Simple Tendli (Ivy Gourd), The Kooky Mum’s Way

Simple Tendli/Tindora/Ivy Gourd, The Kooky Mum's Way

  • Servings: 1-2
  • Difficulty: easy
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Simple Tendli, The Kooky Mum's Way








You know how there are some foods which you’ve had over the years and which have seen you from childhood into tantrum-filled teenagehood into a (hopefully!) mature adulthood and while you have changed their taste remains unchanged? This is one such recipe.

Tendli, also known as tindora, ivy gourd, baby watermelon, little gourd and gentleman’s toe (!) was a firm favourite in our family. The amazing thing was that each time my mum cooked it, it tasted exactly the same (as is the case even now).

I tried replicating her recipe from my imagination and the end result was a twin – taste: copy; texture: copy; aroma: copy. How bizarre is that?!

Interestingly, cooking with tendli is not confined to the Indian subcontinent.

According to Wikipedia, its consumption “extends from Africa to Asia, including India, the Philippines, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, eastern Papua New Guinea, and the Northern Territories, Australia. Its documented introduced range includes the Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Guam, Saipan, Hawaii, the Marshall Islands, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu.” I find this very fascinating and would love to experiment with this vegetable in some non-Indian dish.

a really simple, straightforward, fuss-free recipe which can be made with basic store cupboard ingredients

It goes very well with rotis. I had some salad on the side as you can see from the photo. A delicious, nostalgic dinner.


250 Grams tendli

2 Medium size potato

1 Teaspoon turmeric powder

1-2 Teaspoons chilli powder

1 Tablespoon coriander powder

1 Tablespoon cumin powder

1 Teaspoon asafoetida

1-2 Teaspoons oil

Salt to taste


  1. Wash the tendli and either dry it on a kitchen towel or leave it in a colander to get rid of the excess water.
  2. Once the tendli is dry, halve it along its length and slice it finely.
  3. Wash and slice the potato in the same way (halve along its length and slice finely) or in medium size cubes.
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
  5. Once it is hot, reduce the heat to minimum and add the asafoetida and turmeric.
  6. Next, add the sliced tendli and salt to taste.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Uncover, add the potato, chilli powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
  9. Once again, mix thoroughly, cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
  10. By the end of this cooking time, both the vegetables should have cooked. If no, cover and cook for a few more minutes.
  11. Serve with roti. also goes very well with dal and rice.

3 thoughts on “Simple Tendli (Ivy Gourd), The Kooky Mum’s Way”

  1. That was fascinating, Ishita. You have so many ingredients that are new to me, though they probably seem “every day” to you. If you ever do a book about “The Ingredients of India” i will be first in line to buy it! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your encouraging words Teagan.

      This blog has taken me on a new learning journey as well. Like I wrote in this post, I didn’t realise that ivy gourd was used beyond the subcontinent.

      As for the book, my family is urging me to write one as well. Great minds think alike ;-).

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