Friday, 22 July 2011

Tendli Fry/ Dondakaya Fry

I used to eat this a lot when i was young, still do, but never knew what it was called in English. It was only after i started shopping in these huge supermarkets in Hyderabad that i was enlightened with the English and Hindi names of the vegetables for which i only knew Telugu names till then. And for the purpose of this blog i even did some google searching and wikipedia reading. My finding was that what i fondly called dondakaya in Telugu is called Coccinia grandis (ah, sounds grand!) or Ivy gourd in English and Tendli in Hindi and a lot of other names in other languages which you can search yourself, if really interested. Also, its supposed to contain beta-carotene. And my lesson on this vegetable comes to an end.
Don't go away yet. I am now going to tell you how you can turn the tender green fruits (vegetable actually, despite what wikipedia calls it) of this exotic tropical vine plant into delicious food. And how very simple it is too. You just cut them into whatever shape you like, shallow fry them for a while in a little oil, season them and you are done. You can eat it straight away based on the amount of seasoning you add, or like us Indians, add a lot of salt and mix it with rice as a curry. If you would like a little more specific instructions, below is my recipe for dondakaya fry, i mean tendli fry, i mean {insert whatever you call it in your mother tongue}.
  • 500 grams Coccinia grandis/Tendli/Dondakaya
  • 5 tablespoons oil, lesser in a non-stick pan
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves
  • 5 large cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • red chili powder to taste
Wash the tendli. Chop each vegetable into circles, discarding both end bits. (If you think that sounds like a lot of work, then you can simply cut each vegetable into 4 parts vertically. Heat oil in a wide shallow pan or kadai on medium to medium-low flame. When the oil is hot, add the mustard and cumin seeds. Once the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add the turmeric, curry leaves and  tendli. 
Stir from bottom to top to coat oil evenly on the vegetables. Allow to fry on low flame stirring occasionally or on medium flame stirring frequently so that the bottom bits don't get burned. Add chopped garlic 5 minutes after adding the vegetable. If you add garlic at the beginning, the garlic will get burnt by the time the vegetables are done. When the tendli has turned soft and golden brown, season with salt and red chili powder. Serve as a side to rice. 
We like this dish deep fried, so you can see some blackened bits in our curry. And i personally don't mind burnt garlic either, i think it tastes great with plain basmati rice. I am just weird.


  1. i would highly recommend and prefer groundnuts to the fry curry.. :)

  2. That sounds like a good idea, Pavan. Will add roasted peanuts to my portion next time as the husband is, unfortunately, not fond of them.

  3. Wow......mouth mum used to prepare this wen v were young n I was sooooo fond of it....remembered my childhood days La.....will pamper myself n my family with this recipe....thanks La.


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