Kovakkai Sadam/Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe/Tindora Rice

Kovakkai Sadam is an Easy to Cook, Delicious and Filling Lunch Box Recipe from the South Indian Cuisine. Made with freshly ground spice mix, this would be a regular feature at your lunch table, once you try it!

Kovakkai Sadam/Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe/Tindora Rice

South Indian Cuisine is extremely popular for its Variety Rice or Kalavai Sadam. These recipes are ready in a jiffy, takes less prep work and are extremely lunch box friendly, kid friendly too. Best part is that such recipes need a simple side dish, making it an ideal choice for busy mornings or lazy weekends. One such recipe, I share today, is the Kovakkai Sadam. An Ivy Gourd Rice that is No Onion and No Garlic Recipe

Some of the Rice Recipes that you can easily pack for kids tiffin or lunch box are Lemon Rice, Tomato Rice, Coconut Rice, Ellu Sadam or Sesame Rice, Curd Rice, Tamarind Rice and Capsicum Paneer Rice.

We at home totally love Kovakkai in all forms – Be it Poriyal, a spicy varuval or Kovakkai Rice. All equally relished until the very last bite.

So, when I spotted these fresh Tendli (as known in Maharashtra) in the vegetable market, I knew immediately that I had to make Kovakkai Sadam for the weekend. Gourds are great for health and Ivy Gourd is no exception.

Tips to Buy Good Kovakkai or Ivy Gourd

  • Look for firm, tender and dark green variety of Tindora or Ivy Gourd. Should have no bruises or cuts.
  • Avoid Cooking Ripe Tindora. Ripe Tindora is Red in colour from inside.
  • Plump ones usually have ripened and do not taste good.
Ivy Gourd

Kovakkai Sadam may sound very similar to the Maharashtrian Tondli Bhat Recipe. However, the South Indian version is unique with its own set of flavours and spice mix.

We (South India) rely heavily on lentils for our spice mix or “podi” recipes. The aroma of freshly ground spice mix makes Kovakkai Sadam irresistibly delicious. I stock a small batch at home for emergencies but prefer grinding it fresh, especially during weekends.

Tip – You can use the spice mix for making Brinjal Rice or Kathrikai Sadam too.

Step by Step Recipe to cook Kovakkai Sadam

  • First, Wash and Soak the Rice, until the prep work is done.
  • Chop the Tendli or Ivy Gourd Lengthwise. If you find this cumbersome, slice it as round discs too.
  • Pressure Cook the Rice (1 cup rice – 2 cups water) {1 cup is 200 ml measurement} and the Tendli or Kovakkai separately.
  • Now let us roast the ingredients for the Spice Mix
  • Heat a kadhai, add 1 tsp of sesame oil.
  • Now add coriander seeds, chana dal, urad dal sesame seeds, whole red chillies and fenugreek seeds or methi dana.
  • Roast the ingredients and keep aside for cooling. Coarsely grind them in a mixer grinder jar.
  • Once the pressure releases, heat a Kadhai, add 2 tbsp of Sesame oil and 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Allow it to crackle and then add hing or asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Now add the cooked Kovakkai with turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Add the freshly ground spice mix, cooked Rice and Salt to taste.
  • Mix everything well, cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame until the masala flavors the rice.
  • Switch off the flame and serve it piping hot with an accompaniment of your choice.

Recipe Notes –

  • You can make this dish by using leftover rice too and reduce the cooking time of the recipe. Just Steam the rice for 5-7 minutes and then add it to the kadhai along with the cooked ivy gourd and spice mix.
  • I have used Pondy Red chillies for the spice. It doesn’t offer colour to the rice. However, if you don’t prefer spice, use Byadgi red chillies or Kashmiri red chillies instead.
  • You can use Basmati Rice instead of short grain rice. In case of Basmati Rice, cook it on a gas stove instead of pressure cooking. Use same quantity of water, excess can be drained.

Like I mentioned earlier, these rice varieties do not require any elaborate side dish. A simple Raita or Curd Pachadi is sufficient when eating at home. Whereas for lunch box, you can pack a stir fry vegetable of your choice.

Mixed Vegetable Raita or Potato Mint Raita are great side dish options.

