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

Tindora Fry (Dondakaya Kura)

Donda kaya, Tindora, Ivy gourd

Until I was married to Vijay, I never tried the donda kaya (Tindora in Hindi). My mother never cooked this vegetable, I don’t know why; lack of availability is not a reason, that’s for sure. One seed, it spreads like wild fire, climbing and occupying every inch of the garden and produces the fruits like there’s no tomorrow. Almost in all seasons, tindora is there to buy. Common and cheap, that’s how we regarded it, back in Nandyala, I never saw anyone get excited or salivated over tindora back then.

They look cute though. This small greenish vegetable with white lines is so pretty, when freshly picked, you just want to bite it. But don’t do that, raw food item it isn’t. It has a very thick skin and insides are white flesh filled with small seeds. Red flesh means it is overripe and not fit for consumption. I heard hearsay of people going brain-dead who ate over-ripe tindoras.:) Well I never tried the over-ripe ones, so I am not sure of its veracity.:) When comes to cooking, some people cook it to the death, but I prefer little bit of crunch, so most often I make a shallow fry of the vegetable.

Tindora fry at the beginning on stove Tindora fry all done, ready to eat


If you have regular Indian cooking stuff in your pantry, then making the curry is as easy as saying 1, 2 and 3.

1. Cut each tindora into half lengthwise, then make another lengthwise cut in each half – you will end up with 4 long thin pieces. To make curry for two, for one decent serving, you have to cut at least 15 to 20 tindoras.

2. In a pan, heat one teaspoon of peanut oil, do the popu or tadka (toasting mustard seeds, cumin, minced garlic and curry leaves).

3. Add the cut tindoras, sprinkle turmeric, salt and red pepper flakes to your taste. (Sometimes I also add dry coconut powder.) Mix them once, cover and cook for about 5 minutes. Remove the lid, then sauté openly for another 5 minutes or until the veggie reaches the crunchy consistency you desire.

Serve hot with chapatis or with rice and dal.

Tindora Fry and rice with dal ~ Our meal

Tindora fry and fenugreek dal mixed with rice on the background.
Dondakaya kura mariyu menthi kura pappannam muddalu.

Tindora is available fresh or frozen in almost all of Indian grocery shops here in US. Fresh ones are most preferable.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dondakaya(Tindora) (Wednesday December 28, 2005 at 10:02 am- permalink)
Comments (42)

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42 comments for Tindora Fry (Dondakaya Kura) »

  1. Indira:

    Yes. You are right about this vegetable growing like wild fire back in India. We had this in our garden and it seemed like it fed not just us but our entire neighbourhood :). The same was also true with Sorakaya.

    My mom cooked dondakaya so often that I almost started to hate it but now it is a totally different story, I miss it. Our international store does not carry it at all. I chop the dondakaya into circles and then cook it like you did. I also add some fresh dhaniya powder at the very end. My mom also makes a “gutthi dondakaya” like “gutthi vankaya” except with dondakaya. That is yummy too with ghee and rice!

    Thank you for posting this recipe and making me nostalgic :).


    Comment by Samatha — December 28, 2005 @ 10:39 am

  2. I’ll have to try this vegetable out. It looks like a cross between cucumber and zucchini. Does it taste a bit like one of those?

    Comment by Verdant — December 28, 2005 @ 10:41 am

  3. Oh almost forgot, Indira – we did eat this veggie raw, freshly picked from the garden :).

    Comment by Samatha — December 28, 2005 @ 10:46 am

  4. it is a pretty looking veggie!

    Comment by clare eats — December 28, 2005 @ 11:30 am

  5. For some reason, it’s wildly expensive where we live (close to $3/pound).
    But, yes, have eaten it many times – even the red-fleshed ones – cut in circles, and am still alive and kickin’.

    Comment by terri — December 28, 2005 @ 12:18 pm

  6. The pink ones do look suspicious… I never used to discard them… I am mostly sane still 🙂 Yup.. don’t think I will be using those pretty pink ones again..

    Is there any way we can tell if they are pink without cutting into them??

    Comment by garammasala — December 28, 2005 @ 12:43 pm

  7. Indira…

    Iam not a pro but a small suggestion the next time you make dondakaaya. When it is almost done, in the stage where it is being sauted, sprinkle a little ghee on top and add some (1-2 spoons) of senagapindi (besan/chickpea flour) and mix well and saute for 2 more minutes.

    What happens is, it slightly coats the curry and gives a crisp, bajji type of feel to it. This works great also with aalu/potato curry.

