Ivy gourd or Tindora is a popular vegetable in India. It grows in the tropical climate, and infact it has a lot of medicinal properties and you can refer to the Wikipedia link here, to get more information on the medicinal properties. This was one of the popular vegetables that our whole family was fond of. Tindora and Bhinda or okra was on the weekly menu always, with rotli, gujarati daal and rice. It is perhaps one of my favorite vegetables that I really enjoy! It is a vegetable that is a bit tedious to cut, but once prepped, they turn out to be very enjoyable. Tindora are small and green in color with thin white stripes sometimes. They are raw and crunchy in that state, and as they ripen, they become pinkish red in color. They are elongated in length.
*TWO WAYS TO CUT TINDORA:*
There are 2 ways to cut the Tindora. 1) You can cut the ends off, and then cut it in its round shape horizontally 2) you can cut the ends off and cut it length wise into half, and then cut each half into slivers. It is a matter of preference. There is ofcourse no change in taste! 😊 I like it cut lengthwise, perhaps because my mom always cut it lengthwise when she prepared it.
*GUJARATI WAY OF PREPARATION:*
The gujarati way of preparation and how my mom would prepare it, is to put only the dry spices, along with ginger with the tindora and potatoes. I like the tindora with onions, that are slightly fried in the oil, so that it imparts a sweet flavor to the vegetable, and along with the potatoes, and spices, this vegetable is a clear favorite and a winner in my books!
Gujarati or Indian vegetables that are homestyle, are very easy to prepare. The cutting and preparation takes a bit of time, but if you prepare a day ahead, the making of the vegetables literally takes 15-20 minutes in all. It is simply putting together the oil, dry spices, ginger, and garlic if you prefer, and adding the cut vegetables. Let it cook on low heat, covered with a lid so that it cooks all the way through. The best way to enjoy Indian food is by eating home cooked meals, because that is when you get a real taste of the India, or particularly, the state from where the food comes from. Home cooked meals are ones that I crave a lot, and which you will never get in any restaurant. Restaurants only serve 2 kinds of cuisines most of the times, North Indian Cuisine and South Indian Cuisine, and both are generalized. They are all amazing dishes in the restaurants, but nothing beats a homely meal, that is made with love.
This tindora nu shaak is best served with plain rotli, Gujarati Daal and plain rice. You can also eat it with Gujarati Daal and Plain rice as well.
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Tindora nu Shaak (Ivy Gourd Spiced Vegetable)
- 1 ¼ pounds tindora or ivy gourd
- 2-3 small potatoes, cut into 1 inch cubes
- ½ cup finely diced red onions
- 1 inch ginger, freshly grated
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- A pinch of asafoetida
- 1 tsp red chilli powder or more if you like it spicy
- 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 ½ tsp garam masala
- 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
- Salt to taste or about 2 tsp table salt
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
- 1. Clean the ivy gourd by rinsing under the water. Using a kitchen towel dry the tindora. Cut the ends of all the tindoras. Now slice each into half lengthwise, and then cut slivers out of each half of the tindora. I usually cut 4 slivers per half of the tindora. Repeat for all of them. It takes about 15 minutes to cut the tindora, but its really worth it.
- 2. In a large pot, on medium heat, add in the oil. Let it heat up for 2 minutes. Now add in the cumin seeds, asafoetida and let it splatter for 20 seconds. Now add in the red onions, saute with a wooden spatula and wait for it to brown slightly about 4-5 minutes. Add in the grated ginger and saute for 10 seconds. Now add in the sliced tindora and potatoes, and toss to coat them with the oil. Add in all the spices like red chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder and salt, and mix to combine, and coat all the tindora. Cover and let it cook for a total of 20 minutes. Within the 20 minutes, after every 5 minutes or so, saute the vegetable and mix it around so that the bottom does not get burnt. Scrap the vegetable from the bottom. After 20 minutes, make sure that potato is cooked all the way through by pressing against it. It should mash easily. If not cooked after 20 minutes, cook it for another 3-4 minutes. Switch off the gas.
- 3. Garnish with cilantro and eat it with hot rotlis! Or Gujarati Daal and Rice.