My 136th recipe, "Kovakkai Masala (Ivy Gourd Masala)", a delicious side made with one of my favorite veggies. While I have spoken much about my love for kovakkai in my earlier post, this time around I thought of sharing some interesting facts about kovakkai (Ivy Gourd). Kovakkai is technically a fruit which is native to Asia. Though it is a fruit, it doesn't taste sweet and is treated as a vegetable in Indian cuisine. While it is a delicacy in Asian cuisine, it is considered as a weed elsewhere, especially in Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Australia. Kovakkai grows on a vine and it is considered a weed since it is very invasive to the native plants and the vine can grow upto 4 inches per day blanketing other plants from sunlight. Whichever way the little kovakkai maybe treated, no one deny that fact that it has an excellent medicinal value. Kovakkai possesses mast cell stabilizing, anti-anaphylactic and antihistaminic potential and is know to treat joint pain, leprosy, fever, asthma, bronchitis and jaundice. When I read about all these great benefits, I was so thrilled at knowing that one of my favorite veggies was healthy too 😉 I generally tend to prepare the Kovakkai fry week after week, since that is how I like it. However once in a while I make this Kovakkai Masala since RK likes it when I cook the veggies in a onion tomato based masala. Anyways no complains as long as I get to eat my favorite Kovakkai 🙂
- Kovakkai Ivy gourd - ½ lb
- Onion - 1 Medium Sliced
- Tomato - 1 Medium Chopped
- Salt - ½ tsp Adjust as per taste
- Turmeric - ¼ tsp
- Sambar powder - 1 ½ tsp Red chilli powder- ¾ tsp + Coriander powder - ¾ tsp
- Oil - 1 ½ Tbsp
- Mustard - ½ tsp
- Broken urad dal - 1 tsp
- Jeera - ½ tsp
- Curry leaves - 1 Sprig
- First wash and chop the veggies, cut the kovakkai length wise as shown in pic.
- Heat a pan with oil, add the mustard and once it splutters, add the other ingredients listed under "To temper" in the given order. Once the urad dal turns golden brown, add the onion and saute until translucent.
- Now add the tomato, salt and saute until the tomato turns mushy.
- Now add the kovakkai and saute for a minute. Add in the turmeric, sambar powder and mix well so that the masala gets combined with the kovakkai.
- Add water as needed, I added about 1 Cup. Cook with lid closed in low-medium until the kovakkai is 90% done. By that time the water would have almost evaporated.
- Now remove the lid, turn the flame to medium-high and keep sauteing at regular intervals until the kovakkai is fully done and their outer is nicely roasted. By then the masala would have thickened up as well. Turn off the flame.
- Serve hot as a side for any rice varieties.
Notes | FAQ
- Add some extra oil in the last step, if your kovakai gets stuck to the pan while sauteing.
Nice one Revathi! Kovakkai is a very tricky vegetable to make. You overcook it, it loses its crunch and nutrition, you undercook it, its inedible. This looks fresh, vibrant and delicious 🙂
Thanks Vijetha for your nice comments 🙂