Kovakka Theeyal / Ivy Gourd Cooked in a Roasted Coconut Gravy


20-25 kovakka
12-15 shallots
2 green chillies
1 cup grated coconut
10-12 black peppercorns
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 dry red chillies
1 tbsp coriander powder ( or 2 tbsp coriander seeds)
1/4-1/2 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
small lemon sized tamarind
water as required
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
salt to taste


  1. Wash and cut kovakka into small rounds. Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of water,extract its juice and keep it aside.
  2. Heat a pan and dry roast grated coconut, peppercorns, fenugreek seeds and 3 dry red chillies till it becomes golden brown.
  3. Then reduce the flame and add kashmiri chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and mix well.
  4. Switch off the flame and allow it to cool. Then grind it to a smooth paste adding little water and keep it aside.
  5. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a thick bottomed pan and add chopped kovakka, shallots and green chillies and saute for 5-8  minutes on medium flame until the shallots turn light brown.
  6. Add ground coconut paste and tamarind extract and mix well.
  7. Add 1 1/2 cup of water and salt to this, mix well and cook it covered on low- medium flame for 10-12 minutes until the kovakka becomes soft and the gravy thickens.
  8. Heat 1 tbsp oil in another small pan and splutter mustard seeds. Add 2 dry red chillies and curry leaves and fry and pour this seasoning over the theeyal and mix well. Serve hot with rice…

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