Tondekai/ Tindora/ Ivy gourd or Coccinia grandis is a tropical vine and grown in almost every kitchen garden in Dakshina Kannada and Malnad region. This vegetable can be used in making curries, majjige huli, stir fry and gravies. Look for my recipes of Tindoraennegai and Tindora chutney.
Basically, we prepare coconut & mustard masala chitranna (huli anna) with lemon or tamarind in our place which tastes different than the chitranna that we make in Bangalore! I used the basic recipe of the masala chitranna with slight variations to make this Tindora rice. Let us come to the recipe part now.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 – 30 minutes
Ivy gourd/ Tindora/ Tondekai - 15 – 18
Rice – 2 cups
Onion – 1 (optional)
Grated coconut – ¼ cup
Mustard seeds – 1.5 tsp
Gram dal – 1 tbsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Salt – to taste
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Dry red chillis - 2
Lemon – 1 or tamarind – 1 tsp
Jaggery - small lemon sized (2 tsp powdered)
Oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Cumin – 1 tsp
Dry red chilli – 1
Cashews – 10
Wash and cook the rice using a pressure cooker. It requires 1:2 water and 3 whistles generally. Add 1 tsp salt while cooking the rice to combine well.
Set aside until pressure settles down.
Meanwhile, Peel the onion and slice thin or chop.
Wash ivy gourd/ tindora/ tondekai and chop. While chopping, cut length wise from the centre, slice two halves and cut each slices into halves. This is to make thin pieces so that it cooks fast.
Take a pan, fry red chillis, channa dal/ gram dal, urad dal with few drops of oil in medium flame until dal turn to golden brown and you get nice aroma.
Take the fried ingredients in a mixer jar, add grated coconut, 1.5 tsp Mustard seeds, Jaggery, 1 tsp salt, turmeric powder and tamarind (if using it, Don’t add lemon at this stage if using lemon). Grind to smooth paste without water. If required sprinkle very little.
Now heat the pan to make chitranna. Add all the ingredients under Seasoning except cashew. On spluttering add cashews and sauté once.
Add chopped Onions, sprinkle little salt and fry until translucent.
When onions done, add chopped ivy gourd. Fry in medium flame until this vegetable is soft.
Add ground masala to the cooked vegetable and mix well.
Now switch off the heat, add cooked rice. Add lemon juice if using it.
Mix very well.
Serve this chitranna hot as it is as it does not usually require any side dish. If preferred serve with choice of raita.
This chitranna can be made without tindora and onions. Addition of peanuts in the seasoning enhances the taste.