Ivy Gourd or Little Gourd is known as ‘Kovakka’ in Malayalam and ‘Tindoora’ in Hindi. It is commonly used in India. In Kerala, kovakka is used for making thoran, mezhkkuperatti, and is also added to sambar and aviyal.
After coming to US, I never found Ivy Gourds in supermarkets. I found these little green ones when I went to Farmers Market. I made a crunchy stir fry using Ivy Gourd and coconuts. Here is my recipe for making a simple and nourishing Kovakka Thoran.
- Kovakka/Ivy Gourd (sliced lengthwise) – 1/2 kg
- Sliced Shallots (Kunjulli/Pearl Onions) – 6 to 8
- Grated Coconut – 1 Cup
- Crushed Garlic – 4 cloves
- Grated Cumin (Jeera) – 1/4 tsp
- Slit Green Chillies – 4
- Turmeric – A pinch
- Red Chilly Powder – 1/4 tsp
- Salt – As Required
- Oil – 2 tbsp
- Mustard Seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Curry Leaves – A sprig
- Mix together ivy gourd pieces, coconut, turmeric powder, shallots, cumin, salt, garlic and green chillies using hands.
- Heat 2 tbsp oil in a non stick pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add curry leaves and saute for a minute.
- Next add the ivy gourd coconut mixture and combine everything together.
- Cover the pan and cook on low flame, stirring occasionally. Do not add water while cooking.
- Add 1/4 tsp of chilly powder and mix well.
- After around 20 mins, the kovakka will be cooked and crunchy. Remove the lid and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes on high flame till it is dry.
- Serve with rice.