Sunday, 27 November 2011



1)    Tender ivy gourd (Coccinia grandis) also called baby watermelon / little gourd / gentleman’s toes (Kovakka or Koval in Malayalam, Tendlea in Konkani) – 500 gm.
2)    Dry hot red chilies – 4 Nos.
3)    Garlic cloves – 5 Nos.
4)    Coconut oil or other cooking oil – 1 tablespoon
5)    Mustard seeds – ½ teaspoon
6)    Salt – ½ teaspoon

To Cook:
Wash the Tendlea nicely. Use a wooden mallet or a small bludgeon or a rolling pin or a smooth round stone to crush the Tendlea one by one. The Tendlea should be crushed to the point that it bursts at the sides but remains intact without shattering to pieces. Crush the garlic cloves likewise. Break the dry hot red chilies each into 2 or 3 pieces.
Set a thick cast iron or non-stick wok on high heat. Pour in the coconut oil and throw in the mustard seeds. As soon as they are about to finish crackling, tip in the crushed garlic. Stir till it turns golden brown. Now add the chilies. Stir once and tip in the crushed Tendlea. Stir and sprinkle the salt. Stir again and turn down the heat to minimum. Cover with a lid.
Every few minutes, open the lid and stir. Continue till the tendlea is cooked. Taste to see if cooked (the cooking time often varies depending on the variety and tenderness of the Tendlea). Add more salt if required. Once the Tendlea is cooked, do not cover with lid but roast slowly on low heat till the skin of the Tendlea is partly caramelized.
Serve hot or cold. You will love this dish so much that the next time you cook; you will be making four times the quantity!
Eat Tendla talaasan as such or serve with rice or with gruel or with porridge.

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