Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Dondakaya Pappu (Tindora Dal)

I have postponed blogging about this recipe as long as I could. A dal with Tindora (Dondakaya) and toordal – it may sound preposterous and audacious, but people do prepare it in Andhra (Nandyala), and there are some who like it. In case of me, I like it mainly because everything Indian is precious to me now.:)

If you are one of those who would cook tindoras in a pressure cooker or by adding water to the curry, then you might like this traditional Andhra tindora dal recipe as well. Tomato dal with tindora touch is what this tindora (dondakaya) pappu is.

Green Chillies, Toor dal, Tindora (dondakaya)
Green Chillies, Toor Dal, Tindora (dondakaya)


10 tindoras (dondakayalu), cut thinly crosswise, like coin shape
(Discard red colored, ripe flesh ones)
10 to 12 green chillies – finely chopped
1 medium sized onion – cut into chunks
1 medium sized tomato – cut into small pieces

Pressure Cook:
In a pressure cooker, take 4 fistfuls of toor dal and wash them first. Add the cut vegetables, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, tablespoon of tamarind pieces and 2 cups of water. Cover and pressure-cook till two or three whistles. Turn off the heat and wait for the pressure to go off. When all the valve pressure is released, open the lid. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt. With a wood masher, mash the dal to smooth consistency.

Do the popu or tadka:
In a dal-pot, heat a teaspoon of peanut oil. Add and toast 6 each-curry leaves and dried red chilli pieces, one teaspoon each of- minced garlic, urad dal, cumin and mustard seeds – in the order mentioned. When mustard seeds start to dance, quickly add the mashed dal from pressure cooker and mix. Cover with a lid and let it sit for few minutes for flavors to mingle well.

Serve a big serving spoon size rice on a plate. With similar kind of spoon, serve dal. Sprinkle one teaspoon of ghee. Mix rice, dal and ghee with hand. Shape into small ping-pong shaped rounds. Like a truffle, savor each round. A curry, pickle or papadam on the side not only enhances this experience a lot, this is how the rice-dal combo is eaten in many Andhra households.

Tindora (Dondakaya) dal mixed with rice and on the side tindora curry. A glass of tomato rasam and a glass of buttermilk (not in the picture) – Our meal today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra,Dondakaya(Tindora),Toor Dal (Tuesday November 14, 2006 at 3:06 pm- permalink)
Comments (27)

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27 comments for Dondakaya Pappu (Tindora Dal) »

  1. Hi Indira,
    WOw its great I am the first one to comment
    as usual this looks great
    COngratulations for getting million visits
    Keep going

    Comment by Anu — November 14, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  2. Great fan of your blog! I visit it regularly. i love the pictures you post and your dedication to authentic indian cooking. Congratulations on the million hits! Everytime I run out of ideas to cook, I look at what you have posted lately 🙂
    I was also highly impressed reading about the school in your town & the library you all started. I work for a global non-profit organization and constantly think about how we can give back to India in a structured manner. The school seems like a brilliant contribution to the society.

    Comment by Sangeeta Parakala — November 14, 2006 @ 3:41 pm

  3. Hi Indira,
    Ivala meeru chesinattu beerakaya pappu chesanu…roasted pesarapappu taste chaala bagundindi. Dondakaya appu eppudu thinaledu next cooking turn ki ide try chesthanu 🙂

    Comment by Priya — November 14, 2006 @ 4:11 pm

  4. HI Indira,
    Long time I had tindora. Yours make me want to go Devon immediately.

    Comment by Lakshmiammal — November 14, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

  5. Another new and simple way to eat tindora. Thanks Indira.

    Comment by Nalini — November 14, 2006 @ 4:52 pm

  6. I have some dondakaya at home. I didn’t want to make the curry and was looking for a new recipe,this pappu sounds good. Going to try it tomorrow…


    Comment by Madhavi — November 14, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  7. dondakaaya pappu, first time vintunna Indira.Pappu yedainna bavuntundi kadda.

    Comment by lakshmi — November 14, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  8. Hi Indira-

    I think it looks like kovakkai – the tamil word for tindora/dondakaaya..Not too sure, though. The ripe ones are red inside, right? Long time since I had this vegetable. May be someone can help clear the doubt..

    thanks. Looks wonderful!


    Comment by desimom — November 14, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  9. Yes, it is kovakkaai, Desimom. I’ve never had anything other Tindora curry..this is an unique recipe.

    Comment by Nithya — November 14, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  10. Hi Indira
    This is a unique dish. Nenu eppudu dondakaaya pappu gurunchi vinaledu! I always make dondakaya fry or vepudu.

    You have posted this at the right time, i bought a whole lot of dondakaaya over the weekend so i have enough to make this dal.
    Thanks so much for this innovative recipe.

    Once again,Congrats on your success!

    Comment by Deepu — November 14, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

  11. Hi Indira!
    Nice recipe! This is something new to me.
    I liked it.

    Comment by manjubansal — November 14, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  12. Very nice recipe!

    Comment by krista — November 14, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

  13. Ahh, one more strange combo of pappu-vegetable. The one before this I heard was Pappu-Cabbage. Do you make that too?

    Comment by Tweety — November 15, 2006 @ 2:16 am

  14. Nenu kuda first time vintunna dondakaaya pappu gurinchi.Dondaakayalu epppudu konna,nenu fry tappa inka emi cheyanu,ee saari pappu try chestaanu.Ivaala nenu mee beerakaaya pappu chestunaanu indira.Cheptaanu ela kudirindo ani.

    Comment by Deepa kiran — November 15, 2006 @ 8:35 am

  15. One question to you, how do you keep your steel dishes sparkling always! What do you use to clean?

    Yummy dish this is, going to try this evening! 🙂

    Comment by veda — November 15, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  16. Dondakaaya pachhadi kooda cheyachu pandina dondakaayalato.

