Stuffed Tindora / Stuffed Kovakkai

Stuffed Tindora / Stuffed Kovakkai – a delicious Andhra style stuffed dry curry. This popular petite Indian vegetable is ellipsoid in shape and is known for its nutritional and medicinal values in Indian cuisine. These tiny vegetables are carefully slit and stuffed with freshly ground masala powder. The masala for stuffing the vegetable is made by freshly roasting and grinding the spices and this makes this dry curry absolutely flavourful and piquant. Serve this stuffed tindora / kovakkai along with South Indian meals / North Indian meals / Indian flatbreads.

Apart from the delightful taste, Tindora contains an incredible mix of complex carbohydrates and fibre, and a vast array of B Vitamins and minerals. Frequent consumption of this nutrient dense vegetable helps control blood pressure and blood sugar.


Tindora /Kovakkai / Ivy gourd500 gms
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
Kashmiri chilli powder1/2 teaspoon
Hing / Asafoetida1/4 th teaspoon
Saltto taste
Oil2 to 3 tablespoon

Masala for stuffing:

Urad dhal1 tablespoon
Channa dhal2 tablespoon
Coriander seeds2 tablespoon
Red Chilli4
Sesame seeds (white or black)1 tablespoon
Fresh or desiccated coconut2 tablespoon
Oil1/2 teaspoon
Saltto taste

Step by Step Instructions:

  • Wash the tindora / kovakkai thoroughly well and dry it on a kitchen towel.
  • Chop the top and bottom ends of tindora /kovakkai/Ivy gourd.
  • Carefully slit the tindora vegetable / kovakkai lengthwise leaving a small part of the bottom portion so that the stuffing can stay intact.
  • Masala powder for stuffing – Heat a pan and add 1/2 teaspoon oil. When the oil is warm enough, add 1 tablespoon urad dhal, 2 tablespoons channa dhal, 2 tablespoons coriander seeds and 4 red chillies. SautΓ© the lentils and red chillies in medium to low flame until they turn light golden colour. Now add 2 tablespoon coconut (fresh or desiccated) and saute until it turns light brown in colour. Transfer the roasted spices to a plate and allow it to cool.
  • Heat a pan, add 1 tablespoon sesame seeds and allow it to splutter. Transfer this to the plate containing the roasted lentils. Add salt just for the stuffing mix.
  • Grind the roasted lentils to a coarse powder.
  • Stuffing the tindora with masala powder – Gently stuff each tindora with masala powder in-between the slit making sure not to slit the vegetable into two halves. If there is excess masala powder, then use this to sprinkle on top of the vegetable while stir frying. You can also store this left over masala powder in an airtight container for later use. The shelf life of this masala powder is 2 – 4 days.
  • Heat a wide-mouthed pan and add 2 tablespoon oil. When the oil is warm enough, add 1 teaspoon mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle, reduce the flame to low and arrange the stuffed tindora gently on the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan with the stuffed vegetable. If the pan is full, then do the cooking in batches. Keep the flame low, sprinkle some salt for the outer skin of the vegetable (the stuffing already has salt). Add hing, turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder. Instead of kashmiri chilli powder, you can also sprinkle some left over masala powder on top. SautΓ© the stuffed tindora in low flame for 5 minutes. Using a spatula, gently stir the vegetable.
  • Sprinkle some water and close with a lid and cook for for another 10 minutes. Check in-between and sprinkle more water if needed. While the vegetable is cooking, it is likely that some stuffing might spill over and this is ok. Mix gently. Check for salt and spice level and adjust according to your preference. Once the vegetable is tender and fully cooked, switch off the flame and transfer the dish to a serving bowl.
  • Serve this stuffed tindora / kovakkai with South Indian meals/ North Indian meals / Indian flat breads.

Check out my other Stuffed Vegetable recipe :

Stuffed Okra

Check out my other portal / dry curries/ dry subzi:


  1. This dish looked INCREDIBLE! This is one of my favourite parts of Indian cuisine. Me and my sister went to an authentic, vegetarian Indian restaurant last friday and we ate something similar to this and it was really delicious. I think they used different vegetables for the stuffing though. I also enjoyed learning about all of the health benefits too so thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. THIS is so interesting! and sounds yum!. I’ve never seen nor tried it before & not sure if I can find ivy gourd here… haven’t seen them in any shops selling vegetables in Little India.
    Thank you so much for your detailed recipe and information too, Sowmya.
    Have a good day!.

    Liked by 2 people

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