Ivy Gourd Fry (Tindora Sabzi)

Tindora Sabzi

Ivy gourd fry (tindora sabzi) is a delicious, versatile vegetable preparation that pairs well with rotis, parathas, puris, rice etc. Add a lentil/dhal dish and you have a complete meal!

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Ivy gourd (tindora) (thinly sliced length or width wise) (3 cups)
  • Oil (1 tbsp)
  • Curry leaves (7-10)
  • Mustard seeds (1 tsp)
  • Cumin (jeera) seeds (1 tsp)
  • Red chilli powder (1 tsp)
  • Asafetida (hing) powder (1/4 tsp)
  • Haldi (turmeric) powder (1 tsp)
  • Salt (to taste)


  • Cut the tindora as thin as possible to minimize cooking time. Thinly cut slices also taste better when cooked.
  • Heat the oil in a wide pan on medium flame. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds start spluttering, add the cumin seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, haldi.
  • Add the cut vegetables. Mix well so that the oil coats all the slices evenly.
  • Sprinkle a few drops of water and cook covered on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add salt and stir again. Cook on an open flame till the water evaporates and the vegetable is nicely cooked.
  • Sprinkle chilli powder in the end. Mix well.

Tip: Don’t be scared about slightly over-roasting the tindora a little. It has a unique taste.

Tastes (Rasa):

Sweet (oil), sour (none), salty (salt), bitter (tindora, curry leaves, cumin seeds, mustard seeds), pungent (chilli powder, cumin seeds, mustard seeds), astringent (asafetida).

Doshic Influence:

Tindora (ivy gourd) is kapha and pitta pacifying. It is considered very beneficial in Ayurveda. Tindora reduces inflammation in the body, improves digestion, purifies blood, expels excess mucus in the respiratory tract, expels toxins by inducing sweating and helps control glucose levels in the blood (good for diabetics). Cumin is a great spice, which is mostly vata and kapha pacifying because of its hot, light, dry, bitter and pungent qualities. Other than being delicious to taste, cumin is a good digestive, helps to remove excess phlegm from the lungs and excess water retained in the body, is a great skin and blood cleanser, and is very useful for relieving cramps and reduces pain and inflammation. Hing (asafetida) is vata and kapha pacifying due to its hot, dry, bitter and pungent qualities. Hing is used for reducing flatulence (gas), is a great digestive aid, and destroys worms. Due to its antispasmodic properties, its useful in alleviating asthma, cough, colic and uterine spasms. Its warming properties break through blockages caused by kapha accumulation and are helpful in fertility problems in women caused by kapha excess. Turmeric is also vata and kapha pacifying. In large doses, it is pitta aggravating. It improves blood circulation, stimulates the liver, purifies blood, helps against skin problems like hives, is anti-inflammatory and helps in arthritis and other joint conditions, helps in respiratory problems, and has antiseptic properties that helps in infections, fevers etc.

Effects on the Mind (Gunas):

This is a very sattvic dish especially if fresh ingredients are used and too much oil and chilli powder are not used. The presence of sattvic herbs enhances the sattva of this preparation. Rajas will increase if it made too oily and/or spicy. Tamas increases if stale or very old ingredients are used or if the dish is made and stored in the refrigerator and reheated and reused a day later.

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