Dondakaya Fry (Tindora Fry)

Updated: June 7, 2024, By Swasthi

Dondakaya Fry is a side dish of ivy gourd, stir fried with spices and curry leaves. It is a staple in the Telugu speaking homes and is eaten with hot rice and ghee, mixed together. Andhra and Telangana restaurants serve this in a meal known as Andhra Bhojanam/ meals. This Tindora Fry also goes well as a side in any Indian meal, alongside, rice-dal, rice-rasam or rice-sambar or simply with roti or chapati.

Dondakaya Fry - Tindora Fry

About Dondakaya Fry

In Telugu we call it as Dondakaya Vepudu, where dondakaya refers to the ivy gourd and vepudu means stir fried. However it is very common to find a variation of this with deep fried ivy gourd and that’s how the chefs make it for weddings and special meals. It also has peanuts, coconut and sometimes sesame seeds.

If you are not from India, may be you have never heard or eaten this vegetable. Ivy gourd is a tropical veggie that grows on vines and also goes by the name scarlet gourd. It is known by various regional Indian names such as Tindora, Kovakkai, tendli and kundru.

It is usually stir fried or sometimes cooked to a curry with onions and tomatoes like this Dondakaya Curry. There is also one popular dish from the Karnataka known as Kadle Manoli, where ivy gourd is cooked in combination with black chickpeas and coconut. We also make a spicy chutney known as Dondakaya Pachadi. In this post I share my Mom’s easy recipe to make dondakaya fry.

Prepping up this veggie the traditional way really takes time as you need to trim off both the ends and cut them length-wise to long strips or quarters. It can take almost 30 minutes for this task. My Mom taught me to use the food processor for this and that’s how I make this all the time. However you can also use an onion chopper but you need to do it in batches or alternately, chop them to round slices or lengthwise slices.

There are 2 benefits with the step of using food processor or chopper. Firstly you save time by not having to chop them and secondly the tiny pieces cook faster than the quarters or strips. It tastes the same and if you have fussy kids home, this may be an easier way to get them eat. However if you want to go the traditional way you can slice the gourd lengthwise as shown in the picture below.

Dondakaya slices

More Andhra Style dishes
Bendakaya Fry
Beerakaya Fry
Aratikaya Vepudu
Yam Fry

Photo Guide

Step by step Photo Instructions

1. Wash 250 grams ivy gourd very well in your preferred way. I rinse them under running water and add them to a bowl filled with water, little vinegar and salt. Let soak for 5 to 10 mins and rinse them well again. Wipe dry with a cloth, chop both the ends and discard. You can slice to thin round slices or lengthwise as shown above. But I simply add them to a processor/chopper and use the pulse button (do not process).

2. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil in a kadai. Add the following ingredients one after the other

  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon chana dal (soak in hot water for 15 mins & pat dry, if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (soak in hot water for 15 mins, if you want)
  • 1 to 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 broken dried red chilli
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (pat dry first)
Heat oil

3. Let fry until the lentils turn golden and aromatic. Add a pinch of hing (optional) and the chopped dondakaya or slices. Also add in ⅛ teaspoon turmeric and ⅓ teaspoon salt. Saute on a medium high flame for 3 mins and cook covered on a low heat until tender and fully cooked through. Keep stirring in between to prevent burning.

add dondakaya pieces

4. You will need 2 to 4 tablespoons grated raw coconut here. Or use idli podi, peanut podi or vepudu karam. If you want to make my aromatic vepudu karam make it from the recipe card below. Here I am using raw coconut and 1 tablespoon raw sesame seeds ground coarsely.


5. When the gourd is tender add in the coconut. Mix and fry until it smells good, for 2 mins.

add the coconut

6. Sprinkle ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chilli powder. You can also add some 1 to 2 tbsps roasted skinned peanuts at this stage (optional).

Sprinkle red chilli powder

7. Stir fry until the raw smell is gone, for another 2 to 3 mins. Taste test to adjust salt or chili powder.

fry until the raw smell goes away

Serve dondakaya fry with hot rice and ghee or with chapati.

Dondakaya Fry - Tindora fry recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

dondakaya fry

Dondakaya Fry (Tindora Fry)

4.97 from 32 votes
Stir fried ivy gourd with spices, coconut and curry leaves. This is eaten with hot rice and ghee or with chapati.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time20 minutes

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 250 grams tindora (ivy gourd/ dondakayalu)
  • 1 dried red chili broken
  • 1 sprig curry leaves (pat dry)
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon channa dal (bengal gram)
  • 1 teaspoon urad dal (skinned black gram)
  • 2 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 to 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 pinch hing (asafetida, optional)
  • teaspoon turmeric
  • teaspoon sea salt (more to adjust)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon red chili powder (cut down for kids)
  • 2 tablespoons peanuts roasted, skinned (optional)

To roast & powder or use 2 to 4 tbsp raw coconut

  • ¾ tablespoon chana dal
  • ¾ tablespoon urad dal
  • ¾ tablespoon dried coconut or endu kobbari
  • ¾ tablespoon sesame seeds nuvvulu (optional)
  • 1 dried red chili
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin seeds


  • Prep up the gourd: Rinse ivy gourd under running water and pat dry with a clean cloth. Chop off both the ends and discard. Either slice them to thin round slices or lengthwise to long slices. Or Alternately add to a food processor and pulse a few times (do not process). Check pics in the post.
  • Make vepudu karam: (Omit to use coconut.) Dry roast red chili, urad dal and chana dal until golden & aromatic. Add cumin, coconut, sesame seeds and garlic. When the sesame begin to splutter, remove to a plate and cool completely. Powder this finely. Set aside. Use this only as needed and store the rest for later use.
  • Temper: Heat a pan with oil. Add mustard, cumin, urad dal, chana dal, garlic, red chili and curry leaves. When the lentils turn golden, add hing.
  • Make the stir fry: Add chopped dondakaya, salt and turmeric. Stir fry on a medium high heat for 3 minutes. Cover and cook on a low flame until the gourd is tender, to your liking. Keep stirring in between.
  • Stir in the coconut or the vepudu karam & saute for 2 mins until aromatic. Add the red chili powder and roasted peanuts and stir fry for another 2 mins.
  • Serve dondakaya fry with hot rice and ghee. It goes well as a side with rice-rasam or rice-sambar.

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Dondakaya Fry (Tindora Fry)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 161 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 40mg2%
Potassium 150mg4%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Protein 4g8%
Vitamin A 90IU2%
Vitamin C 17.8mg22%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 1.1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars

5 stars
I made this recipe two times. Everyone loved it. Thank you!

4 stars
This was so delicious but next time I would not add the dals. I am new to Indian recipes so I probably didn’t do it right. But it added weird crunch to the dish for me. I did the ginger/garlic paste instead of the ginger because I used all my garlic up. I definitely will make this again.

5 stars
I love this recipe. Absolutely easy to chop with food processor . Thank you

5 stars
Looks great,as veg is cut to small pieces..Will try…