Thursday, December 3, 2009

Kovakai /Ivy Gourd Fry

My Mamiyar's Kovakai Fry/Ivy Gourd Fry

Kovakai/Ivy Gourd is one vegetable I am not familiar in my Mom's kitchen as she says they are used as an 'eraser' for black slates in her childhood days. I remember my brother and me used black slates and chalk otherwise called 'Palpam' in Tamil in our childhood days to practice alphabets or numbers or drawings unlike the kids use the Crayola now.After coming to the US, I got introduced to this vegetable and learnt about the plethora of nutrients packed in it; still I was skeptical to cook. On one my trips to India during my pregnancy, my MIL had prepared Kovakai Fry and I was surprised, as I had mentioned Ivy Gourd is not as popular as Okra, beans in any Madrasi Kitchen. She explained the nutrient contents and insisted me to eat it as it is good for pregnant women and diabetic patients. When I had the first bite, the taste was out of the world.Everytime I make this fry I religiously follow my MIL's recipe. Now she has come to stay with us for sometime and we get to enjoy this fry quite often.

MY Mamiyar's Kovakai Fry


Kovakai/Ivy Gourd ½ Lb

Red Chili Powder 1Tsp/To Taste

Turmeric Powder ½ tsp

Asfoetida A pinch

Besan 2 tsp

Mustard seeds 1Tsp

Channa dal 1Tsp

Urad Dal 1Tsp

Curry Leaves 1 spring

Salt to Taste


1. Boil the Ivy gourd with salt in cooker for 2 whistles

2. Drain any excess water from the gourd

3. Marinate the boiled gourd with salt, red chili powder, besan and leave it for 5-10 minutes

4. Heat a kadai with the oil, once ready add the seasonings channa dal, urad dal, asfoetida, curry leaves .The seasoning should not brown.

5. Now add the marinated gourd and fry until golden brown.


  1. What anice recipe!!!! I make this vegetable at home but i have to try your method. I love kovakkai too! Yummy vegetable!

  2. Looks delicious!!! I haven tried this vegetable but this recipe tempts me to!!!

  3. Hi Maya, I do love ivy gourd and although my recipe shares quite a few ingredients with yours, I've never used besan in mine before. I like the idea. Thanks for sharing.


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