Monday, 24 September 2012

Kovakka Thoran(Ivy gourd/Gherkins in grated cocunut)

Kovakka or tindora or Ivy Gourd is a tender vegetable which is an ideal candidate for preparing Kerala Thoran/Fry. The preparation method is very much similar to Cabbage and carrot thoran but differs in taste. Kerala Thorans are the simplest dish to prepare as it does not require too much of preparation, so I prefer having one or the other vegetable thorans almost every day. And again its very healthy and nutritious as its steam cooked.

So here goes Ivy gourd/Tindora/Kovakka Thoran.Enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ingredients                                                                       Quantity              
KovakkaGherkins)                                                                   : 200 gm
Grated fresh Coconut                                                             :   ¼ cup
Chopped Shallots(Kunjulli) or Onions                             :  ½ cup
Green chillies                                                                            :  1 -2
Turmeric powder                                                                    : 1/2 tsp  
For Seasoning:
Finely chopped Shallots                                                      : 1-2 tsp
Mustard seeds                                                                         : 1 tsp
Urad dal/ Black gram                                                          : 1tsp
Curryleaves                                                                             : A few
Dry red chillies(Kollamulaku)                                          : 2 -3 nos
Salt                                                                                              : As required
Oil                                                                                                : 2 tbsp

Preparation Method :                                   

  • Clean the kovakka very well and chop them into thin horizontal pieces depending upon the size of Kovakka.
  • Take a wok/pan, heat oil, splutter musturd seeds,chopped green chillies, copped onion, curry leaves and a pinch of salt, saute for 2-3 mins.
  • Add the chopped Kovakka into the pan, add turmeric and salt as required. Mix well and sprinkle some water into the pan. Dont put too much of water as it should be steam cooked and not boiled.
  • Coarsely grind the coconut and a pinch of turmeric in a mixer grinder.
  • Add this to the kovakka and mix thorougly.
  • Lower the flame and cover it with a lid. Cook it for 10-12 mins by stirring in between and sprinkling water if required.
  • Remove the lid once the Kovakka gets properly cooked and saute for another 2-3 mins. It should be completley dry.Remove it from the stove.
  • In a tadka pan heat oil(1/2 tbsp), add the urad dal, red chillies, saute it till urad dal turn light brown, add the chopped shallots, few more curry leaves and saute till the shallots turn brown.
  • Pour this on to the cooked Kovakka and cover with the lid.
Mix well before serving with rice as side dish.

Note: along with turmeric you can also add chilli poweder if wish to make it more spicy.

Tip: I have seen people boiling Kovakka before hand and then using the boiled vegetable to prepare the thoran. Ideally there is no need to boil any vegetable for thoran as its mostly a steam cooked dish and it gets cooked very easily and steaming vegetables can retain more of their original flavor and nutrients, since they do not leech out into the water during boiling.

If required one can sprinkle water in between but no need to boil or add water to most of the Kerala style thorans.

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