Spicy Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe

Spicy Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe
Growing up, I was a good kid – in the sense that I wasn’t a picky eater & ate most of my vegetables without a fuss. I actually enjoyed them too, especially the exotic vegetables that I only got to eat on my trips to India because they were simply not available here in the US back then. One of these was the ivy gourd, known in Marathi as “tondli” and in Hindi as “tindora”.

The ivy gourd is a delicious vegetable commonly eaten throughout India. These look like small finger-like cucumbers but have a texture similar to baby zucchinis. Regardless, they are very tasty & also very healthy. Ivy gourds are a rich source of both Vitamins A & C. They are also high in beta-carotene. Ivy gourds are available in any Indian grocery store or market.

My Tondli Bhath is a typical Maharashtrian dish that combines tender ivy gourds with fragrant Basmati rice. So the next time you decide to visit your local Indian grocery store, do give ivy gourds & this delicious recipe a try!


TONDLI BHATH (Spicy Ivy Gourd Rice)

Ingredients:

2 cups of Basmati rice
23-25 ivy gourds, trimmed & quartered
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp coriander seeds
½ tbsp white sesame seeds
2-3 dried red chilies
½ cup desiccated coconut flakes (unsweetened)
1 tsp garam masala (use kala or goda masala if available)
1 tsp black mustard seeds
6-8 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida
1 bay leaf
salt & pepper, to taste
10-12 toasted, unsalted cashews (large pieces)
2 tbsp yogurt
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
freshly grated coconut as a garnish (optional)
2-3 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)

METHOD:

Wash and drain the rice thoroughly at least 1 hour prior to use. Set aside until needed.

In a small dry skillet on medium low heat, toast the cumin seeds, coriander seeds, sesame seeds, dried red chilies and desiccated coconut. Stir fry until fragrant and lightly toasted. Be careful not to burn the spices. Remove quickly from the heat and add the garam masala. Let cool and using a spice grinder (or clean coffee grinder) grind the spices into a fine powder.

In a large deep skillet or soup pot on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the black mustard seeds, asafetida and the fresh curry leaves. Next, add the rice and stir until well coated with the fragrant oil (about 2-3 minutes). Add the cashews, bay leaf, salt, pepper and the freshly ground spice mixture. Mix well to combine and add the ivy gourds. Sauté for about 5 minutes and then add 4 cups of water. Bring to a good boil, cover and reduce the heat. Let simmer until done (around 10-12 minutes). Halfway through the cooking process, add the yogurt and carefully stir through the rice and ivy gourd mixture. The rice should be thoroughly cooked and the ivy gourds should be soft and tender. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro and freshly grated coconut. Serve hot with papad and yogurt on the side.

 photo 7848aef9-af31-402c-9c41-6c17924b5963.jpg


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