I recently discovered kovakai and fell in love with it! Kovakai, tindora, ivy gourd. It's a cute little vegetable resembling a cucumber, about the size of your little finger. It is a good source of vitamins A & C and can be eaten raw, but is typically cooked in Indian cuisine. Once cooked it retains some crunch, which I think adds a delightful texture to the palate. :) Here is a friend's method of stir frying this vegetable.
1.5 lb kovakai, ends cut off and remaining sliced in thin rounds
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon urad dal
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 heaping teaspoons of coriander powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/3 cup of grated coconut
Microwave the sliced kovakai in a bowl of water for 5 minutes to soften. Drain well.
Heat oil in a frying pan, add mustard and cumin seeds and urad dal. When the mustard seeds pop add the kovakai and stir fry for 5 minutes. Stir in the turmeric, coriander, chili powder and salt. Allow to cook over medium heat until it begins to caramelize and turn golden brown. At last, stir in coconut and stir fry for a few minutes, then switch of heat. Stir in lemon juice.
Serve with white rice and sambar.