India is comfortable in the sense that we get home deliveries of everything and we have maids to do all work around home – cleaning and cooking. But I always prefer doing groceries on my own, because I want to make sure I buy the freshest and also check out the seasonal vegetables. And even though I have a domestic help for cooking, I like to add my touch in the food daily and not just on weekends. But for the last one week, work has been hectic and my maid has been doing all the buying and preparing of food. While it has been a blessing with hectic schedule at work and still getting home-cooked food, I did miss my trip to the vegetable stall and mixing up spices in the kitchen.
So this Saturday, I went to the grocer at 8:00am just after he gets his deliveries for the day. And I saw tinde. Tinde is not very common here and when I told Sikander, we are having stuffed tinde for lunch, I was surprised to hear that he had had tinde only once before and that too at some gathering at my parent’s place. Tinda also called Indian round gourd, is a squash-like vegetable popular in north India. A native to India, it is popular in South Asia but virtually unknown elsewhere .When buying tinda make sure that it is hard and does not press when you use your thumb and you can also see some hairy thing on the skin. This stuffed tinda recipe is very similar to stuffed chilli. The filling and method are more or less the same.
Preparation Time: 10 mins | Cooking time: 25 mins| Serves 2
Small round gourd 4
Gram Flour (Besan) 2 Tbsp
Asafoetida (hing) 1 tsp
Turmeric pwd ½ tsp
Coriander pwd 4 tsp
Coarse fennel pwd 2 tsp
Dry mango pwd 2 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Chaat Masala 2 tsp
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
- Roast gram flour in a flat base pan for 5 mins until it turns light brown
- Add hing, turmeric, coriander pwd, fennel pwd, dry mango pwd, garam masala, chaat masala and salt.
- Roast for another 2-3 minutes
- Remove from pan onto a plate and let it cool for a few minutes
- Add 1 tbsp of oil and lemon juice to the mix and mix well making a coarse powder
- Scrape the skin of tinda and slit it cross-wise; keeping them connected at the bottom.
- Fill the tindas with the mixture prepared earlier
- Heat oil in the same pan used to roast gram flour
- Add the stuffed tindas and cook covered for 20 minutes on very low flame until they are soft from all sides. Turn the tindas occasionally.
- Add some water on the outside of the lid used to cover the pan. This would make the water drop inside the pan from the lid and allow them to cook fully from inside.
- If they seem to burn even on low flame put the pan on hot tava so that the heat goes into tindas even more slowly
- Serve with hot paranthas.
- The stuffing can also be made with a paste of onion-tomatoes mixed with spices.
- This dish can also be made as gravy with yoghurt, but I haven’t tried that one as yet! 🙂