Ivy gourd sabzi / Thondekayi palya

Ivy gourd (Thondekayi / Kovakkai) is a popular vegetable in India which is often confused with pointed gourd / parwal. Pointed gourd is slightly bigger than ivy gourd and is most commonly used in North indian cuisine. We make poriyal or dry sabzi with this vegetable. This recipe is slightly different from the regular sabzi. It can be mixed with rice and it also go well with curd rice. This recipe calls for Mangalore rasam podi.


Ivy gourd – 20 to 25 nos

Tamarind – gooseberry size

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Jaggery  – 2 tbsp

Asafoetida – 1/2 tsp

Mangalore Rasam podi – 1 to 2 tbsp

Salt – As req

For Seasoning

Coconut oil – 3 tsp

Mustard –  1 tsp

Curry leaves – few

  • Wash ivy gourd and cut on both the sides.
  • Add some water in tamarind and extract juice from it. Keep it aside.
  • In a pan add coconut oil and splutter mustard seeds. Once they crackle, add curry leaves.
  • Then add the ivy gourd and saute well. So that the vegetable is coated well with oil.
  • Add turmeric powder, close it with a lid and cook the ivy gourd.
  • After every two minutes, open the lid and give it a mix. Do this until the vegetable is half cooked.
  • Then add the jaggery, asafoetida, salt and tamarind extract.
  • Mix it well, cover it with a lid and cook the vegetable.
  • Once it start thickening, add mangalore rasam podi and mix well.
  • Now keep it in low flame and roast the vegetable until the moisture is gone.
  • Kovakkai Palya / Ivy gourd sabzi is ready. Mix it with rice or serve it along with curd rice.

This recipe is a part of A to Z challenge, a challenge initiated by bloggers Jolly Makkar and Vidya Narayan on Facebook Group, wherein a group of bloggers come together and we choose key ingredients alphabetically to cook and post a dish every alternate month. This month alphabet is ‘I’, so my contribution for this month is Ivy gourd Sabzi. 

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33 Responses

  1. I absolutely love ivy gourd, but I usually stick to the Gujarati and Maharashtrian ways of cooking it. This version sounds very interesting and delicious, with tamarind, jaggery and rasam powder. Should try this out some time. 🙂

  2. We too make a dry sabji of this but keep it simple. Have never added jaggery and tamarind to it and I am sure it would add a wonderful taste to the dish

  3. I liked your version with tamarind and podi, must have had a tangy and spicy flavour to it.. I make it simple stir-fry way, your’s look delicious will surely love to try!!

  4. There are so many ways of cooking ivy gourd. I liked your south Indian version with coconut oil, jaggery , tamarind and rasam podi. Sounds absolutely lip smacking. Would love to give this recipe a try sometime.

  5. An interesting way to prepare such a popular sabji, that is ivy gourd. I usually prepare a dry sabji with minimum spices. I would love to try this version of ivy gourd as its got tamarind, podi masala and the flavor of curry leaves.

    • Thank you so much. It’s not a gravy kind of thing, it’s dry sabzi with coated masala that can be mixed with rice and can be used as a side dish.

  6. This version of ivy gourd sounds very interesting as well as delicious.
    With tamarind, jaggery and rasam powder it looks really lipsmacking.. different kind of sabji

  7. I absolutely love Kovakkai and this is such a great stir-fry recipe for me to try. The flavours are so classically from Karnataka and will add so much to an otherwise simple bhaji.

  8. I really love ivy Gourd, andyour recipe is exciting. The only drawback is i get only frozen ones which turn so soggy when i cook them here. Do you have any suggestions

    • Thank you Seema…. Try cooking without thawing and without adding water. So that the water molecules that are present already will help the veg to get cooked…I have not experimented but just a suggestion .

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