Also known as
Tondli, Tindora, Ivy gourd.
Also known as ivy gourd, it is a tropical plant in the pumpkin family. Ivy gourd is an aggressive climbing vine that can spread quickly over trees, shrubs, fences and other supports. It is an outdoor plant but prefers a sunny sheltered position and a sandy soil. Being a perennial plant, it can spread vegetatively or by seed. The stem is a herbaceous climber or perennial slender climber with occasional adventitious roots forming where the stem runs along the ground. The tendrils are long, elastic with coil-like springy character that can wrap around the host to the entire length. The leaves are classified as palmately simple with five lobes while the shape varies from the heart to pentagon form. The size of the leaves is approximately 5 10 cm in width and length. The flower is large and white about 4 cm in diameter and contains five long tubular petals. The tendli fruit belongs to the berry type: oval and hairless with thick and sticky skin. The raw fruit is green in color and turns bright red when it is ripe. The fruit is commonly eaten in Indian cuisine. Natives of Thailand, Indonesia, and other southeast Asian countries also consume the fruit and leaves.
Chopped tendli - Tendli should be washed very well since they tend to collect dirt. Put the washed tendli on a chopping board and chop them in small 1-2 inch sized pieces with a sharp knife. They may be chopped in to big chunks or smaller ones as per the recipe.
Sliced tendli - With a sharp knife the tendli is sliced on four sides to create a thick rectangular stick, then cut lengthwise into approximately 3 mm (1/8 inch) slices. Stacking these slices and again cutting lengthwise into strips creates thin uniform square sticks or thin slices.
Peeled tendli- Peel the outer skin of the tendli with a peeler oe a knife. The peeled vegetable can be used whole or cut into pieces in recipes.
Tendli Cubes- Turn the tendli on its side and make a series of slices. Lay the tendli on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes. Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through the tendli and it will fall away into cubes.
Tendli rings- These arer prepared by cutting the tendli in circular shape. Place the tendli on the chopping board longitudinally and slice it into thick or thin rings as per recipe.
Deseeded Tendli- Tendli can be deseeded by cutting it into half and then scooping out the inner flesh along with the seeds.
How to select
Young immature tendli are the best for cooking: the skin is bright green in color, the flesh inside is white, and the seeds are small and tender. The vegetable is smooth skinned. Do not use mature ivy gourds as they tend to be more sweet and imparts a fruity flavour to savory recipes.
" In the cuisines of South Asia and the West Indies, it is often prepared with potatoes and served with yogurt, or used in subzis.
" In India, tendli is prepare as any oither gourd is prepared with onion, ginger galic and spices. It is usually prepared as a dry vegetable with or without coconut.
" In Punjabi cuisine, tendli is stuffed with spices and then fried in oil
" In Andhra Pradesh, the popular recipes include curry, deep fry with peanuts (ground nuts) and spices.
" In Indonesia, ivy gourd is prepared in various dishes, such as stir fry, cooked in coconut milk, or steamed.
How to store
To store tendli, wash and dry them gently and place them in bags. They should last a week, when stored in refrigerator at 50° F.
" Tendli contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium.
" From the ayurvedic perspective, tendli is excellent for balancing Kapha. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver