Kovakkai kari | Ivy gourd stir-fry

Here’s a quick, simple and tasty vegetable stir fry that goes fabulously with a simple rice and rasam. This kovakkai kari is courtesy Rajee, Dr. Lakshmi and other maami friends from our West Mambalam days. No onion, no ginger, no garlic – it’s a 100% sattvic stir-fry but a really scrumptious sattvic stir-fry. I really don’t think there’s any group out there that would be offended by this dish. Even Ivy gourd haters may convert. Sometimes the simplest recipes produce the tastiest dishes. I crave such simple fare especially when I am feeling remorseful after heavy eating out episodes or gluttonous buffet attacks. There have been too many of those episodes and nil exercise (all that standing in the kitchen, carrying around the kids don’t amount to anything apparently). I must be at my all-time high weight. I am scared sick of walking into a trial room these days. Those mirrors are so bloody blunt and in your face. I am going to have to do something about my weight and in the course of that you may see more healthy, low-fat recipes here. Prep time: 10 mins Cooking time: 20 mins Serves: 4 Ingredients Kovakkai/Ivy gourd – ½ kilo tops and ends chopped off and cut lengthwise Salt to taste Oil – 3 tbsp Mustard seeds – ½ tsp Split urad dal – ½ tsp Ingredients – Spice powder Whole dry red chillies – 8-10 Cumin seeds – 1-1/2 tsp Bengal gram/Channa dal/Kadalai paruppu – 2 tbsp Method 1.      Rinse kovakkai well, lop off tops and ends and cut into lenghthwise pieces. Set aside. 2.      To a pan, add 1 tbsp oil and heat. When hot add the mustard seeds and when it splutters add urad dal. Let the urad dal turn golden brown. Throw in the chopped kovakkai and sauté for 3-4 minutes. 3.      Dry roast red chillies, cumin seeds and channa dal till the lentils turn red. Remove, let cool slightly and grind to a fine powder. 4.      Add the spice powder to the kovakkai and mix well. Drizzle 1 tbsp oil all over the kovakkai and toss well. Cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or till the kovakkai is tender and the masala is nicely browned. Drizzle more oil in between if it sticks to the bottom of the pan or burns. Once done switch off. Serve hot with steamed rice and rasam.
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