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:

12 comments for Dazzling Dals ~ Punjabi Tinda Dal »

  1. Sounds simple and healthy. Will definitely try it.
    I followed your way or rather Vijay’s way of making Chitrannam and it became a big hit in my office potluck which happened last week. Many asked for Indian recipes and i directed them to your site because i know that all your recipes are written perfectly well for the expert and easy enough for the novice.

    Comment by Madhuri — October 29, 2007 @ 2:49 pm

  2. Glad to hear that you had good experience with chitrannam recipe.
    Thanks Madhuri.

    Comment by Indira — October 29, 2007 @ 5:16 pm

  3. Tinda was never cooked in my household. Mom was not a big fan of it. Is the texture comparable to bottle gourd?

    Comment by Suganya — October 29, 2007 @ 6:12 pm

  4. Hi Indira, Glad to see Tindas. Quite a favourite in North Indian homes. We make stuffed tindas with gram flour. The veggie is seasonal and we are always looking out for the fresh ones.
    Your recipe from Deviji sounds simple and tasty…will try it out…looks good too.

    Comment by Pritya — October 29, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

  5. Nice dal. I hardly know any recipes using Tindas.. This is great & easy too.

    Comment by Seema — October 29, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

  6. looks very simple and fulfilling. will give a try Indira! Glad to see you regualr posts again!

    Comment by Nirmala — October 29, 2007 @ 11:20 pm

  7. Looks very good, simple and delicious. Must try it sometime 🙂

    Comment by Cinnamon — October 30, 2007 @ 12:32 am

  8. Suganya: The fresh tinda tastes much better, compared to bottle gourd. It has a sweet taste like turai(ride gourd).

    Pritya: The recipe I have from Deviji also uses besan. I think that young tindas suit the stuffed recipe well.
    The tinda’s I purchased are on little bit mature side, full of developed seeds. I will be going to Indian grocery this coming weekend, hope to get some good ones.

    Seema: yes, it’s easy to prepare and makes a comforting meal.

    Nirmala and Cinnamon: There is lot of vegetable intro and exchange happening between south and north India. I don’t remember seeing it in markets when I lived there. Do we get this vegetable in our region (Andhra and Chennai) now? (Just curious. Thanks.)

    Comment by Indira — October 30, 2007 @ 1:36 pm

  9. Hi Indira,

    The punjabi tinda I use is the frozen and I suspect babies, as they are nowhere near apple size. I love them in a dry saute as they don’t absorb water like some frozen veggies. I did see this on the weekend trip, and now that you detail the recipe I will make a point to get one and try.

    Thank you for telling more about Deviji. I remember well your earlier post on ‘restaurant-style’ palak paneer and how she asked you into her kitchen to learn — better to learn by watching, she said, yes? She reminds me of my nana 🙂

    Also, your new bowls are so cute! Green is my fav. color. And with that I’m off and sorry for the long-winded comment 😉

    Comment by Linda — October 30, 2007 @ 4:08 pm

  10. I am from Hyderabad and my Mom used to call this vegetable “Dil Pasand”.

    Comment by Seetha — October 30, 2007 @ 9:58 pm

  11. Hi Indira, Tinda’s are available in almost all vegetabel shops in Chennai. I have seen it many times but never had guts to give a try. Now I have 😉

    Comment by Nirmala — October 31, 2007 @ 12:52 am

  12. oh my mom makes this dal but she don’t use onions. she also makes pappu koora with this. nice one.

    Comment by shivapriya — October 31, 2007 @ 12:02 pm

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