To be honest, growing up I despised the long list of similarish, kind of bland summer vegetables, like tinda, tori, kadu, ghiya (apple gourd, sponge gourd, pumkin and bottle gourd) that used to be an essential part of our weekly rotation. My parents, on the other hand, seemed to be in love with these vegetables and gave me long lectures on how these very healthy vegetables were nature’s way of cooling our bodies in the hot weather.
As we usually do with most things that our parents say, I appreciated that little piece of wisdom quite late in life – when I became a parent myself. I realised that most of these vegetables, including tinda or apple gourd are mostly water (94%), thetefore light on stomach to digest and natural coolants.
It has antibacterial properties, helps in weight loss, controls blood pressure and protects from free radicals which cause cancer.
Tinday cooked in clear shorba or apple gourd curry has become one of my favourite summer dishes. As little tweaks can make a huge difference to a simple dish, mint can work wonders in enhancing the flavour of this curry. Be it dried or fresh, dont forget to sprinkle some mint leaves on apple gourd curry. Mint coriander chutney, mint raita and pickled onions further makes this meal a summer delight.
So next time you go summer shopping, dont strike tinday so easily off your grocery list.
1/2 kg apple gourds
2 tablespoons coconut or olive oil
1 small onion
3 cloves garlic
2 tomatoes, diced (almost 2 cups)
3/4 cup yogurt
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 cup fresh mint leaves or 2 teaspoons dry mint powder
2 green chillies, chopped
This Is What You Do:
Peel apple gourds, cut into halves.
Heat oil in a deep pan. Add sliced onions,fry till golden brown.
Add fried onions, tomatoes, garlic, yogurt, salt and all the spices to an electric blender. Blend to make a smooth puree.
Add the puree back to the pan. Saute on medium heat till all liquid evaporates and you can see a light line of oil around the masala.
Add apple gourds, add 2 cups water. Reduce heat to medium low. Cover the pan and cook till apple gourds are quite tender.
Add more water if you need more soupy curry and cook another couple of minutes.
Garnish with fresh or dry mint and green chilli peppers.
Serve hot with steamed rice or roti and your favourite pickles.