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Tinda Gourd, Stuffed (Dry Curry)
Tinda Bharwa (Bhaji)

Mamta Gupta

Tinda is an Indian vegetable similar to Indian sweet gourd or Lauki. It looks like a small, light green apple and it's inside is a bit like a courgette, but firmer. I have not been able to find an English name for it, it has been described by people as tinda gourd, a kind of gherkin, a baby pumpkin, round gourd and an Indian squash, when it is none of these. It is available from many Indian stores in UK and well worth the trouble to find it. Serves 3-4

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Ingredients

4-6 tindas
2 tbs. (30 ml) cooking oil
1 tsp. cumin seeds
A large pinch of asafoetida powder
1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
A small piece of ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp ground fennel (saunf)
1/2 tsp. chilli powder
Salt
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
2 tbs. grated or crumbled Paneer (optional)
1 tsp. amchoor (dry, raw mango slice powdered) or anardana powder (dry pomegranate seeds, powdered)
1-2 tsp. melted ghee (clarified butter) or oil
2 tbs. chopped coriander leaves for garnish (optional)

Instructions

1.Peel Tindas, unless very fresh and very tender.
2.Slice the tops off and keep aside to use as lids later.
3.Scoop out the flesh. If seeds are hard, discard them.
4.Grind coarsely with onion and ginger or chop very finely and keep aside,
5.Blanch the shells and tops for one minute in boiling water. Drain and run cold water over them, to stop them cooking further. Keep them up-side-down, to drain completely.
6.Heat the oil in a wok or kadhai. Add cumin seeds and asafoetida powder.
7.When seeds splutter, add onions, ginger and scooped out flesh mix. Fry for a few minutes, until onions begin to turn brown.
8.Add turmeric, coriander powder, ground fennel, chilli, salté garam masala and paneer, amchoor all together. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Turn heat off and cool. This is the filling.
9.Divide the filling to share between the tindas and fill them with it. Replace the tops. You can secure the lids with tooth picks.
10.If there is any filling masala remaining, mix it with 1/4 cup of water
11.Brush each gourd with a little ghee/clarified butter or oil, place on a lined tray and bake in a hot oven, 220 C║ or 425║ F or Gas mark 6, for 20 minutes or longer, until outside begins to look lightly browned. Tindas can be cooked in a kadhai or a deep frying pan too, but you will have to tie a cotton/thread to keep the lid in place during stiring.
12.Garnish them with a few chopped coriander leaves.
13.Serve on a platter/shallow dish.
14.Serve hot with a Dal of choice, Chapatties or Tandoori Roti.

Notes

You can substitute paneer with goat's cheese.

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