Tindorā, also known as gilodā or ivy gourd, are slender, pale-green gourds that make one of my favorite childhood shāks. The tindorā is cooked until it’s just tender but retains some bite; then it’s stir-fried with a classic combination of spices. Tindorā can be found at Indian grocers (fresh tindorā cooks better than frozen), but if unavailable, fresh green beans (halved lengthwise) may be substituted.   Recipe from Plant-Based India: Nourishing Recipes Rooted in Tradition © Dr. Sheil Shukla, 2022. Reprinted by permission of the publisher, The Experiment. Available everywhere books are sold. theexperimentpublishing.com

Tindorā [Vegan]

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  • 1 pound (454 g) fresh tindora
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons neutral oil, such as sunflower or grapeseed
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • Pinch of asafetida, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masālā
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red chili, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped jaggery or sugar
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice (from about 1/2 lime)
  • Freshly chopped cilantro, optional


  1. Trim the ends of the tindorā. Slice each tindorā in half lengthwise, then slice each half once or twice to make thinner slices. Discard any pieces of tindorā that are red on the inside. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep, wide nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add the cumin and mustard seeds and toast until the mustard seeds pop, about 30 seconds.
  3. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the ginger and asafetida (if using), and continue to stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add the sliced tindorā and salt, and increase the heat to medium. Cover and continue cooking until the tindorā is tender and starting to brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Stir about every 5 minutes to prevent the tindorā from sticking to the bottom of the pan or burning.
  5. Remove the cover, stir in the coriander, cumin, garam masālā, chili, and turmeric, and continue to cook for about 1 minute to toast (but not burn) the spices.
  6. Remove from the heat, stir in the jaggery and fresh lime juice, and garnish with cilantro, if desired.


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