    Comment by Vidyanath Tirumala — December 28, 2005 @ 12:55 pm

  8. Samatha.. I’ll have to try the ‘ gutti dondakaya’, you mentioned. It sounds delicious. Thanks!
    I laughed out loud, when I read your second comment, I know there are some brave raw foodies out there.:)

    Verdant… It tastes exactly like that. Little bit of cucumber(the small, pickle type) and zucchini, throw in bell peppper for crunchiness. Give it a try and let me know. Thanks!

    Clare.. they are pretty little ones, aren’t they?

    Terri and GM… it’s one of those things I remember hearing back in the days.:) You guys proved it wrong definitely:)
    GM..the overripe ones look somewhat limpy, but you have to cut open them to know the ripeness, there is no other way.

    V.T… Thanks for the tip, very neat, I am going to do that next time I prepare this curry. Thanks!

    Comment by Indira — December 28, 2005 @ 1:16 pm

  9. wow look yummy !! i love the crunchiness in this vegetable and stir fried with turmeric chilli and salt its great . is tinda different from tindora
    hey the last pic is really good, focussing the veggie and the rest blurred . And the presentation is really good. i hardly find good presentation of indian food ( i mean in the indian restaurant here and back in India ). Americans and Italians have great food presentation . Have a look at this website , i liked her presentation , its really good .

    Comment by priya,ar — December 28, 2005 @ 6:19 pm

  10. Hi Indiria, Good to see you back, I agree with VT, about adding besan(chickpea flour) in the end…it tastes really good. I kind of add besan to all the dry beans,cabbage,cluster beans. Basically its like eating bajji without frying.

    Comment by Anusha — December 28, 2005 @ 8:02 pm

  11. This is one interesting vegetable! I went to one of the local Indian stores’ vegetable section and looked for it. I guess I was looking for something big, I could not locate them for a while. They were just in front of me! Tiny little guys. Prepared as a side dish, and we both enjoyed it. They do not have a taste of their own so much, but the combination was good. Thanks Indira!

    Comment by fethiye — December 28, 2005 @ 11:05 pm

  12. indira, i have never come across this vegetable but it does look a lot like two vegetables that we get here during the summer, ‘parwal and kundru’. will try out your recipe next time i make any of two.

    Comment by rumy — December 29, 2005 @ 4:20 am

  13. Indira: just wanted to wish you all the best for 2006: Happy New Year!

    Comment by Jag — December 29, 2005 @ 9:23 am

  14. Hi Priya… thanks for your comments on my photos. I am glad you noticed these changes in my photos.
    Yep.. I do check D & D blog, you mentioned, regularly via food porn link. There are really some very good talent out there in the foodblogosphere.

    Anusha.. I’ll keep in mind your suggestion, thanks for sharing.

    Fethiye… Nothing to crow about this vegetable, perhaps it’s appearance but tastewise it’s really sink to the bottom of veggie pool.I am not a big fan and but I make it, because it’s one of the few Indian vegetable varieties avialble here.

    Rumy… I am surprised. I thought it’s available all throughout India. Vadilal(brand) frozen tindoras are quite popular here and almost all Gujarathi Indian grocery shops here carry this vegetable both fresh and frozen. I thought it’s quite popular in Gujarat and Maharashtra areas too. I’d greatly appreciate if you’d post pictures of the vegetables you mentioned, next time you come across them. Thanks!

    Jag…Thank you somuch! Wish you the same for a great 2006!

    Comment by Indira — December 29, 2005 @ 10:55 am

  15. I make this on a daily basis almost – and I luv this vegetable!!

    Comment by Suyog — December 29, 2005 @ 1:13 pm

  16. hi Indira
    I am a great great fan of your site!!Iam anupama from krishna vijayawada recently got married and now staying in London…!!you r making my life easy…!!I was missing home before and i got an interest in cooking jst bcoz of you..thank you very much .BTW your dondakaya kura looks yummy..!Iam gonna try it today!!Thank you

    Indira says…
    Hi Anupama… krishan ammayiva… chaala santhoshamu. Naa blog upayogamuga unnaduku santhoshamu. Ee kura ela vachhindo tappa kunda teliya cheyi.

    Comment by anu — December 29, 2005 @ 3:39 pm

  17. This looks very good & interesting. I’m sure I would have to search fot the ingredients but am always looking for something new to me.

    Indira says..
    Hello Fran..Checking and trying out new vegetables is always a good thing. Please do try and let me know how you find it tastewise. Thanks!

