This is only my second entry to ARF Tuesday, but it is very much similar to my first entry. The method followed is the same, the difference is in the vegetable and of course, the taste and textures. Kovakka or tindora is also known as the ivy gourd.
This is grown in almost all households in Kerala with some space to put up a supporting framework for the vines to spread. They produce white flowers which gradually change into the kovakka which we use in this dish. I remember nibbling on the tiny and tender kovakkai while strolling through the yard. They are usually picked when they grow to about thumb size. There are many ways to make this vegetable, but this is my favorite.
Is this veggie any good for you?
It is Low in Cals and fat but rich in minerals and B complex vitamins. In view of the low calorie content and low Glycemic index it is advocated for diabetics Further, In a systematic review by Yeh et al (2003) on herbs and dietary supplements for Glycemic control in diabetes they concluded that the best evidence for efficacy is available for ivy gourd (Coccinia indica) and American ginseng. (Link)
So here is the recipe
Sliced kovakka(tindora, gherkin, dondakai) 2 cups( Clean the kovakka, split them into two lengthwise and cut them into slices across)
Shredded coconut 1/2 cup
Onions diced 1 small or sliced shallots 6
Green chilies 5 slit lengthwise
One small carrot diced
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Combine all the above in a pan with about 1/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook for about 10mins till these are cooked. They should retain a crunch even after the cooking.
Oil 2 tablespoon or less
Mustard seeds 1/4tsp
Curry leaves one sprig
Shallots 2 sliced or diced red onion 1/2 tablespoon
Heat the oil in a pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they start spluttering, add the shallots and curry leaves. As they start to get brown, add the cooked kovakka. Test for salt and serve.