Remember when I had mentioned previously in my Mapusa market post, that I would show you some recipes on how to use some of the unusual veggies they were selling there? Well,… I kept my promise and prepared a little Goan Veg dish for today’s day. In the next weeks I ll be sharing some more veggies and even some rare fruits, which are not very known even to some locals. I am already excited but I wont be able to share the “backstage” happenings of Masala Herb with you yet. ^.^ Patience my readers, patience….if you don’t want to miss it or in case you haven’t yet, then you can subscribe to my feeds per RSS reader or you can subscribe comfortably to recieve updates to your mailbox.
Now… meet one of my favourite fruits used for savoury dishes, the Ivy Gourd. If the name isn’t familiar in English, maybe you know it better as baby watermelon, gentleman’s toes, little gourd or in an other language as Tendli (Konkani), Tondli (Marahti), Tindora (Hindi), Tam lueng (Thai), Tindola or Scharlachranke (German). This vine grows mostly in peoples backyards and in the wild here in Goa. It looks like a tiny watermelon, having the same green colore and white strips. Well actually the fruit turns red, and at that time it reminds me of tomatoes. The flesh inside is kind of jelly and quite sticky and there are a couple of seeds taking up most of the space. At that point it will remind you of a cucumber, guaranteed!
It tastes pretty plain, again kind of like a cucumber in my opinion, and when it turns red the ivory gourd gets a bit sour, which isn’t that bad but because of that reason it is mostly liked and used in a green form. The fruits turns quickly red, that’s why I usually boil them right after the purchase, so that they can be stored for a longer period of time. Those little Tendlis can be eaten raw too but its more commonly cooked or boiled before consumption. In India the ivory gourd is used too for curries, pickles and bhajis. The later one is my favourite way of using this delicious little fruit.
Tendli contains some useful main nutrients worth mentioning, such as Vitamin A, C and Beta Carotene, but the fruit harbors in general a vast array of different Vitamins and minerals. Not only fruits are of use but also the leaves and roots, which are used till to date in the Ayurvedic medicine to treat various ailments such as diabetes. It is further an excellent antioxidant and shows antibacterial and anti inflammatory properties. The Ivy Gourd was used in the traditional medicine to treat Leprosy, Jaundice and other malady’s. This is an other plant which is currently being tested by scientist for its health benefiting properties.
I would love to see this fruit gaining recognition in the food and health world, because its not only healthy but even very crunchy tasty. My favorite way of preparing the fruit is by using it as a spicy bhaji side dish accompanied by rice and curry. That’s exactly the recipe I am going to share with you all today. I hope you ll get to try it out some time in the future if you come across the Ivy Gourd.
Have you ever had the chance to cook with Ivy Gourd and if yes, did you like the fruit?