Kovakkai poriyal is a popular South Indian dish typically made with kovakkai, also known as ivy gourd or tindora. It is a simple and flavorful vegetable stir-fry often served as a side dish with rice or roti. Kovakkai is known for its unique flavour and texture. It is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet and is perfect for a light and healthy meal.
We call this Poriyal as “Kovakkai Podi Pota Kari” at home. In this recipe, we will add a homemade spice powder to the kovakkai fry. The spice powder consists of coriander seeds, chana dal, red chillies, sesame seeds and peanuts. Adding peanuts to kovakkai poriyal is a great way to enhance the flavour and texture of the dish. Peanuts add a nutty and crunchy element to the soft and tender ivy gourds, making the dish more exciting and satisfying.
What is South Indian Poriyal?
It’s a dish made with vegetables that are chopped or sliced into small pieces and stir-fried with a blend of aromatic spices, like mustard seeds, cumin, and curry leaves. The veggies could be anything from cabbage, carrot, beans, or beetroot. Poriyal is a popular dish in South India, and it’s usually served as a side dish with steamed rice and sambar or rasam. It’s super healthy and packed with nutrition, plus it tastes fantastic! If you want to add more veggies to your diet, you should give South Indian poriyal a try.
Reasons to love Kovakkai Poriyal
Kovakkai poriyal is a simple and easy-to-make dish that requires only a few ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It can be made quickly and easily, making it an excellent option for busy weeknights.
What I love about kovakkai poriyal is that it’s versatile. You can add other ingredients like onion, grated coconut, or chopped tomato to change the flavour and texture.
Not only is kovakkai poriyal super tasty and packed with nutrition. Ivy gourd is low in calories and fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making it an excellent choice for anyone who wants to eat healthily.
About the spice powder made with peanuts
Usually, I make my South Indian Poriyal recipes using homemade sambar powder or Kari podi. Kari Podi is a homemade spice powder that adds flavour to vegetable stir fry. In this Ivy Gourd Stir Fry, we add a flavourful spice powder which includes peanuts and sesame seeds. This powder adds a great texture and taste to the simple kovakkai poriyal.
How to make Kovakkai Poriyal with Peanuts?
Wash and chop the kovakkai lengthwise into thin slices. You can also chop the Kovakkai into small, round pieces.
To make the spice powder, dry roast chana dal, coriander seeds, red chillies, peanuts and sesame seeds on low heat till the ingredients are well roasted and have a nice aroma.
Once the ingredients cool down, make a fine powder and keep it aside.
Add oil to a pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Once they splutter, add the chopped kovakkai. Add salt, turmeric powder and mix well. Close and cook till the kovakkai is thoroughly done. Open the pan in intervals and give stir so that the kovakkai doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once the kovakkai is cooked, open the pan and add the spice powder. Add salt if needed. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water and mix well. Keep the pan open on medium-low heat and let the kovakkai cook till it is well roasted on all sides. Keep stirring often so that the kovakkai doesn’t stick to the pan.
Once done, switch off and serve with your choice of rice or rotis.
Tips to make a good Kovakkai / Tindora Roast
Choose fresh and tender ivy gourds: When selecting ivy gourds, choose small and tender ones free from blemishes or bruises. Fresh ivy gourds will have a bright green colour and be firm to the touch.
Wash and slice the ivy gourds evenly: Wash the ivy gourds thoroughly and slice them evenly into thin rounds or long strips. This will ensure that they cook evenly and also help to speed up the cooking process.
Don’t overcook the ivy gourds: Avoid overcooking them, as they can become mushy and lose their texture. Cook them until they are tender and retain a bit of crunch.
Add only a little water: I usually sprinkle a tablespoon of water. We do not need more water for Kovakkai. The vegetable will lose its crunch if too much water is added.
Adjust the spice levels to your taste: Adjust the spice levels in the dish to suit your taste. You can increase or decrease the number of red chillies to make the dish spicier or milder.
Fresh Spice Powder: Dry roast the spices for the powder on a medium flame. Make sure you don’t burn the ingredients. Making fresh spice powder enhances the taste of the poriyal. You can skip the peanuts or sesame seeds in the spice powder if you don’t prefer adding them.
What to serve kovakai poriyal with?
Rice: Kovakkai poriyal is traditionally served as a side dish with steamed rice. Combining the flavorful vegetable dish and plain steamed rice makes for a simple yet satisfying meal. You can serve kovakkai poriyal with rice like Tomato Rice,
Raw Mango Rice, Curry Leaves Rice etc.
Roti or chapati: Kovakkai poriyal can also be served with Indian flatbreads like roti or chapati. Combining the soft and chewy bread and the spicy vegetable dish is a great way to enjoy a healthy and filling meal.
Sambar or Rasam: Kovakkai poriyal pairs well with South Indian lentil-based soups and stews like sambar or rasam. These dishes are typically served with rice and can be used to make a complete and satisfying meal. You can try serving this Kovakkai Poriyal with Sambar Rice, Rasam Rice, or Pavakkai Pitlai, served with steamed rice.
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Kovakkai Poriyal with Peanuts
- 500 grams Kovakkai / Ivy Gourd
- 3 tbsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
- 1 tsp Urad Dal
- few Curry Leaves
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp Water
For the Spice Powder
- 3 tsp Coriander Seeds
- 3 tsp Chana Dal
- 5 Red Chillies
- 3 tsp Peanuts
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
Make the Spice Powder
- To make the spice powder, dry roast chana dal, coriander seeds, red chillies, peanuts and sesame seeds on low heat till the ingredients are well-roasted and have a pleasant aroma. Once the ingredients cool down, make a fine powder and keep it aside.
Make Kovakkai Poriyal
- Wash and chop the kovakkai lengthwise into thin slices. You can also chop the Kovakkai into small, round pieces.
- Add oil to a pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Once they splutter, add the chopped kovakkai. Add salt, turmeric powder and mix well.
- Close and cook on medium heat till the kovakkai is thoroughly done. Open the pan in intervals and give stir so that the kovakkai doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Once the kovakkai is cooked, open the pan and add the spice powder. Add salt if needed. Sprinkle a tablespoon of water and mix well.
- Keep the pan open on medium-low heat and let the kovakkai cook till it is well roasted on all sides. Keep stirring often so that the kovakkai doesn't stick to the pan.
- Once done, switch off and serve with your choice of rice or rotis.