Tinda Masala: Apple Gourd Curry

3 Jul

Tinda gets its English name from its visual similarity to green apples. A member of the gourd family, tinda has a mild flavor, high water content and lots of vitamins/minerals. The vegetable is ubiquitous in Delhi – at arm’s reach in the local market, cooked every other day in office cafetarias. Not so in Bangalore. Here this gourd graces only the bigger stores, cellophane-wrapped and stocked with imported veggies like yellow peppers and Chinese cabbage.

I didn’t realize I’d crave for tinda till it became scarce. As with parval (pointed gourd), my love for this vegetable has been a recent change of heart. Whoever said that absence makes the heart grow fonder knew what he was talking about. 

A simple and tasty pressure-cooker recipe for tinda masala. This involves very little cooking effort and is perfect for a calming dinner after a stressful workday.

Tinda Masala: Apple Gourd Curry

You Need:

  • Tindas – 3 medium or 2 large
  • Tomatoes – 1 large
  • Onions – 2
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Turmeric powder – a pinch
  • Garam masala – a pinch
  • Salt – to taste
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 teaspoons
  • Fresh coriander leaves – to garnish


How To:

Wash and scrape the skin off tinda. You needn’t peel thoroughly, light scraping with the edge of a knife will do.

If using small/medium sized tinda, cut each into 4 quarters. If larger, cut into 6 or 8 pieces. In fresh tindas, the insides would be soft and seeds small. [They should be smaller than a regular cucumber’s seeds.] If the seeds look big/hard/yellowish, cut them out and discard.

Cut each onion in half through the root, then slice into half-rings. Chop tomatoes in a similar shape as tindas.

Heat two teaspoons of oil in a pressure cooker. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Follow with sliced onions. Let the onions turn golden-brown on medium flame. Keep stirring to avoid charring.

Add tinda next. Continue to cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the dry powders – cumin, coriander, turmeric and red chili. Mix well.

Tinda Masala, in the making

Add chopped tomatoes, garam masala and salt. Cook for another two minutes, stirring regularly.

Add a tablespoon of water. Close lid. Let the tinda cook for 2 whistles on low flame. Open lid when the pressure has released naturally.

The tinda pieces should be cooked just enough to retain shape in the dish, yet give way under gentle pressure from a spoon.

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves. Serve tinda masala with rice/chapatis and raita.

Tinda Masala: Apple Gourd Curry

3 Responses to “Tinda Masala: Apple Gourd Curry”

  1. Tadka Pasta July 11, 2012 at 9:42 AM #

    Just made this and sneaked a taste..it is yum. I’ve been seeing a lot of this veggie around in Blore but was hesitating to make it. My mom usually makes them whole, and though it is super tasty, it does take a while to cook. Love your quick version.

    • S July 12, 2012 at 7:27 AM #

      Thanks! And hey, are you in Bangalore? I thought from your blog that you live in US. Here on vacation?

      • Tadka Pasta July 12, 2012 at 11:43 AM #

        I (one half of Tadka Pasta) just moved to Blore in March this year. My partner still operates from the US. Would love to meet up with you. Do email me at ruchirar at gmail dot com.

Leave a Reply