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Tindora (ivy gourd) curry

Written By Reena on 12 Aug 2011 | 05:00

My mum used to make this dish when I was growing up.  I called it "mini melon curry" because to me ivy gourds look like mini melons.  I haven't posted this recipe before because I thought that I didn't like it.  A few weeks ago however, I received an email from Chetan (a reader in Hatfield) asking for a tindora curry recipe and so I tentatively made the dish (with takeaway menus close at hand).  When Steve and I sat down to try it we found that we both loved it.  So many thanks to Chetan for reintroducing me to a typical Gujarati dish.

For those of you that don't know your ivy gourds from your water melons, a small amount of research reveals that:

kovakkai (Ivy Gourd)
Ivy gourd by Karmadude on Flickr
1. They are purported to have a number of medicinal properties including the alleviation of diabetes, leprosy, constipation and gonorrhea(!)

2. It is apparently very difficult to control the spread of the parent plant.   In Hawaii the government has introduced two different types of weevil and the African vine moth in an attempt to curb the spread of the plant (without a great deal of success).

Interesting facts aside, let me know if you make the recipe.  I suspect that you'll need to make a trip to your local Indian grocery store for the tindora but hopefully you'll think it was worth the journey.

Serves 2

  • 130g tindora
  • 1 medium floury potato
  • 2 tablespoons of light tasting vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of asofoetida
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic - crushed
  • 5 grams of ginger - peeled and grated
  • 1 small green chilli - finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander-cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar

  1. Slice the tindora in half lengthways and then slice each half into long thin strips.
  2. Peel the potato, cut it in half lengthways and then slice each half into thin crescent shapes.
  3. Heat the vegetable oil in a pan.
  4. Add the potatoes and cook until they start to soften and colour a little - stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove the potatoes from the pan and set aside.  If all the oil has been absorbed then add a little more.
  6. Add the mustard, cumin seeds and asofoetida and let them sizzle for a minute.
  7. Now add the chopped onion and cook until they are transparent.
  8. Add the garlic, ginger and chopped gren chilli. Stir and let everything cook for a minute or two.
  9. Now add the chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric, salt and sugar.  Stir well.
  10. Add the potato and tindora to the pan.  Stir well and cook on a medium heat until the vegetables are cooked and the tindora are slightly crispy.  Stir regularly to prevent burning.
  11. Serve with chapatis or bread.

About Reena


  1. Very nice! I normally thin slice it and stir fry with masala... it goes well with dal...

  2. Hi Echo's Kitchen. It sounds like you cook it very similarly to me - I've just added potatoes. Interesting - I'll have to try it with dal. All the best. Reena

  3. Hi Reena, your welcome..finally got hold of some tindoras to make it...and came out great

    Thanks for posting my request..

    Chetan (from Hatfield)

  4. Hi Chetan. Phew - glad it came out okay! Take care. Reena