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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

kovakkai paruppusili

easy recipe tindora kovakkai lentils paruppusili

Coccinia grandis, Tindora, Kovakkai, Dondakaya, Ivy Gourd... whatever we call it, this is  one of my childhood favorites.

I don't make it often these days - it depends on whether my local Indian stores carry it when I feel like having some, but, as it happened, D bought a pound of Kovakkai recently that I eagerly cooked up into my favorite dish here.

easy recipe tindora kovakkai lentils paruppusili

Paruppusili is basically, red gram lentils soaked with some dry red chilies, ground into a paste, steam-cooked and then pan fried and added to vegetable of choice, which in this recipe happens to be Kovakkai. The procedure is the same as my Green Beans Paruppusili recipe.

easy recipe tindora kovakkai lentils paruppusili

After soaking and grinding the red gram lentils (toor dal, tuvar dal), I like to shape it into small balls and steam the lentil balls. At this point, the steamed lentil balls can be frozen for future use - just thaw in microwave on low power as needed. The lentil balls can also be used to make a wonderful dish we relish in my family, called Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu.

4 2"-diameter steamed lentil balls, if handy
(1 cup toor dal, 2 dry red chilies, some water)

1 pound kovakkai*, cut length-wise
salt to taste
* I prefer the green and unripe Kovakkai for this dish, not the ripe ones that are reddish inside

tempering: 2 Tbsp oil, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves


to make lentil balls: soak the toor dal and dry red chilies in water for about an hour or two; drain, grind it to a thick paste; shape into 2" diameter balls; steam them and set aside

steam the kovakkai with a pinch of salt till cooked through but not mushy, drain, and set aside

heat oil in a non-stick pan, add the tempering: when mustard seeds pop and die down, add the cumin seeds and curry leaves, crumble the lentil balls and add them to the pan; stir fry till the lentils get slightly crispy and golden

add the steamed kovakkai to the pan, stir till well incorporated; adjust salt to taste

Serve warm with simple roti, or, with basmati rice and pepper rasam

This Kovakkai paruppusili recipe is my 'K' dish for A to Z of Indian Vegetables event hosted by Nupur of One Hot Stove. It takes hard work to do the round-up week after week and I really appreciate all the effort Nupur has been putting into hosting this event.

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  • At 10:54 PM, Blogger Sig said…

    I normally like kovakkai just stir fried with some onions and peppers, but this looks great, I think the lentils will add a nice contrasting texture to the dish! And I love your pictures too, these are beautiful!

  • At 6:02 AM, Blogger Asha said…

    First looks absolutely fabulous.Thanks Sheela:)

  • At 1:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sheela, I went through all your recipes. Everyone of them seem to be so authentic with a touch of health conscious ingredient. I have to say, I have been getting recipes from all over the web but when it comes to sharing the tips(things to be carefully noted when preparing the dishes)none more perfect other your blog.
    I am not sure whether you have already thought about this but why don't you try having your own book release or to start with a website. I am pretty sure you would be popular soon.
    My best wishes for your wee one and the upcoming summer garden.
    Thanks for all the recipe.
    -- Gita.

  • At 1:36 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    thank you sig, asha, gita, i appreciate your generous compliments - your kind words make my day brighter, believe it or not!

  • At 6:18 AM, Blogger Nandita said…

    Sheela - Paruppu usili is my all time favourite with Mor Kozhambu, and whenever I'm at amma's place, she knows that's on my favourites' list...However we always make either Kothavarangai or Beans usili, kovakkai is new to me..must tell mom to try this
    BTW love your blog and I find some authentic Tambram recipes...cya around girl!

  • At 6:51 AM, Blogger Latha said…

    Looks really yummy Sheela. I have made paruppuusili with beans and kothavarangaa.. will try it with kovaka...

  • At 5:11 PM, Blogger Linda said…

    Hi Sheela, I am coming in through Nupur's A-Z. I enjoyed the lovely photos and the new recipe - tindora looks particularly fantastic!

  • At 12:46 PM, Blogger vicky said…

    Could anyone please tell me what do you call "Gilki" in english..I think its really very famous in North India, esp in uttar pradesh. It's a green color, long vegetable. I am just having hard time finding it in Walmart or even in an Indian store.



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