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Kovakkai avial recipe

Kovakka avail - Ivy gourd sauteed in coconut mix with curd.

This is my fifth post in onam series - Different varieties of avial. Today we have an entirely different avial, ivy gourd avial or Kovakkai avial. Avial usually made with a bunch of different types of vegetables, but today's recipe is a single vegetable avial.

Ivy gourd is locally called Kovakka in Kerala and it is one the most commonly used vegetable. It has often been incorporated into sambars and avials. Ivy gourd thoran and ivy gourd stir fries are equally popular and delicious. I read this recipe in a Malayalam magazine a few years ago and I got doubts, is it possible to make an avial with only one vegetable? Then I researched on this subject. and realised that yes, we can. In Kerala, unlike the mixed vegetable avial, we have a lot of other varieties of avial even with single vegetable following the same cooking methods. Each of them are different in its taste, texture and looks, but I would say all are amazing.

While talking about Kovakka which is known as kovakkai in Tamil, Kundru in Hindi, is a really valuable vegetable in terms of its nutritional benefit. It is very effective in older people to control the sugar and cholesterol level. It is also known for its benefits in controlling constipation and asthma. So I would like to suggest that we should incorporate this vegetable in our menu at least once in a day.


Kovakka avial recipe | How to make ivy gourd avial | How to make avial with only one ingredient

Ivy gourd cooked with coconut, spices and curd
Preparation time: 5 minutes | cooking time: 10 minutes | Total time: 15 minutes

  • 250 gram ivy gourd /Kovakka
  • 3/4 cup grated coconut
  • 1 or 2 green chilies
  • 4 to 5 shallots
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp sour curd
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil 
  • 1 springs curry leaves

Direction of preparation of Kovakkai avial

Preparation for kovakka avial
  1. Wash kovakka thoroughly in fresh water two to three times. Then slit lengthwise into five to six pieces and set aside.
  2. Grate coconut and keep aside
Cooking instructions for Kovakkai avial

  1. To begin with, heat 1 .5 tablespoons of oil in a kadai and put the ivy gourds and salt. Stir for a few minutes on medium flame, till the colour changes slightly.
  2. Sprinkle some water (approximately 2 tbsp) in order to keep the moisture intact throughout cooking. Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the ivy gourds are almost cooked. Do not overcook, we need to refrain the crunchiness at the end. 
  3. Meanwhile, take coconut, green chilies, shallots, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, chili powder and 2 tablespoons of curd in a mixer grinder.
  4. Grind into a coarse paste without adding water. 
  5. Once the ivy gourd cooked, transfer this ground paste in the kadai .
  6. Mix well and add a spring of curry leaves and cook covered for another few minutes till the raw smell of coconut vanishes. Be careful and keep on low flame so that it do not burn.
  7. Finally, season with a spoon of coconut oil. Then keep covered for a few minutes so that the flavour infuse into the vegetable. 
  8. Serve with rice and enjoy. 
With love    

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