    Comment by Fran — December 29, 2005 @ 5:15 pm

  18. Hi Indira
    I love your site and check it weekly for all the new stuff. You take great pictures too! My husband is also named Vijay. Since I have been cooking Indian food only since meeting my husband (6 1/2 yrs ago)your recipes really help me out and make it simple.I make this dish also and it is great one of the easiest curries for me , I think this vegetable is also called Gherkin.

    Indira says…
    Hello Pauline, thanks for your kind words about my blog and I’m glad that you find the recipes useful.
    Vijay is a good name, isn’t it?:)
    Yes, gherkin is its English name.

    Comment by Pauline — January 4, 2006 @ 12:20 am

  19. was looking for “donda” recipes and found yours. going to try it tonight!

    Comment by d — February 22, 2006 @ 4:45 am

  20. hey i m a north indian gal staying in US, about to marry a telugu.. m trying to learn all andhra food n thankfully found ur site.. it has come in my bookmarks.. gee .. looks like now i m gonna all ready to face my mom-in-law 🙂 !!
    thanks.. it’s really helpful.. regards

    Comment by abhi — February 24, 2006 @ 12:05 am

  21. Having this plant — ivy gourd — growing in my S. TX backyard, I wanted more information on it, and was happy to read your recipe and comments. In my search, I saw that in Thailand
    the growing of this plant was being encouraged to fight Vitamin A deficiency. — Our one Indian
    restaurant closed some time ago, so I am going
    to try this new curry. Until now, I was picking
    half-grown gourds, and eating them raw. Delicious as cucumbers. Now I will be able to
    use the mature ones. I do love curry! — Mel

    Indira replies:
    Hello Mel, Texas weather suits them. When we were living in Houston few years ago, my friends who had their own homes used to grow them in their backyard.
    Curry with them tastes great, and also there is one more recipe with it with sesame seeds. You can check it by clicking the ‘dondakaya’ on categories section on the side bar.
    Thanks and do let me know how you like this curry, if you try.

    Comment by Mel — May 20, 2006 @ 12:20 am

  22. I tried this yesterday, it came out very well. In the past we added water and kind of spoilt the whole taste of the vegetable. Yesterday I made it with Chappati’s and it was nice but my wife being more of a rice eater commented that it would have been very nice with Rice and Rasam as an accompaniment.

    Thanks for the wonderful recepie, I discovered your blog a few days ago and I am certainly going to try a few more of the recepies here.

    Indira replies:
    I am glad you had success with this recipe and liked it. Thanks for letting me know.
    Yep, I agree with your wife, it definitely tastes much better with rice, dal or sambhar combination.
    Looking forward to reading you and your wife’s input on my blogged recipes, thanks Sunil.

    Comment by Sunil — May 28, 2006 @ 11:55 am

  23. hi..this is my first time here…very nice website…

    my mom never used to cook this veggie before…she says that this makes u dumb 🙂 thats probably y ur mom also never used to make it…

    Comment by capriciously_me — July 6, 2006 @ 5:25 pm

  24. Hi, I came across your blog few days ago and I keep visiting it for no reason. Your style of cooking is almost like my moms. Going through the recipes brings back fond memories and inspires me to keep going. I like everything about this site, Good Luck to you…..

    Comment by Padmaja — August 2, 2006 @ 5:47 am

  25. […] Here’s what I did with those funny little mini-cucumbers I recently bought. I fried them with spices and eggs and served them with potatoes for a Sunday breakfast. Tindoras are fun to eat, they’re crunchy like cucumbers, but with an almost okra-like flavor (without the slime). I used hawaiyij, one of my favorite middle eastern spice mixtures, instead of curry powder. I also used curry leaves, but feel free to omit them if you can’t find at your local market. Thanks to Mahanandi for the inspiration! tindora and eggs […]

    Pingback by an open cupboard » Blog Archive » tindoras and eggs — August 11, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  26. Delicious veggie! I sauteed tindora tonight with onions, hing, red chili and turmeric. I have only eaten them twice before (my father doesn’t like them, so I didn’t eat them growing up), but when I saw them when shopping for bitter melon today, I couldn’t resist.

    Did you take that picture? If so, would you consider submitting it to Wikipedia’s entry on tindora?


    Comment by Natarajan — August 11, 2006 @ 7:37 pm

  27. i love to browse mahanandi for gr8 recipes

    I stay in CarsonCity,Nevada where we do not have any Indian grocery store at all and i love tindora and okra a lot.

    can u tell me Indira,how can i grow this plant in my backyard.


