Kovakkai fry (Ivy Gourd/ Tindora fry)

Kovakkai fry (Ivy Gourd/ Tindora fry), is not very popular like Pavakka fry (Bitter gourd fry) in Kerala, although it is tastier. I was surprised to know that many of my friends have not even tried this. Crispy Kovakkai fry with onions and thengakothu (coconut) is a variety tasty dish and is relished especially during Nombu (abstinence period) by Christians. My kids love this and this dish is their main solace during Nombu. I can happily eat that with just curd and rice. In Kerala, Kovakka Thoran or Kovakka Mezhukkupuratti is more popular. Kovakkai fry is prepared mostly in Kottayam, Pala region..

Deep frying Kovakka is not known to many and is not very popular, but once you try this you are going to be addicted. My rule in the house is you eat other vegetables you get more Kovakkai fry; something my kids would adhere to without any more intimidation. So, if you are having trouble forcing your kids eat vegetables, add this to the menu and you will be nicely surprised. It is crispy and very tasty. Only Green chilly is used and not any chilly powders. Green unripe Kovakkai is best for deep fry. Steaming/ partially cooking the Kovakkai slightly, helps to emanate the flavors. So try it out today and enjoy with some Kerala Beef fry or Nadan Chicken curry with Thengakoth, Koorkka Mezhukkupuratti or Kaya Ularthiyathu, Kalan/ Pulissery or Pavakka Theeyal and Padavalanga Thoran for a great combination with rice.


Kovakkai (Ivy Gourd/ Tindora): ½ kg.
Green Chilly: 8-10 nos
Onion: 1 no
Thengakothu: ¼ cup
Curry leaves: few
Oil: for frying


Wash and clean Kovakkai and drain. Slice lengthwise and again into small slender slices. If the length is too big, cut into half and slice. Add slit green chilies and enough salt.

Kovakkai Sliced

Kovakkai Sliced

Cover and cook on slow fire. Stir in between and again cover and steam till its color changes slightly. Slice the onions, and keep the thengakothu ready. Heat oil and fry the thengakothu first into golden brown, drain. Then onion, then curry leaves and keep aside. Fry the steamed Kovakkai and green chillies till it turns into slight brown. Drain. Repeat till all the kovakkai is fried. Mix everything together and serve. Kovakkai Fry is just delicious!! Enjoy!


  • Kovakkai should be slightly browned, not very dark brown.
  • It should be deep fried like Pavakka fry.
  • The flame should not be reduced or the ingredients will absorb oil and will not be crispy.
  • Add a small pinch of salt while frying onion.
  • Curry leaves should not be burned. Drain immediately when the popping sound stops.


Have a great lunch with delicious Kovakkai fry. God Bless!!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Sharing is Caring!

Share this recipe with your friends!