Ivy gourd, also known as tindora or tendli, is a versatile vegetable commonly used in South Asian and Southeast Asian cuisine. It has mild, slightly tangy flavour which makes it a great addition to various dishes apart from the sabzis that it is commonly eaten as.
Ivy gourd, also known as tendli, is a commonly eaten vegetable across many regional kitchens in India. Also known as tindora, kovakkai or kunduli, the pinky-finger sized green vegetable grows abundantly in tropical climates. With a distinct tangy flavour and a mild sweetness when cooked, the tendli is a smaller, tender version of parwal– or pointed gourd. It has pale toned, flat seeds and packed with vitamins, known to improve metabolism and preventing diabetes.
Often eaten in the form of sabzis, achaar and curries that accompany rotis or rice, tendli is eaten fairly commonly in the states of Assam, parts of western Maharashtra, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal and some parts of Gujarat. Its crisp texture also makes it a vegetable that can be enjoyed in its raw form, apart from being eaten deep-fried, mixed with rice and spices or even stuffed with a masala mixture before cooking. Here are some more refreshing ways to enjoy this underrated vegetable.
Asian Style Tendli Stir-Fry
A quick recipe that involves cutting ivy gourd into thin slices or halves and tossing it in a pan with some sesame oil, bell peppers, onions and cashews. Make a sweet-savoury glaze or sauce with soy sauce, hoisin sauce, some sugar and season with salt. Cook until they are tender and slightly crispy and garnish with chopped cilantro, before serving over a bowl of steamed or sticky rice for an easy fusion meal.
Slice ivy gourd into thin spears and toss in a mixture of salt, red chili powder, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and a little oil. Allow it to marinate for a few days in an airtight container to develop and deepen its tangy flavours, before enjoying with rice and dal. You can alternately pickle the ivy gourd spears in a brine made with vinegar, salt and sugar before refrigerating and using as a crunchy pickle element in sandwiches and wraps.
Ivy Gourd-Lentil Soup
A comforting supper that can be eaten with croutons or savoury granola, this simple soup can be made by cooking red lentils until they are soft and mushy. In a separate pan, sauté chopped ivy gourd with onions, tomatoes and spices before combining the sautéed mixture with the cooked lentils and vegetable stock to reach your desired soup consistency. Simmer and season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.
These crunchy fries made with tendli spears that are coated with seasoned breadcrumbs, can be made three ways – deep-fried, baked and air-fried. A fairly healthy snack to enjoy, pair these tangy and savoury fries with a delicious garlic aioli or serve as an accompaniment to grilled chicken or fish and mashed potatoes.
Shrimp Tindora Salad
Pair sweet, tender poached shrimp along with chopped tendli for some juxtaposing crunch in a delicious bowl of salad made with local vegetables. Enjoy tossing your salad with standard ingredients like juliennes of cucumber, torn lettuce, diced tomatoes and coat in a simple vinaigrette made with olive oil, honey, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Eat as a precursor to your meal or enjoy a large bowl for a light lunch.
Pair pre-cooked tendly with smooth and creamy Greek yoghurt in this chunk-smooth dip to enjoy as a shareable plate with chips and crudites. The mellow tanginess of the tendly and the creamy tang from the yoghurt pair perfectly well in this delicious rendition of a healthy, nutrition-packed dip that is perfect for those watching their weight or looking to curb their diabetes with healthy food choices.