Or you could opt for a Dal to add protein element to your meal. Try the Gujarati Trevti Dal {A combination of 3 lentils} and / or Methi Ambat Goad Varan {Maharashtrian Sweet and Sour Dal with methi leaves}

Kovakkai Sadam Recipe

Kovakkai Sadam/Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe/Tindora Rice

Step by Step Recipe to Make Kovakkai Sadam at home. An easy, delicious Variety Rice Recipe ideal for Tiffin Box or Lunch Box at work. Serve it with Raita, Dal or plain curd.
5 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: South Indian
Keyword: Ivy Gourd Rice, Kovakkai Sadam, Lunch Box Recipes, No Onion No Garlic Recipe, South Indian Rice Variety, tindora rice, Vegan Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Author: Vidya Narayan

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Rice (Ponni Raw Rice) 1 cup is 200 ml measurement
  • 350 gms Tendli, Kovakkai or Ivy Gourd Sliced Lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp Coriander Seeds or Dhania
  • 2 tbsp Chana Dal
  • 1 tbsp Urad Dal
  • 1 tbsp White Sesame seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek Seeds or Methi Seeds
  • 5-6 nos. Whole Red Chillies Pondi chillies used here. See Notes.
  • 2 1/2 tbsp Oil Sesame oil used here
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds or Rai
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder or Haldi Powder
  • Hing of Asafoetida
  • Few Curry Leaves
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  • First, Wash and Soak the Rice, until the prep work is done.
  • Chop the Tendli or Ivy Gourd Lengthwise. If you find this cumbersome, slice it as round discs too.
  • Now pressure Cook the Rice (1 cup rice – 2 cups water) {1 cup is 200 ml measurement} and the Tendli or Kovakkai separately.
  • Until the rice and vegetable cooks, let us roast the ingredients for the Spice Mix
  • Heat a kadhai, add 1 tsp of sesame oil.
  • Now add coriander seeds, chana dal, urad dal sesame seeds, whole red chillies and fenugreek seeds or methi dana.
  • Roast the ingredients and keep aside for cooling. Coarsely grind them in a mixer grinder jar.
  • Once the pressure releases, heat a Kadhai, add 2 tbsp of Sesame oil and 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds.
  • Allow it to crackle and then add hing or asafoetida and curry leaves.
  • Now add the cooked Kovakkai with turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  • Add the freshly ground spice mix, cooked Rice and Salt to taste.
  • Mix everything well, cover and cook for 5 minutes on low flame until the masala flavors the rice.
  • Switch off the flame and serve it piping hot with an accompaniment of your choice.

Notes

  • You can make this dish by using leftover rice too and reduce the cooking time of the recipe. Just Steam the rice for 5-7 minutes and then add it to the kadhai or pan along with the cooked ivy gourd and spice mix.
  • I have used Pondy Red chillies for the spice. It doesn’t offer colour to the rice. However, if you don’t prefer spice, use Byadgi red chillies or Kashmiri red chillies instead.
  • You can use Basmati Rice instead of short grain rice. In case of Basmati Rice, cook it on a gas stove instead of pressure cooking. Use same quantity of water, excess can be drained.

Taking this recipe to the A to Z challenge this month wherein we choose to cook with key ingredients Alphabetically. This month it was time for Alphabet ‘I’ and I chose my key ingredient ‘Ivy Gourd’ to make a delicious South Indian Rice Recipe – Kovakkai Sadam or Ivy Gourd Rice Recipe.

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Thank you for visiting

Vidya Narayan

Views: 1099

Vidya Narayan

Hi Everyone, I am Vidya Narayan & Welcome to my blog MasalaChilli. Born in a Traditional Palakkad Iyer (South Indian) Family with strong value systems to an exceptionally strong and independent Single Mom, spent most of my childhood studying well (as most Iyer girls do).

This Post Has 36 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    As you said Kovakkai Sadam is similar to Maharashtrian tendli bhaat but yet different due to the spice mixture and also the type of rice used in both. I like that the rice , Ivy gourd is cooked separately so this can be made using leftover rice too. Something which we have and good when i have to think what Tiffin I pack the next day.

    1. Glad you liked the recipe Renu. I love all rice varieties and they are easier to pack when in rush. Hope you enjoy cooking this recipe at home. thank you

  2. I love these spicy one pot meals. You can just relish them with papads and curd.

    1. Thank you

  3. This looks delicious! The Kovakkai Saadam would make for a hearty meal for weekend lunch. I’d surely love to try this out some time.

