Bharwan Tinda: Apple Gourd Stuffed With A Spicy Mix
Image Credit: Image: Shutterstock

The variety of natively-devised stuffed veggies dishes, called Bharwan, are just endless and can be applied to almost every vegetable, whether it's commonplace brinjal or rare apple gourds or tinda. The mere utterance of Tinda may deter some people but the loved Punjabi dish Bharwan Tinda can flip your perceptions for sure. The apple gourds are stuffed with a heavily spicy mixture combined with gram flour, lemon and oil and are a complete delight in themselves. However, when these are cooked in the racy thick curry of onions, tomatoes and roasted ground spices it becomes drool-worthy and can excite the interest of even the ones most uninterested in tinda.

Apple gourds look like a hybrid between guavas for their green colour and apples for their shape. But they are distinct in both taste and texture and are neutrally flavoured like cucumber. These are native to the Indian subcontinent and are popularly cooked as curry vegetables and various other kinds of dishes in both India and Pakistan. Some more Indian Tinda dishes include Punjabi-style tinda Sabzi and tinda masala, malai tinda and dahi wala tinda.

Here’s the recipe for Bharwan Tinda.

Preparation time: 55 mins

Cooking time: 35-40 mins


  • 6 apple gourds
  • ½ cup coriander seeds
  • ¼ cup cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsps fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup gram flour
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1¼ tsps chilli powder
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsps chopped fresh coriander
  • 4 tbsps oil
  • ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium onions (chopped)
  • 2 green chillies (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 medium tomatoes (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsps fresh coriander(chopped)


  • Wash the apple gourds, scrape from all sides and then give a slit from the top into 4 quarters without cutting through.
  • In a frying pan, dry roast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and black peppercorns until they turn aromatic.
  • Turn off the flame, transfer them into a bowl and grind them coarsely when cooled.
  • Then dry roast gram flour on medium heat for 4-5 minutes and transfer into a bowl and add 2 ½ tbsps of the ground spice mixture to it.
  • To this add salt, chilli, turmeric and coriander powder and sugar and mix well.
  • Then add 2 tbsps oil and combine everything and then squeeze half a lemon and add 2 tbsps water and mix well to form a thick paste.
  • Stuff the masala paste in the apple gourds and keep them aside.
  • Now, heat 2 tbsp oil in the pan and roast cumin seeds until they begin changing colour.
  • Then, add onions and chillies and sauté them until onions turn golden brown.
  • To this add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for 30 seconds, and then add tomatoes, and salt and mix well. 
  • Cover and cook till tomatoes turn mushy.
  • Add the remaining roasted coarsely ground spices, turmeric and chilli powder and mix well.
  • Add ½ cup of water to the pan and mix everything well. 
  • Then place the stuffed apple gourds in the pan and mix slightly with the curry in the pan.
  • Add ¼ cup of water to the pan and cover and cook for 10-15 minutes.
  • Add chopped coriander and mix lightly.
  • The Bharwan Tinda is ready to be served.
  • Eat this stuffed veggie with chapatis. 

Points to remember:

  • Do not flip or toss the stuffed apple gourds. 
  • Check if they are cooked at the end of the cooking by inserting a knife slightly into the apple gourds. If the knife cuts easily through them, then they are cooked.