Kovakkai is known in different names at different regions – Tindora, Ivy Gourd, Tendli etc. It has a many health benefits. In traditional medicine, fruits have been used to treat leprosy, fever, asthma, bronchitis, and jaundice. The fruit possesses mast cell-stabilizing, antianaphylactic and antihistaminic potential. The roots are used to treat osteoarthritis and joint pain. A paste made of leaves is applied to the skin to treat scabies. They are claimed to help regulate blood sugar levels. Some research supports that compounds in the plant inhibit glucose-6-phosphatase. Glucose-6-phosphatase is one of the key liver enzymes involved in regulating sugar metabolism. Therefore, ivy gourd is sometimes recommended for diabetic patients. A fair amount of research on the medicinal properties of this plant are focusing on its use as an antioxidant, antihypoglycemic agent, immune system modulator, etc. Some countries in Asia, such as Thailand, prepare traditional tonic-like drinks for medicinal purposes. Leaving aside all these research on its health benefits, this vegetable can be used to make very tasty dishes. The fry, which we are going to see, is a very easy and quick to make dish and it tastes very good.
Kovakkai (Tindora/Tendli/Ivy Gourd) – 400 Gms
Red Chilli Powder – 1 ½ tsp
Coriander Seed Powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Salt – to suit one’s taste
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Curry Leaves – from 2 sprigs
Cut off the ends of the Kovakkai and discard. And cut the Kovakkai into thin slices lengthwise. Take them in a vessel. Add all the spices and Salt given under “To marinate”. Mix well and keep aside for 15 to 20 minutes.
Heat the Oil in a broad pan. Add the Cumin Seeds. When it starts crackling, add Curry Leaves and stir for a few seconds. Add the marinated Kovakkai. Mix and then spread evenly on the pan. Leave for 2 to 3 minutes. Do not disturb them. And now stir them well. Cover the pan with a lid. Cook in low flame for 15 to 20 minutes stirring them occasionally till the Tindora is done well. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Serve Hot with Roti, Chapatti and even Rice.