Ivy Gourd Leaves with Lentils

Ivy Gourd Leaves with Lentils

Kovai Ilai Dhall:

Ivy Gourd Leaves Soup. Kovai Thazhai Dhall. Kovaikkai Keerai Kothu Paruppu. Gherkins Leaves in Food preparations. Dhondakai Greens in Cooking. Tinda / Tindora Leaves in cooking. Dondaikai Koora Pappu Chaaru.

Ivy Gourd is considered as weed in many parts of the world and even in India. It comes under the Cucurbitaceae family(Family of Cucumbers). The Botanical name of the vine is Coccinia indica. Name indicates it is native to India. Although it grows all round the Asian countries. Also in West Indies and Hawaai. It is highly valued as food and medicine in Thailand! In India, the Ayurveda text, mentions about its usage in various ailments.

The gourd is considered as vegetable and appreciated for its unique taste. Widely used in culinary. Gourd has the property towards reducing one’s glucose level. Researchers are now showing interest in common plants, which have more pharmacological uses than one could imagine. The gourd is said to have the properties to lower one’s glucose level. To be more specific…it suppress the activity of enzymes that are involved in the production of glucose, such as G-6-phosphatase. Although the leaves tend to have more properties than the gourd itself. Maybe the foliaceous nature of this creeper…gets very little attention! Wish Ethonobotonist give some holistic approach towards the whole plant/vine.

Sure, I got introduced to this humble weed like creeper through my back home cook, Usha Nandhini. She insisted upon adding 5-7 leaves to any Green masiyal, I intended to make. I got to say…they added only extra flavour and value to the regular greens! One good thing about depending upon a natural source for one’s body’s imbalances is…they have least possibility of giving side effects. There is no medicine in allopathy that can challenge this area! If 3-4 medicines are prescribed at a time…it leads to polypharmocogy problems(side effects). I am glad that these ivy gourd plus leaves do not have any adverse effect on kidney or liver(report says).

The plan was to add more pearl onions/china vengayam in the dish. As these small pearl onion’s produces lot of antibodies, eventually strengthens one’s immune system. It is also said that the combination of pearl onions + ivy gourd leaves works well for an expectant mother. Besides it is also suggested to weak & fragile diabetic petients.


Ivy Gourd Leaves 1 bowl – chopped
Dry red chilies 3-5
Pearl Onions 1 bowl(thinly sliced)
Garlic 6 chopped
Tomato 1 large chopped
Lentils(moong dal/thuvar dal)1 cup
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Olive oil 2 spoons.


Cook lentils with water, salt and a spoon full of oil. Maybe in a pressure cooker, till 3 whistle sounds.

In a wide vessel, heat oil. Add cumin and wait till it crackles.

Now add cumin, chilies, garlic and fry for a minute. Then add onions & tomatoes…saute for few more minutes.

Add greens and cooked lentils to this. Further add salt too. Cover and cook till they are done.

Serve warm in a soup bowl. Its also good to go with plain steamed rice, as well.


18 Responses so far.

  1. Ann says:

    Malar,i used to make this with spinach and daal..but this is new to me..real treat,especially for kids..vitamin rich and nutritional..and your pictures and splendid as always.

  2. Asha says:

    Oh, I have never seen a Ivy gourd/Tendli plant before, didn’t know you could use those leaves too.Dal looks so good! :) )

  3. Even this is new to me but the dal looks inviting Malar..Have to find out that here..

  4. This is so new to me da..Bet the Daal is so tasty.yum..:)

  5. Vibaas says:

    Malar u come up with such new, unique recipes. looks yum. i love kovakkai, but never heard of kovai illai dhaal before.

  6. n33ma says:

    I have never tried this before.It looks very tasty.I love Ivy gourd so I’m sure I will relish this as well.

  7. Ushanandini says:

    I didn’t knew this kovai elai is edible and healthy to eat. The recipes you publish seem twisted and new to me.

  8. Viki Xavier. says:

    wow Malar, This is what exactly village people told me. Yes, as home remedy they use it as keerai with dhal to reduce sugar and to shed some pounds. Lovely picture. Yummy recipe dear.
    our native food are so valuable, but its saddening that we are forgetting them little by little.
    You are doing a great work to the coming generations by collecting all these recipes. Keep it up dear.

  9. Ashwini says:

    We had a similar plant back home in India. They used to eat raw so that it will reduce glucose level..The leaves look exactly same..But dont know the name..Dint know we can cook with it too..
    I make this dhal with spinach..this is something new..

  10. Chitra says:

    This kovai ilai kootu is completely new to me:)Thanks for the info:)Nice , yummy kootu..First time in ur blog i think..not sure:)Do visit my blog when u r free:)

  11. RAKS KITCHEN says:

    I have heard a lot about this leaves,though have not tasted like this recipe before:)

  12. Priya says:

    Wow wat a healthy dal, never heard about this, simply delicious…will try this once i go to India..yummy dal Malar..

  13. Wow something new and yummy, healthy and nutritious too. If you are intrested you can send this to MLLA. My mom makes bajji with this leaves.

  14. Divz says:

    hi malar..thanks for peeping into my site and writing lovely and encouraging words!!
    i hope u found the post in which i commented. if no then it was for Tapioca Fryums posted on 27th jan..
    i was curious to know one thing..u dont seem to be a mallu, then how do u know malayalam??

  15. Premyscakes says:

    Wow looks lovely and great doing any dishes with shallots.

  16. Ivy gourd keerai sounds very intresting…I love the color of the dhal, is it available in regular grocery stores in US? I would love to try this one…

  17. AnuSriram says:

    That looks delicious… New to me.. I have never tried ivy gourd leaves..

  18. Deepa Hari says:

    Never knew ivy gourd leaves are edible…Nice recipe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: