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.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sepankazhangu/Arbi/Colocasia Roots Roast

Sepankazhangu/Arbi/Colocasia Roots Roast


Usually our weekend meals are light on Saturdays, full fledged ones on Sundays or the vice versa.
"Weekends" usually for us is meant for house cleaning, grocery; catch up on any household things that are pending.On those cleaning days I will turn as the 'chieftain' of the house giving instructions to my husband and daughter  until the cleaning is done..I usually prefers cleaning to be done at one shot and the house ready for the rest of the week.On Sundays we go out on, trips for my daughter if its summer we have 'n' number of activities  ,visit to the local park ,a pending trip to the zoo for the year, a simple bike ride on our community trails.In winter we hang around mall play areas swimming pools (Thanks to the Mommy and Me classes at the Y).On one such weekend I made Red Pearl onion sambar, sepankazhangu roast.

Given is the recipe for Sepankazhangu Roast

Preparation Time:15 Mins
Cooking Time:   20 Mins


/Arbi/colocasia roots- 6 Nos (the one variety we get in desi stores here are really huge unlike the Indian version)

Salt                               1&1/2 Tsp

Chili Powder                 1 Tsp

 Turmeric Powder        1 Tsp

 Asfoetida                     a Pinch

 Besan                         1 & 1/2 Tsp

Oil                              1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds            1 Tsp

Channa dal                  1Tsp

Urad dal                      1 Tsp

Curry leaves              1 spring

Coriander leaves   for Garnishing


Place the sepankazhangu in a cooker and just leave it for a whistle , sim the cooker ,leave it for a few minutes and switch it off.Once cooled, Peel the sepankazhangu and cut in to cubes .Marinate the sepankazhangu with chili powder, salt, turmeric, asfoetida,besan and leave it for 10 minutes
The besan flour will give the extra crunchiness.

In a kadai heat the oil and when it is ready add the seasonings-mustard seeds, Channa dal,urad dal and the curry leaves.Then add the marinated sephankazhangu and dry roast until golden brown. Garnish with cut coriander leaves. Roasts made to perfection are heavenly.