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

Dazzling Dals ~ Punjabi Tinda Dal

Punjabi Tinda

Pretty looking Punjabi Tinda is a type of winter squash, common to north India. This is a seasonal vegetable and available at Indian grocery shops – fresh, frozen and also preserved in brine, in ready to use tins. Punjabi Tinda is easy to recognize. Pleasant pale-green color and perfect round shape, they resemble green tomato or green apple in color, shape and size. The skin is tough though, needs peeling, or scrubbing. When cut open, you see firm flesh in snow-white color, and seeds will be in white or brown color depending on the maturity of the gourd. Punjabi Tinda can be steamed, stuffed, or stir-fried. It has sweet taste with a light papaya scent. Absorbs flavors well and tastes superb in strong-sauced curries and with dals.

Punjabi tinda was introduced to me by Deviji, the kind neighbor we had when we lived in Pittsburgh. She is about my mother’s age and came to Pittsburgh to visit her son. She stayed for about six months. We struck a friendship through our interest in cookery. She couldn’t get enough of my idly, dosas and I of her traditional Punjabi cooking. Together, we would prepare an elaborate meal combining both south and north Indian dishes, have a nice lunch and save the rest for dinner. She is a military wife, traveled all over India with her husband. She is like Annapoorna and Saraswathi when it comes to food and knowledge. I learned so much from her about ingredients and techniques that were new to me. There is nothing that compares to first hand learning that comes through the interaction with an experienced person. This rich experience started with just a “hallway hello”. And that was the best experience I ever gotten for a friendly hello.

The following recipe is from Deviji. Punjabi Tinda cooked with toor dal and seasoned with tomato, onion and tamarind. A very good dal!

Punjabi Tinda
Punjabi Tinda ~ Whole, Halved and Cut to Chunks


¾ cup toor dal
1 Punjabi tinda, peeled and cut to big chunks
Tomato and onion, one each and 6 green chillies, cut to chunks
Tamarind pulp – two teaspoons or to taste
Turmeric and Salt – to taste or quarter teaspoon each
Popu or tadka ingredients

Take toor dal and two cups of water in a pressure-cooker.
Cook to soft, and then mash the dal to smooth. Keep aside.

In a pot, heat oil and do the popu(toast cumin, mustard and curry leaves in oil).
Add Punjabi tinda, tomato, onion and chillies to toasted popu. Saute to tender.
Stir in tamarind, salt and turmeric.
Add the cooked toor dal and about one cup of water.
Simmer for about ten to fifteen minutes.
Serve or spoon into a small bowl and enjoy with rice or chapatis.

Dal Prepared with Punjabi Tinda
Punjabi Tinda Dal with Rice and Sliced Pears ~ Light Lunch Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Vegetables,Punjabi Tinda (Monday October 29, 2007 at 1:47 pm- permalink)
Comments (12)

The New Home of Mahanandi: