Kundru bhaji is a quick stir fried dish that can be paired with dal and rice or with roti/patha. It is a common Indian vegetable and prepared in various different ways. My husband likes it very simple, stir fried with onion, and that is what I shared here!
What is Kundru?
Kundru in english is Ivy gourd or Coccinia grandis, also sometimes known as scarlet gourd. It is very popular in Asian cuisine.
People tend to often confuse it with pointed gourd but keep in mind, these two vegetables are completely different.
I didn't grew up eating this vegetable. It is not very common in Bengali cuisine, and I was introduced to this by my husband.
Kundru happens to be one of his favorite vegetable, and it took me a few attempts to finally appreciate this vegetable.
Ingredients for Kundru Bhaji
Kundru / Ivy Gourd - Look for dark green, tender ivy gourds. If they don't feel firm to touch and the color looks pale, discard. The tender ivy gourds are crunchy with mild sweet taste. If you pick the big size pale green color ivy gourds, these can taste sour or bitter.
The tender ones when sliced in half will show tiny green seeds inside. And the over ripe ones will have red seeds and will feel a little mushy too.
Cumin seeds - You add cumin seed in the beginning of cooking the kundru bhaji to add the earthy aroma. You can also use a little bit of nigella seeds and dry red chili if you like. I often keep it extremely minimal, with just cumin seeds.
Salt and Turmeric - You don't need any other spices, other than a little salt to season and turmeric for the color. I add very little turmeric as I like the final dish to stay more on the green hue side.
Onion - Thinly sliced red onion. It helps to add mild sweetness to the dish and complements well with the ivy gourd.
The dish doesn't take a lot of time to cook. It is the slicing of the kundru that does take a little time.
This kundru bhaji is great for Indian lunch box ideas. You can pair with roti or paratha.
Steps to prepare
The dish is very easy to prepare, and you can definitely add more spices if you like. I have kept it very simple and minimal spiced as that's how my husband likes the dish.
Step 1- Wash and slice the kundru/ ivy gourd. Trim the edges off and slice in half.
Step 2 - In a heavy bottom pan, pour little oil and heat it up. Then add the cumin seeds and let it sizzle for a few seconds.
Step 3 - Add the sliced ivy gourd and stir it around.
Step 4 - Sprinkle a little salt and turmeric and toss it around. Cover the pan and lower the heat. This will steam cook the vegetable and soften it.
Step 5 - Once the kundru feel soft, you add the onion and toss it around.
Step 6- Cook for a while for the vegetables to softened. Taste for salt and add more if needed.
Enjoy this stir fried ivy gourd with rice and dal or with roti/paratha.
Spice coated Kundru/Ivy Gourd
- 12 oz Ivy Gourd/Kundru
- 1 teaspoon cumin seed/ Jeera
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ tablespoon turmeric powder
- 1 small red onion (6oz) (thinly sliced)
- 2 tablespoon oil
- Trim the edges and slit the tiny Ivy gourds in half
- In a heavy bottom pan heat the oil and then add the cumin seeds. Let it sizzle for a few seconds.
- Scatter the sliced kundru and toss it around to mix everything.
- Sprinkle salt and turmeric, cover the pan and let it cook in medium low heat.
- Once the ivy gourd is softened, add the sliced onion and toss it around. Cook until everything is combined and feel soft. Don't cook it down to mushy.
- Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve warm.