Tendli Bhaji - Ivy Gourd stir fry Recipe | Masala Herb

Tendli Bhaji – Ivy Gourd stir fry Recipe

by Helene Dsouza on April 16, 2012

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!

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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.


Tendli Bhaji – The Ivy Gourd
Recipe type: Veg Main/Side
Cuisine: Goan
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
This recipe is extremly easy and quick to prepare. Perfect for when you are in a hurry but you want to eat meaningfull food dishes for your health!
For the Tendli Bhaji:
  • 1 dozen green Ivy Gourds
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil
  • 1 Onion - sliced
  • 1 Tomato - cubed
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • ½ Teaspoon Chilli Powder
  • pinch Salt
  • pinch Pepper
To Garnish:
  • Grated Coconut
  1. Before you cook the ivy gourd, cut off the ends and discard. The fruit should be cut into wedges, as shown and keep aside.

  2. Cut the Onion into slices and cube the Tomato.
  3. Add the Oil to the pan on slow heat and fry the Onion and Tomato for 3 minutes.
  4. Now add the Ivy Gourd pieces to the pot and stir fry the whole content for a few minutes.
  5. Throw in the spices, salt and pepper to season the dish and around half a cup of water to allow the bhaji to simmer for 10 minutes till the ivy gourd is slight tender but not too much! Don't forget to stir occasionaly so that it doesn't stick on.
  6. Garnish the plate with freshly grated Coconut for an amazing taste experience!

 Have you ever had the chance to cook with Ivy Gourd and if yes, did you like the fruit?


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I am Helene, the author behind Masala Herb! My aim is to show you an incredible world full of surprises. Food, Culture and Travel are my forte and that's what I enjoy. Follow my Food and Travel adventures and learn some incredible things! Now in the beautifull Indian coastline state, Goa.

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{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }


Hi Helene,
Tendli bhaji with aamti (dal) and chawal are one of my favorite combinations. Looks like a great recipe!



Helene the pics are amazing and this dish looks so delicious! 



Wow Helene this is a fruit i have never heard about.  I know they are not in any market near me.  I am going to google the gourd and the nsee where I might find them.  Thanks for sharing your recipe and introducing me to a new fruit.  The dis does sound tasty.


Magic of Spice

I have never seen these gourds before, but this dish looks fantastic! 



I have never tasted ivy gourd but it looks very intriguing and your dish sounds fabulous. If I ever get a chance to buy it, I will certainly prepare it this way.


Baker Street

I love tindli and every now and then we do add toasted coconut. But we usually never make it with onions and tomatoes. Surely trying your recipe next. 


Maureen at Orgasmic Chef

I’ve never seen this vegetable but your dish looks amazingly good.  I’m definitely interested!



Another veggie I’ve never seen here! I hope i can find one soon!



Gentlemen’s Toes? Now that really makes me want to try this odd fruit even if it wasn’t for your delicious looking dish. I love when you share odd and unusual (for us!) fruits and vegetables from your region!


Hotly Spiced

That is a very interesting vegetable.  I have not heard of it before nor have I even seen it.  It sounds to me like it would make a great side dish, like if it was pickled or something xx


Helene Dsouza

You can pickle it too! Thats the second most common way to use it here around.


Kitchen Belleicious

very very cool! i love this. New flavors in a new way! Very interesting!



What pretty photos, especially of the bloom.



Once again, thank you for introducing an ingredient I have never heard of before. It’s fun to learn new things like this



I honestly have never heard of this beautiful fruit.  I would definitely try it though.  I wonder if I can find it here, I will look:-) Thank you for sharing, Hugs, Terra


Vicki Bensinger

I’ve never had or even seen and Ivy Gourd but it sounds fascinating.  YOu always have so many unusual fruits and veggies that we don’t have in the states.  I love that about your blog.  Thank you for sharing this information, very interesting.


Charles Smith

That looks like such a yummy thing to cook with – and as you said – kind of like a cucumber/watermelon hybrid to me – I’ve never heard of it at all! I wish I could find such things here… I bet it would go really well in a stir fry too with cashew nuts and red chilli!


Helene Dsouza

oh thats an interessting idea. I ll try that ones and let you know how the dish faired!


Malou Perez-Nievera

i have never tried a gourd like this before but it surely captured  my imagination.  i am so intrigued as to the taste.  we do have a similar gourd in the philippines but that variety is on the bitter side… i guess this gourd is on the “better” side haha.
thanks for dropping by at my site.. twas nice meeting you!malou


Javelin Warrior

I always love dropping by your blog because I learn so much – I’ve never heard of these ivy gourds but they look so intriguing and unlike any ingredient I’ve used before… Thanks so much for sharing…



Your space is packed with information and I missed coming here for so many days. Life’s just getting in the way. 
love ivy gourd and love the Goan adaptation of this tasty vegetable. We have a Goan lady in our office and I find her bringing this dish to work atleast once a week.


Nami | Just One Cookbook

Although I have never tried the ivy gourd, if I come across I want to give it a try.  Sprinkle of coconut flakes to this dish just bring it to a next level.  Very flavorful meal! 



am from Goa n cook this veg regularly..just wanted you to know that when you cut open the veg and see it orange, you should discard it..use only the green ones…thanks


Helene Dsouza

Hi Swati! Thank you for mentioning this here. Yes it is partially correct what you said, yet it isn’t necessary to discard the pink or slight red ones. They are not harmful to the health and the taste isn’t altered either. I tried to research more about this point, unfortunately it isn’t that much researched yet, so we will have to wait to see what the Institutes say to that.



Too good is all I can say!!! I was looking for a tendli recipe as m not too fond of the traditional one with hing n saansva tadka, when I came across this….. Simple, quick n delicious!


Helene Dsouza

Thank you so much Siya for your lovely comment, I absolutely appreciate it that you took the time to leave us a message here with you feedback. =)
So glad of course that you enjoyed the tendli bhaji recipe as much as we do here in Goa.


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