Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Ivy Gourd Curry

 Published 2009-Feb-13   Updated 2018-Jan-04

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Tindoora Curry, Kovakkai Kulambu)

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I had been to Pazhamudir Cholai (local produce shop) nearby one day. I came across Ivygourd, also known as Tindoora or Kovakkai, which I had never tried in my life before. I saw an old lady picking up fresh greeny Ivygourds very curiously. I started a small conversion with her to know how to cook Ivygourd. She was very pleasant enough to share her knowledge about the vegetable and a few recipes using Ivygourd. It is a vegetable with amazing health benefits.

One of the recipe shared by that Malayalee aunty was this Simple Ivygourd Curry. Coincidentally I saw a similar recipe in a TV cookery show that same week. I immediately knew that I had to try it out. Ivygourd curry tasted so well. I think it goes well with any kind of dishes like white rice, chapatti, dosa or idli.

Ivygourd Curry or Kovakkai Curry was not only a tasty dish but also quite simple to prepare. Nowadays I never skip Ivygourd in my vegetable shopping, when. I also recommended  this Ivygourd curry for the diabetic members of my family who take insulin daily as this vegetable checks both sugar level and blood pressure level.

So without further delay, here comes the Kerala Style Ivygourd Curry recipe. 

Recipe For Ivy Gourd Curry

Preparation Time : 15 minutes
Cooking Time : 25 minutes
Serves : 4


  • Ivy gourd (Kovakkai, Tindoora, Dondakaya) - 1/2 lb (1/4 kg)
  • Onion - 1 big
  • Tomato - 2 small
  • Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • Green Chillies - 3
  • Grated coconut (fresh/frozen) - 3 tbsp (dry roasted)
  • Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Garam Masala - a pinch
  • Chilly powder - 1-2 tsp
  • Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - 1 strand
  • Salt - as needed
  • Oil - 1 tbsp


  1. Wash the ivy gourd, trim the edges and cut it into half lengthwise.
  2. Heat oil in a small pressure cooker and splutter the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and curry leaves.
  3. Add the finely chopped onions and green chillies and saute it for 10 minutes until it turns nice and golden brown.
  4. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for another 1 minute.
  5. Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook for another 10 minutes until the tomatoes becomes mushy and oil separates from the masala.
  6. Add 1 tbsp of water and all the dry masala powders(turmeric powder, chilly powder, garam masala, coriander powder). The water will prevent the masala from getting burnt.
  7. Dry roast the grated coconut in a small pan till it turns golden brown and grind it to a fine powder/paste. Add this along with the masalas. (NOTE: You can skip the coconut if you are health conscious but coconut just gives a nice taste and thickness to the gravy.)
  8. Add the ivy gourd pieces along with required salt and mix everything together.
  9. Add enough water depending on the amount of gravy needed, close the cooker with the pressure on and cook for 5-7 minutes (or for 1 whistle). Do not leave it longer than that.
  10. After the pressure releases, add some finely chopped cilantro to the gravy.

Serving Ivygourd Curry

  • Serve this delicious ivy gourd gravy with rice, chapatti or idli/dosa.

More Ivy Gourd Recipes

Ivy Gourd Leaves Sabzi Ivy Gourd Leaves Sabzi Ivygourd Fry Ivygourd Fry Kovakai Poriyal Kovakai Poriyal Ivygourd Pickle Ivygourd Pickle
See more Ivy Gourd dishes ⟩⟩

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Comments (12)

Person   ()
Tried this recipe.very delicious👌.thanks a lot for sharing.
Person   ()
Thank You for your comments.
Person   ()
Hey Dahlia, Are we supposed to add coconut milk or powder? Just by adding 1 tbsp of water can we get so much gravy as in the picture? Won't it stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker if so little water is added? please help...
Person   ()
Hi Ranjana, Thanks for going through the recipe. The 1 tblsp of water is just too prevent the masala from sticking. You have to add more water after adding the ivygourd pieces depending on how much gravy you want.
About the coconut, I've used fresh grated coconut. I just dry roasted it till it becomes golden brown in colour. This roasting just enhaces the flavour considerably. You could also add grated coconut without roasting or skip the coconut all together.
Hope this answers your question, Try and let me know the results.
Person   ()
Hi, I didn't have any coconut and used about 2/3 of a can of coconut milk instead and no additional water and it was perfect!
Person   ()
Hi, I didn't have any coconut and used about 2/3 of a can of coconut milk instead and no additional water and it was perfect!
Person   ()
Great.. Thanks for sharing.
Person   ()
Read point 9 you will get the answer to your question.
Person   ()
I love this recipe, very delicious. Makes a nice change from the north indian taste.
Person   ()
Thank you.
Person   ()
Interesting recipe will try it out soon,
Person   ()
Try it and give your comments.

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 Published by on and last updated on 2018-01-04.