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Kovakkai Sadam

Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Servings 3


  • Basmati rice - ¾ Cup
  • Onion - ½ Small Finely chopped
  • Kovakkai/Tindora/Ivy gourd - 30 1 ¾ Cup when Chopped
  • Turmeric - ¼ tsp
  • Salt - ½ + ½ tsp Adjust as per taste

To roast and grind

  • Oil - ¼ tsp
  • Chana dal - 1 Tbsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds - ¼ tsp
  • Dry red chilli - 3
  • Grated coconut - 3 Tbsp

To Temper

  • Oil - 1 Tbsp
  • Mustard - ¼ tsp
  • Broken urad dal - ½ tsp
  • Jeera - ½ tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 Sprig


  • First cook the rice in any method as your desire along with ½ tsp salt. Bring it to room temperature and keep aside. Meanwhile, cut the ivy gourd into circles of about 0.5 cm thickness.

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • Now, 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.

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • Add the ivy gourd and saute for a further 1 minute. Now add turmeric, ½ tsp salt, 1 Cup of water and mix well. Turn the flame to low-medium and cook covered until the ivy gourd is half done.

    kovakkai kovakkai

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • While the ivy gourd is cooking, in parallel, we will roast and grind the masala needed. Heat a pan with oil and add all the ingredients listed under "To roast and grind" except the grated coconut. Saute until the dal start changing color. Now add the grated coconut and saute for a few more minutes until the dal color turns golden brown. Turn off the flame and bring them to room temperature. Grind them into a coarse powder by just pulsing for few times in the mixie/blender. Keep aside.

    kovakkai kovakkai

    kovakkai kovakkai

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • Once the ivy gourd is half cooked, add the ground masala powder and mix well. If needed, add little more water and mix well. Let the mixture gets cooked for few more minutes (about 2 Minutes). By now the raw smell of the masala would have gone and the mixture will become thick. Turn the flame to medium-high and saute for few more minutes until the oil ooze out of the masala slightly. Turn off the flame.

    kovakkai kovakkai

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • Add the cooked rice to the ivy gourd masala or vice versa and mix nice. Take care not to mash or break the rice strands. Let the rice sit for 10 minutes to absorb the flavors.

    kovakkai kovakkai
  • Serve warm and enjoy with simple appalam or chips.
    kovakkai sadam kovakkai sadam

Notes | FAQ

- You can cut the ivy gourd in your desire size and shape.
- Do adjust the spiciness (Black peppercorns + Dry red chilli) according to your taste. The quantity mentioned in this recipe is for a spicy rice.
- Add 2 drops of oil While cooking the rice, to get well separated rice strands.
- In case using left-over cooked rice, you can add it to the ivy masala at the end and saute for a few minutes in low flame until the rice heats up.