    While we make Maharashtrian style Tendli Masale Bhaat often, I’ve never tried using ivy gourd in a South Indian version before.

    1. Thank you Priya

  4. So beautiful recipe , A lot of efforts you have taken.

    1. Thank you so much

  5. I know this is delicious as we use vangibhath powder to make this rice and vangibhath / capsicum bhath etc. Griding the spice powder freshly makes all the difference, doesnt it ?

    1. Absolutely agree, the spice mix ground freshly, makes all the difference. Thank you.

  6. 5 stars
    Looks amazing Vidya!! I prefer simple south Indian flavors in my rice and this podi mix sounds delicious. One pot and without onions or garlic, my hubby would love it!

    1. Thank you so much Vanitha

  7. I loved the colour of kovakkai saadham. This rice must be flavourful and tasty. We make kathirikkai poriyal with the spice mix of coriander seeds and channa dhal and mix it with rice. So this one must taste wow with a simple raitha

    1. Thank you Niranjana, a simple Raita is just enough for such rice varieties, I agree.

  8. 5 stars
    We love tendli bhat so I am sure we will love this South Indian version of it as well. Freshly ground spice definitely does make the dish more flavorful and aromatic. I liked that this dish can be made using left over rice. Worth giving a try.

    1. Indeed Poonam, hope you enjoy it. Thank you

  9. 5 stars
    Love the colour of the kovakkai sadam, looks so inviting. The chillis have definitely lent a good colour to the dish. I’ve not tried ivy gourd rice but recipes popping up is tempting me to try the recipe. My siblings and I would love to eat the red ones raw. I still do.

    1. Thank you Mayuri and I hope you love the recipe, whenever you try next.

  10. 5 stars
    Kovakkai rice with freshly ground spices is a fabulous choice with ivy gourd. I made this first time from Archana’s blog and fell in love with the flavors. Love the beautiful color of your rice.

    1. thank you Sandhya, glad you liked it.

  11. I always stir fry or make a quick pickle kind of subzi with tindora, never combined it with rice for a rice dish. This looks rich in flavours with freshly prepared masala. A good way to use leftover rice, also we can make subzi in little more quantity and can be saved for another meal with dal and chapatis.

    1. Thank you Swaty

  12. I can imagine how aromatic your home must have been when you made this rice. All those freshly roasted spices…. aahhhhhaaaaa. Great recipe, Vidya. Let’s have an understanding that if you make something like this, you message me and I will come to get my share. This is too much torture to wait and then make. Done?

    1. Done Deal Aruna! Would be a pleasure.

  13. This dish looks so lovely and flavorful vidya . Use of freshly ground spice mix the flavor must be amazing I am sure for that. Lovely post I will surely make soon as this is on my to-do list since a long !

    1. Thank you

  14. It is looking absolutely delicious. Can imagine how flavorful this rice would be with all the freshly grounded masala. Love these kind of meals , fully power packed with nutrition and flavor. Will definitely give it a try. Asusual beautiful picture Vidya 👌☺

    1. Thank you Anshu

  15. 5 stars
    I love the tondli bhat but will definitely love this version of it too. You place must have smelt so very delicious when you made this rice. The spice mix is superb. I think it can be used for so many other varieties of rice and vegetable combos too. As it used cooked rice I can use leftovers too. Now that is a delightful idea. We will definitely have a lot of leftover rice from now on. 😀

    1. Do try Archana, you would love it!

  16. Ivy gourd rice looks delicious. Freshly ground spices definitely makes it aromatic. I think I can make it with any vegetable following your recipe. Can’t wait to try it. I will surely try it after Durga Puja.

    1. Sure, thank you so much

  17. Oh my god..i will love this in my lunch box every day. Love the image captured as well.
    Vidya, will this work with frozen ivy gourd as thats what i will get here

    1. Frozen would work too Seema, thank you so much

  18. Hello Vidya

    This looks really delicious. I really love indian food. When I was in kuwait, I had good friends from India, and we went to an indian restaurant which we tried similar rice dish as this. It is so mouth watering. I never heard about Ponni Raw rice. Can I use any rice such as basmati or long grain rice instead? Thanks

    1. Hi Saif, Ponni Raw Rice is a South Indian Rice Variety which you can easily get in any South Indian Grocery Store or Supermarket that stocks this variety. Alternatively, you can try this recipe with any short grain rice or use Basmati Rice too. Thank you for stopping by. Hope this helps.

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