    Comment by madhu — January 16, 2007 @ 4:53 pm

  28. I am black, from the caribbean, our country is a melting pot of people and thus indian cuisine is part of our consumption. I have seen tindora before but for the first time, I decided to ask the name and preparation method. I was told, I can eat it raw in salads, (this I have not done as yet), however I curried eggplant and approximately 10mins before it was done, I added the sliced Tindora and it was simply delicious. I plan to try Tindora in almost everything and create my own recipes. I love the crunch.

    Comment by roxy — February 6, 2007 @ 10:35 am

  29. awesome recipe….

    Comment by deepak — March 30, 2007 @ 6:27 pm

  30. I am from dominican Republic , I am an Indian vegetables growers , I am very happy to see this kind of website supporting what we do. I love tindora and rice , It is very good taste.

    Comment by Robinson Casilla — April 17, 2007 @ 1:08 pm

  31. hi friends,i feel this curry works well but u need to take care that atleast 15 tindoras for each person,otherwise it will be very less

    Comment by Dileep — October 9, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

  32. hi indira,

    After seeing ur website i stopped calling my mother in nandyal for recipes bcoz urs r same as my mother. Pictures r so nice and it makes easy for beginners like us.
    For this tindora curry if we add powder of urad dal, chenna dal, coconut powder and dry mirchi which was fried in little oil. i like this dish.Thanks for ur website.


    Comment by sneha — January 9, 2008 @ 11:10 am

  33. i ate this for the first time in an Indian restaurant and just had to make it at home. I could only find it frozen so followed your basic recipe and added tomatoes and bell peppers. good but somewhat bland- I think I’ll try the besan tip. What about adding garam masala or dhania? would that interfere with the coconut flavor?

    Comment by sheesha — February 21, 2008 @ 12:50 pm

  34. hi,

    my name is rina gandhi and i am looking for to buy tindora plants. can u pls help me where to buy tindora plants. i would like to buy really soon.. tk u rina

    Comment by rina — April 10, 2008 @ 9:00 pm

  35. I have Tindora plants. Please contact me if u need any.

    Comment by Ajit murarka — November 29, 2009 @ 9:22 am

  36. I would like to buy a tindora plant, can you let know where to buy

    Comment by Ali — February 12, 2010 @ 7:56 pm

  37. TO: Mr.Ajit Murarka, comment #35.
    I have tried growing tindora using seeds from red ripe ones but failed. I will very much appreciate getting two plants or just cuttings and I will send you a money order or check for cost and S&H. Please reply. Thanks

    Comment by shan sundaram — February 15, 2010 @ 9:30 am

  38. we followed you procedure and it tastes good

    Comment by lalli — July 26, 2010 @ 9:59 am

  39. Dear Indira

    Dhonda kaaya is my favorite – but its very expensive in CA ($3 – $4 /lb). My mom makes it so yummy. She cuts into small pieces (slit and then cut across) and put some salt and mix it nicely with hand (Baaga chethitho gattiga kalapaali). Then put normal thiraga baatha, put the vegetables. Fry it for a while adding little bit oil and then add koora podi (My mom’s special koora podi – She makes this with channa daal, dhaniya, r.chillies, and few more (I forget!!!) – you can literally use this on all vegetables)

    Yummy & Tasty vegetable ready…

    Comment by Shobana — October 20, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

  40. Thanks for the information about this vegetable. My neighbor gave me a piece of stick to plant, and she said it is a cucumber. So I planted it; now there are bunch of little veges, and waiting for it to grow like 8 inches or so. Then she told me no, you have to pick it as soon as its about 1 inch or else it will be too old and hard; then you cook it. Oh, I didn’t know that. I thought it was like a regular american cucumber, since she called it “cucumber.” But it is quite small like a miniature appearance of a thin watermelon. It definitely look like this picture. So thanks for the information and picture; now I know what to call it, and I will cook it like a curry flavor.

    Comment by izb — July 8, 2011 @ 12:50 am

  41. can you send me a tindora plant?

    Comment by laky — April 28, 2012 @ 10:49 am

  42. This is great info!! I bought them because of their beauty and had no idea what to do with them so I just halved them and squeezed a little lemon and salt them and ate them as salad… (Yes even a red one! LOL. The jury is still out on the functionality of my brain.)

    I can’t wait to try this recipe!

    Comment by Deni — July 21, 2016 @ 8:41 pm

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