to a boil.
Finally add the whisked yoghurt to the veggies and let it bubble up once before taking off the heat and adding the items for garnish...which could be cilantro(coriander leaves) or sliced tomatoes or both.
This gravy dish would be a great accompaniment to rotis, bread, puris or even rice.
Note: All Asian / Indian ingredients and spices are available at most ethnic/Asian or Asian Indian grocery stores.