    Comment by yamini — November 15, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

  17. I made the dondakayi pappu today. It came out pretty good. Actally we just had dinner, and we finished the whole things.

    Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.


    Comment by Madhavi — November 15, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  18. Nice recipe as usual…I like the way you mix the dal with rice into a round ball, do you usually eat it that way, is it supposed to be a ball and on the dry side.
    Just asking because my dal rice is a lot more liquid but my daughter likes eating is small balls

    Comment by sandeepa — November 15, 2006 @ 6:45 pm

  19. Yummy recipes with Tindora.I made Jowar Roti(not perfect like yours)with Methi Channa.Came out really good.Thanks for sharing traditional
    recipes.I also have a question,Does Store brought Jowar Flour has little bit bitter after taste.Thank You.

    Comment by MB — November 16, 2006 @ 8:17 am

  20. Looks wonderful as usual,what can I say?:))I am hungry now.Thank you for visiting me,Indira.

    Another thing I wanted to let you know that I understand now when wrote a little note to say ‘don’t ask me for recipes,I just post my recipes.I don’t do buffets’ etc. Absolute strangers e mailing for the same things!I got so tired of answering them, I had to take out
    e mail add. from my profile which was there for my friends really!I am a little sad abt that.

    Happy Thanksgiving Indira!:)

    Comment by Asha — November 16, 2006 @ 9:00 am

  21. Indira garu,

    Can’t say dondakaaya pappu tickles my palate, but this is an awesome site you’ve built. I know what I’m going to do this weekend – explore this site.

    I invite you humbly to visit my blog on classical Telugu poetry I recently started.

    Traditional recipes are a part of our collective knowledge and your effort here is a great way to preserve them.
    Keep up the good work!

    Comment by Narayana Swamy — November 16, 2006 @ 9:42 am

  22. Hi, I am a great fan of your cooking site and have used a lot of your recipes. However, I find one vegetable missing – Yellow Squash! 🙂 Do you have any good recipes for Yellow Squash. I have a bunch and dunno what best to do with them. Thnx for letting me know a good recipe!

    Comment by Sunita — November 16, 2006 @ 12:25 pm

  23. Hi Anu and Sangeetha: Thanks!

    Priya: Veyisthe pesara pappu chaala ruchiga vuntindi kada. chaala santhoshamu meeku nachhinanduku. Ee dondakaya pappu, Nandyala aa pranthamu nandu chestaaru. Baagane untundi, chesi chudandi. pandinavi veya vaddu pappuku, chedu vastundi.

    Hi Lakshmi: Devon street, nearby. How lucky you are.:)

    You are welcome Nalini.:)

    glad to hear that you tried and liked this recipe, Madhavi. It’s a different taste, not bad for dondakaya, isn’t it?

    Nandyala, atu vipu chestaaru. Baagane vuntindi, chesi chundandi Lakshmi.

    Hi Prabha: Yep, its kovakkai. This is one vegetable even if I don’t get it, I won’t miss it that much.:) not a big fan.:)

    Hi Nithya, Deepu, Manju and Krista: Thanks!

    Tweety: Cabbage pappu, oy…:). Yes, I don’t, but my mother does. My mother prepares pappu with almost all kinds of vegetables.:)

    Hi Deepa: ela kudirindo cheppandi tappakunda. Thanks.

    Hi Veda: Handwash and no dishwasher. That’s about it.

    Hi Yamini: Thanks for sharing.

    Hi Sandeepa: we actually call these rice-dal round balls ‘amma(mother) mudda(food in round shape) affectionately. That’s how we were fed when we were babies by my mother and also in many households it’s a fun, traditional way to feed babies.
    I prepare dal with less water so that the end result would be not watery but tight and easily can be mixed with rice and made into a round. Hope that helps.

    Hi MB: Glad to hear that you tried and liked these recipes. Yes, storebought jowar flour taste little bit bitter. Because of long stay at store shelves, they loose freshness and become bitter.

    Asha: Thanks!
    Your enthusiasm is infectious and festival days at your blog, it’s like going to a dear friends home. I enjoy my visits to your blog verymuch.

    Hello Narayana Swamy: Thanks for your nice words about Mahanandi. I greatly appreciate it. I have checked your blog. What you are doing is great and please continue. Best wishes!

    Hi Suntiha: thanks. Except for pumpkin halwa, I haven’t prepared any. But you can check other food bloggers for recipes. There are some good ones out there.

    Comment by Indira — November 16, 2006 @ 3:56 pm

  24. Hi Indira,

    I started visting 5 days ago and i am addicted to looking at your pictures 🙂

    If it is okay can you let me know how your pictures are so bright like the cookery books professional pictures? I loves taking pictures and never thought i could take such wonderful pictures of food 🙂

    Comment by sandhya — November 17, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  25. Hi Indira garu
    I tried your dondakayi pappu it is really nice. Blogged about it please do visit.

    Comment by Rajani — November 21, 2006 @ 10:16 am

  26. Hi Indira,

    I made Dondakaya pappu yesterday and it was so tasty…
    Nenu 3 whistles pettanu and pappu ni baaga mash kuda chesaanu kaani soft ga avvaledhu, malli 3 whistles petti oka 10 minutes varaku mash chesaanu.So total ga 6 whistles varku pettanu…does Dondakaya pappu needs more whistles than regular pappu??

    Comment by Lavanya — December 20, 2006 @ 3:59 am

  27. Hi Indira, long time back I made a dal with tindora – had no idea what I was doing, I just made it up 🙂 Now I will give a try the authentic way! Your rice/dal/ghee balls (are they all called mudda regardless of variety?) are always soooo appealing 🙂

    Comment by Linda — February 18, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

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