Kovakkai Varuval/ Ivy Gourd Stir Fry
Ivy gourd (Coccinia indica) is a unique tropical plant that is a member of the family of Cucurbitaceae. It grows well in India and Thailand as well as in tropical areas such as Hawaii.
Ivy gourd has been classified as a medicinal herb in traditional Ayurvedic medicine. In India, ivy gourd is often recommended to diabetics due to its low glycemic index and its possible ability to help regulate blood glucose.
Kovakkai, Dondakaya or Tindora stir fry is a very simple recipe where the kovakkai is sautéed with mild spices and roasted to perfection to bring out the slight crunchy texture of the Kovakkai. Although not very popular in the parts of Tamilnadu, I have a liking for them since my school days in Secunderabad . We eat them raw while Amma bought them from the street vendor.
Recipe: Heat two tablespoons of oil in a pan/kadai and add 4 cups sliced Kovakkai and few curry leaves. Saute for few minutes until oil is coated on the kovakkai. Add 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, 2 teaspoon chilli powder and a teaspoon salt and sauté for another 2 minutes. Simmer and cook covered until the kovakkai is soft and tender( approx 15 to 20 minutes). Once cooked open the lid and fry well on low heat until crisp and the skin starts to wrinkle.