Punjabi Tinda Curry is a vegan, healthy and North Indian style gravy dish. Its mainly apple gourd (Tinda) cooked in onion tomato base gravy and seasoned with flavorful Indian spices. The gravy for this dish is more of a soupy consistency as we are not adding any thickening agent. This curry can be served with rice as well as freshly homemade roti/chapati.
Tinda is also known as Indian Baby Pumpkin or apple gourd or Indian round gourd. For those who are new to this vegetable, its pretty much similar in taste and texture to Lauki/Ghiya/BottleGourd. It has a green skin and white flesh with seeds. I guess it looks like green apples and hence the name apple gourd.
I had not heard or remember tasting Tinda before marriage. Its very popular in Delhi (Northern India) and have seen it in Pune too after my marriage. I learnt to cook this dish from my MIL. She makes this in a pressure cooker and that's how I make it too. Its quick and easy. But you can also make it in a regular vessel just that cooking times may vary. Punjabi Tinda Curry is now a regular in my home -its simple, light,satiating and a comforting meal.
Now to the recipe...
1 tbsp oil
8-9 tinday or indian baby pumpkin (aproximately 1.25 pound or 0.5kg)
1 onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
2 green chillies finely chopped (or to taste)
1 inch piece ginger finely chopped
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp red chilli powder (or to taste)
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala (or to taste)
1 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
handful of finely chopped coriander leaves
salt to taste
pinch of black pepper (optional)
Wash and peel the Tinday and cut them into quarters (1 tinda into 4 pieces) Incase the seeds inside are big and hard remove and discard them. Small seeds are just fine. In a pot boil water and add the tomatoes. Boil these for 5-10 mins until the skin breaks and the tomatoes turn soft. Drain the water. Allow the tomatoes to cool. You can even add them to cold water to fasten the cooling process. Peel the skin off and puree them. Keep aside
In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add the cumin seeds. Once they splutter add the finely chopped ginger garlic and green chilles. Keep stiring for a couple of seconds (ensure not to burn them) and then add the onions. Saute till onions turn light brown. Now add the salt, pepper and turmeric powder. Mix and saute for another 1-2 mins. Then add the tomato puree, mix and cook till the water from tomatoes evaporate.
Now add the red chilli powder & coriander powder. Mix and let it cook for another 1-2 mins till the masala starting leaving oil from the sides. Make sure to keep stirring intermittently. Now add the Tinday and give it a good mix. Add around 1 to 1.5 cups of water, mix, close the lid and allow 2-3 whistles of the pressure cooker. Switch off the gas and allow the steam to escape completely. Then open the lid and add water if required depending on how liquidy you want your gravy to be(I added more 2 cups) Mix well and get it to a boil. Finally add the garam masala, lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well, simmer for 2 mins and serve.
- This dish can be made without a pressure cooker too. Just cook the Tinda (Apple gourd) till fork tender. Add 1 cup water at a time and add more as required.
- removing the tomato skin is optional. you can also puree the tomatoes with skin on and add.
- You can control the gravy consistency to your liking by adding more or less water.
That's it, our tasty and vegan Tinda Curry is ready. Serve it hot with a side of freshly made chapati/roti or rice. Enjoy!!