Kovakkai poriyal

This is a chennai style kovakkai poriyal, which is made with chana dal and is very delicious and goes very well with plain rice and dal, rasam. I tasted this in one of my friend’s house, I liked it very much. Kovakkai/Dondakaya/Tindora is a small green vegetable with white lines on it. It has a white flesh inside with small seeds on it. If red flesh is inside, it is over ripen, then discard it.

Dondakaya (telugu), kovaikai (tamil), tindora (hindi) and ivy guard(English) is one of my favourite vegetable and when stir fried or cooked with chana dal(bengal gram) and fresh grated coconut , it becomes more tastier vegetable, which goes well with simple dal and rice, a drizzle of ghee on top.


  • Kovakkai/Tindora/Dondakaya – 300 gms
  • Chana dal (Bengal dal) – 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Water – 1 cup or 200 ml
  • Thadka /seasoning

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 15
  • Hing (asafoetida) – 1/4 tsp
  • Onion (chopped) – 50 to 70 gms
  • Green chillies (slit) – 2
  • Fresh grated coconut – 4 to 5 tbsp
  • Salt – as per taste


  • First boil chana dal with 1cup water or less, it should be as a whole, not mashed. It should be just cooked or 90% only.
  • Add tindora in the same vessel (if liquid is left), no need to add water, give one whistle (pressure cooker) or cook till tindora is cooked.
  • Now take another vessel, add oil, when hot add mustard seeds and cumin seeds, when it starts sputtering add hing, curry leaves, sauté for 30sec.
  • Add onion and cook till soft and translucent.
  • Add the chana dal and tindora with its liquid and green chillies; cook till all water is absorbed.
  • In the end, add salt, grated coconut, mix well and switch off.


  • Can boil chanadal and tindora  separately.
  • Can add crushed garlic for different flavour.
  • After boiling chana dal and tindora if no water is left, then no need to add more water, just cook for 1 to 2min both, then add the coconut.

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