Tinda Gourd Bhaji/Sabji with Shallots, Coconut and Tamarind
Tinda Sabji with Pyaz, Narial And Imli
I had some really fresh tinda gourds and I wanted to cook them differently. I had some coconut flakes and part of a block of tamarind leftover from making another dish. So I decided to make it in a south Indian style, but not following any recipe. I tasted and added amounts as I went along. The end result was quite tasty and here it is for you to try. Fresh coconut will taste better, but it is not easy for me to get hold of. I am sure many other vegetables can also be cooked in this fashion. Serves 3-4
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. It is available from many Indian stores in UK.
500 gm. tinda gourds, Small, tender one always taste better
300-400 gm. shallots or baby onions
2 inch block of tamarind with seeds (or 1 tbsp. of tamarind pulp*)
2-3 full tbsp. Coconut flakes or grated coconut. Fresh is better, but you can use dry one
2 tbsp. cooking oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 dry red chillies
A handful of fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp. grated ginger
1/4 tsp. chilli powder (adjust to taste and heat of your chilli powder
1 tsp. salt, adjust to taste
Peel and cut tinda gourds into bite size pieces. If some of them have hard seeds, remove and discard.
Soak coconut flakes in enough hot water to just cover.
Soak tamarind block in hot water, mash and leave aside.
Heat oil in a pan and mustard seeds, red chillies and ginger. When seeds splutter, add curry leaves and stir for a few seconds.
Add tindas, shallots, salt and chilli powder. Mix.
Turn heat to low and cook covered, stirring from time to time. Stir carefully, so shallots do not break down completely. No additional water is required if your vegetables are fresh, because they both release enough of their natural water. If you need to add water, either you are cooking on too high heat or your tindas/shallots are not fresh. Sprinkle a tablespoon or two, as necessary.
When half cooked, stir in coconut flakes. Continue to cook until tindas are tender, all water is absorbed.
Sieve in tamarind pulp. Turn heat up and stir fry until all water is absorbed and the vegetables look a bit shiny.