Ivy Gourd has native range extends from Africa to south east Asia, Asian Subcontinent to Australia. These are a small oblong shaped, smooth skinned, light green to dark green shade, abundantly available Indian vegetable. It has a mild sour flavor with a crunchy juicy texture and has medicinal value and used widely in Traditional Thai and Ayurvedic Medicine.
Called by different names across the Indian Sub continent namely, Dondakaya/Dondakai in Telugu, Tondakayi in Kannada, Vargoli in Hindi, Tindora/Ghiloda in Gujarati, Tondli/Tendli in Marathi, Kovakkai in Malayalam, Kovaikai in Tamil, Goli inRajasthani, Kundru in Uttar Pradesh amoung others Ivy Gourd is used to prepare delicious stuffed curries, stews, pickles, salads and stir fries.
In India, it is eaten as a curry, by deep-frying it along with spices, stuffing it with masala and sautéing it, or boiling it first in a pressure cooker and then frying it. It is also used in sambar, a vegetable and lentil-based soup.
This is a simple stir-fry recipe, though the slicing is time-consuming, but worth the effort.
My mother in law got some freshly picked Ivy gourd when she visited us this time around. The stir fry cooked was tasted heavenly..a lot of difference from the market bought ones. The ones she got me were home grown, the taste is heavenly even with the Organic farmed Ivy gourds. I have a group of ladies growing a few veggies – Organic Farming near my home. I make it a point to buy at least some of them from those ladies.
– Wash and trim the edges. Cut into thin slices, roundels or even small pieces.
– Cut the onions in par with the Ivy Gourd’s shape..if its thin slices, chop onion to thin slices, else cut them into small pieces.
– Heat a small pressure cooker on medium heat, add the mustard seeds and allow to splutter. Add the oil followed by the chopped onion, green chillies and curry leaves. (if using red chilli powder, add after adding the ivy gourd.) Stir.
– Add the chopped Ivy gourd, salt and grated coconut(if using red chilli powder add now).
– Add about 3-4 Tbsp of water to this.
– Cover lid and cook for a whistle.
– Once you feel that the pressure is half released by itself, you can manually release to have a crunchy firm texture, else allow the pressure to release completely on its own. (At my mom’s place we liked the vegetables to have a slightly firm texture.)
– Fry till water evaporates.
– Serve as a side with steamed rice & Sambar/Rasam for lunch or dinner.