amatuer watercolourist, foodie, cook, traveller, all rolled into one. simple yet fun recipes accompanied by watercolour sketches.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Kovakka (gherkin/ivy gourd?) stir fried

There is some debate as to whether kovakka are really gherkin (Kovakka is what they're called in Kerala. My wife's from Karnataka and she knows them as 'thondakkai'. Up north, they are called 'tindra'). Gherkin, according to the purists, is baby cucumber, and I'd be the first to agree that kovakka is not even remotely related to cucumber. To start with, they are a lot tastier. Secondly, they are more nutritious. But what's in a name? A kovakka by any other here's my mother's recipe for stir-fried kovakka.


100 grams kovakka (quartered lengthwise)
1 red onion (diced)
8 curry leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Salt to taste
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup water


Par-boil the kovakka and onions with the chilli powder, turmeric power and salt in a small pan.*
Heat the oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add the par-boiled vegetables and stir fry until the kovakka turns crispy brown.

Serve with chappatis or rice and curds.

*Allow all the water to evaporate

Other tricks with Kovakka:

1. Also see Shyamala's neat tricks with the vegetable. She's probably right in calling them 'ivy gourds'.

2.Prema has an interesting take on the same.

3. Gini Ann has an awesome recipe too.

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