Contains Onions and Garlic
Does not contain nuts
Serves: 3 to 4 people
Dondakay/ Ivy Gourd/Tindora/Kovakkai - 500 grams
Turmeric - 1/4 teaspoon
Coconut Oil - to shallow fry
[can use any other oil but coconut oil adds a different aroma]
For Masala Paste:
Dry Red Chillies - 8 Kashmiri Chilli/ 4 Guntur Chilli deseeded
(adjust according to your spice level)
Onions -3 big or 4 small
Garlic - 3 Pods (Optional)
Coriander - Few sprigs (optional)
Salt - As needed
Cumin Seeds/Jeera - 2 teaspoons
Curry Leaves - 5 Leaves
Thoroughly clean the Ivy Gourd, remove the ends and put 3cm slits in plus shape from the top portion of the vegetable. It should look something like petals of a flower. Do not put deep cuts as the they may split after cooking.
Pressure cook the Dondakay with very little water (1/4 cup) and turmeric till two whistles.
In a tawa heat up two tablespoons of coconut oil and fry roughly chopped onions, garlic till they start turning light brown in color. They should lose their raw smell. Then add red chillies fry for two more minutes and cool down the mixture.
In a mixer jar, add fried onions, garlic, red chillies, cumin seeds, curry leaves, coriander* and salt just enough for the paste. Do not add any water. Pulse it to coarse and firm mixture. The juices of the onion will help the blades work**.
Add coconut oil to an iron tawa or non stick dosa pan, once heated add half cooked Ivy Gourd. Place them separately after tossing them in the oil. Add little salt enough for Ivy Gourd to cook, and cover***. Cook on medium flame till you see charring of the Ivy Gourds. Sides start to turn brown.
Remove the lid and add ground onion paste. Hold a lid across to prevent the splatter. Mix carefully. Coat the paste on all the vegetable pieces, simmer the stove and let it cook for ten min. Keep mixing and scraping the pan gently so that masala doesn't get stuck to the bottom.
Dish it out and serve with hot rice.
This can be cooked in kadai as well. But cooking on iron tawa enhances the flavour. You can also avoid grinding coriander with onion paste and can add it at the end of the curry. But don't add in both the places.
* Do not add more coriander as it will alter the taste. Onions should be the dominant ingredient here.
**If you feel the onion paste is runny, dry roast a table spoon of besan (Chana dal powder/Senaga pindi) and mix it in the paste.
*** Should be careful not to add excess salt. Add salt separately for vegetable and for the masala to prevent this.