Stuffed masala tendlis (Ivy Gourd) in coconut milk gravy

This is not a gravy dish but a thick sauce in which the vegetable is cooked. While tendli is a very sturdy vegetable with its own distinct flavour it is often served diced or sliced in order for the masala to mix with the vegetable. This dish allows you to keep the tendlis whole while cooking it in a nice coconut sauce. A word of caution; the dish requires patience.

Tendli -250 grams
Meat masala – 2+1 teaspoons – for the recipe go to
Onions – 2 large or 200 grams
Tomatoes – 2 large or 150 grams
Curry leaves – five sprigs
Ginger and garlic paste – one teaspoon
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut milk powder – 50 grams or the thick juice of 1/3 coconut
Mustard oil – as required
Salt – to taste


Wash and clean the tendlis and then slice them in the centre on either sides. Leave a little gap on the top and the bottom of each tendli. (See the image below). Do this slowly and patiently as the tendli will split. In a teaspoon of water mix  two teaspoons of meat masala and a little salt and stuff the tendlis. Set this aside.  

In a non stick pan, heat the mustard oil and crackle the mustard. Ensure that the mustard crackles or your dish could taste bitter. Add the curry leaves and allow it to fry for a minute. Now add the two onions which you have minced and let them fry till they are brown. Add the tomatoes and rend them down for about three minutes, stirring constantly. Add the ginger and garlic paste and one teaspoon of the meat masala. Fry this for a minute and after  a while add a cup of water.

Allow this mixture to come to a boil and then cook it on simmer for three minutes. Now add the tendli and keep the gas set to simmer. Cover with a lid and leave for five minutes to cook. After five minutes mix the coconut milk powder with quarter cup of water or add thick coconut juice of 1/3 a coconut. Continue cooking for ten minutes on a slow heat. 

Your dish is best left to rest for an hour before reheating. Garnish with curry leaves.

For more food recipes go to

Fr Warner D’Souza

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