Kovakkai Poriyal

Today’s recipe, Kovakkai Poriyal is another easy to prepare side dish with Ivy Gourd or Kovakkai or Tondli. With kovakkai as the star ingredient, this poriyal can be prepared in a jiffy. Though prepared in a South Indian style, this poriyal as a side dish is suitable for both hot Phulkas as well as South Indian meals.

Kovakkai Poriyal

I have already shared another stir fry using Kovakkai that uses chilli and coriander powders. However, in this poriyal, the spiciness comes only from the usage of red chilli. Addition of garlic cloves along with red chilli lends a nice flavor to the poriyal. If you are fan of Ivy Gourd, do try this simple yet tasty Kovakkai Poriyal.


Kovakkai or Ivy gourd – 200 gms
Red chilli – 2 or taste
Green chilli – ½ to 1 (optional)
Garlic – 10 cloves
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – few for garnishing (optional)


Prep time – 10 mins
Cook time – 15 mins
Total time – 25 mins
Serves 3

  1. Wash and trim the edges of kovakkai and cut them into thin roundels. Also, finely chop the garlic cloves.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, as the oil is getting hot; reduce the flame to low-medium. Now add the red chillies and chopped garlic to the hot oil. You can tear the red chillies to 2-3 pieces. Toss until the garlic starts to change its color.
  3. Add the kovakkai roundels along with turmeric powder and salt to taste. Mix well.
  4. Cook covered with a lid until the kovakkais/ivy gourds turn soft. Stir in between to avoid the poriyal getting burnt. This may take around 8-10 mins.
  5. Once done, switch off the flame and garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.

Serve hot as a side dish to Phulkas or with Rice and Sambar or Rasam or Curds.

Kovakkai Poriyal


  1. You can also use combination of red and green chilli.
  2. There is no need to add any water while cooking the kovakkai. As we cover and cook, the gourds will get cooked in their own steam.
  3. If you like the garlic flavor in your poriyal, you can increase the quantity of garlic added.