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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Getahead » Recipes: Less-Loved Sabzis

Recipes: Less-Loved Sabzis

Last updated on: December 14, 2022 11:47 IST
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Before the kilo-adding holiday season arrives, plan a week or so of simple meals -- dal, roti, sabzi stuff.

Sabzi made the right way, with a light baghar or tadka and not overcooked, is the healthiest fare you can have and that's the beauty of Indian cooking.

Some sabzis are easier to like than others -- bhindi, alu, cauliflower. But Indian spices bring out the best in even not so likeable vegetables.

Featuring today recipes for two less-loved vegetables -- tinda and kadoo or kadu (pumpkin).

Tinda is often hard to find. They look like green tomatoes and belong to the gourd-melon family and are not anyone's fave veggie. But made with this recipe -- that was given to me by long-standing friend, the always ebullient Abhishek Mande Bhot, who loves to talk but does some mean Maharashtrian vegetarian cooking when he isn't talking -- you will grow to enjoy Crunchy Tinda with hot chapattis, I assure you :).

Years ago I sampled a recipe of kadoo at a South Indian thali 'hotel' named Dasaprakash in cold, cold, misty, Ooty. I call it my Dasaprakash Kadoo. It goes well with rice too and is lightly seasoned, and has yoghurt in it.

Abhishek's Tinda

Photograph: Zelda Pande

Abhishek's Crunchy Tinda Sabzi

Serves: 2-3

  • ¼ kg tinda sometimes called baby pumpkin
  • 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 3 tsp oil
  • Generous pinch hing or asafoetida
  • ½ tsp haldi or turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tbsp dhania-jeera powder, ideally freshly ground
  • Salt to taste, about 1 tsp


  • Chop the tinda into equal-sized pieces, peel on and keep seeds.
  • Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan or heavy-bottomed kadhai over medium heat.
    Add the mustard seeds and after they crackle add the asafoetida.
    After 30 seconds, add the tinda, haldi, salt and stir.
    Cover and let it cook on medium/low heat for about 7-10 minutes.
  • When almost done, add the dhania-jeera powder and the chilly powder.
    Continue cooking without the lid, so it becomes somewhat crisp, for say another 4-5 minutes.
    Serve hot with rotis.

Dasaprakash Kadoo

Photograph: Zelda Pande

Dasaprakash Kadoo

Serves: 2-3

  • ¼ kg kadoo, peeled, cut into cubes (please see the note below)
  • 1 light-green, less spicy chilly
  • 2 dark-green, more sharp chillies
  • ¼ cup fresh grated coconut
  • 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 1 cup dahi or yoghurt or vegan yoghurt
  • ½ tsp haldi or turmeric
  • Salt to taste, about 1 tsp
  • Pinch sugar, optional
  • Boiled or mineral or filtered water

For the seasoning

  • 1 tsp rai or mustard seeds
  • 1 ample pinch hing or asafoetida
  • 6-7 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp oil


  • Grind in a mixer/blender the chillies, yoghurt, 1 tsp mustard seeds, coconut, turmeric, salt, sugar.
    Keep aside.
  • In a kadhai or saucepan heat the oil over medium heat and add the mustard seeds.
    Allow the seeds to crackle and add the hing and then after half a minute the curry leaves.
    Then add the kadoo.
    Fry the kadoo for 5-8 minutes till mostly cooked.
    Then add the ground yoghurt-coconut mixture and a tiny bit of water, only if required, to get the right consistency.
    Bring to a boil ie it should just start to simmer and then take off heat or the yoghurt will split.
  • Serve with hot rotis or steamed rice and maybe some appalams or South Indian papad.

Zelda's Note: Choose a firm piece of kadoo. It should not be over-ripe and sweet. It should be under-ripe.
The same preparation can be used for alu, baingan, doodhi and even cauliflower.

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