Kovakkai (Tindora/Dondakaya) Curry Recipe | South Indian Side Dish Recipes

Kovakkai Curry Recipe

Kovakkai Curry or Kovakkai Poriyal Recipe – A quick and easy side dish with kovakkai that goes very well with both rice and chappathis. Kovakkai is known as Dondakaya in Telugu, Tendli or Kheera in Hindi and Gherkins or Ivy Gourd in English and is a very versatile veggie to be used in day to day cooking.

This Kovakkai Curry or rather fry is a very simple one that does not involve any grinding of masala but uses the basic ingredients that are available in the pantry. When I make this in the morning, I just roll them in chappathis and pack for the kids and enjoy the curry with rice as a side dish.

Kovakkai Curry

I do not like using the ripe red ones as they give a pungent, tart taste to the curry. So I would tell you to discard the ripe ones but unfortunately you can find them only after cutting it though.

The kovakkai that are left to ripe in the climber itself turn out a dark red or deep coral color which is a delight to look at though. They can be eaten as such and tastes so good even when eaten raw.

Dondakaya Curry Recipe

While making this curry you can also add tomatoes as they always increase the volume of the curry.  If making the curry for chappathis, use garam masala powder without fail. However avoid it if making to go with rice.

Dondakaya Koora

Check out other other easy side dish recipes like Kathirikkai Milagu Curry, Palakottai Poriyal, Vazhakkai Milagu Varuval, Vazhakkai Podimas and Cauliflower Milagu Pirattal that pairs very well with rice.

Kovakkai Curry Recipe below:

Kovakkai Curry Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Kovakkai curry - a simple and easy side dish that is served with rice or chapathis.
Recipe type: Side dish
Cuisine: South Indian
Serves: 4
  • Kovakkai (Tindora/Dondakaya) – ¼ kgs
  • Onion, medium – 1
  • Garlic pods – 2
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1-1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Garam masala powder – ½ tsp (optional)
  • Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Fresh grated coconut – 4 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  1. Wash kovakkai and trim the edges. Slice them thinly into roundels. You can also quarter them lengthwise as it will save time. Chop the onions finely. Crush the garlic pods and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add urad dal. roast ill golden brown. Add the crushed galric pods and saute for ½ a minute for the flavor to get imbibed.
  3. Add onions, curry leaves and saute till it turns translucent. Add sliced kovakkai, red chili powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, Garam masala powder (if using), salt and mix well.
  4. Sprinkle a handful of water (1/4 cup approx.,) and close with a lid and let it cook over medium low flame for 5-7 minutes.
  5. Mix in between and check if there is enough moisture for the veggie to get cooked till soft.
  6. Finally add the grated coconut, mix well and let it cook for 1 more minute before taking the pan off the stove.
  7. Kovakkai Curry is ready.
  8. Serve hot with either rice or chappathis.
You can also add 1 tsp of tamarind extract to the curry while adding water
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