One of the fellow bloggers complimented me on my intrepid experiments with Indian vegetables. I liked it! I even thought it would make a good name for a new dish, Intrepid Experiment. On second thought, though, I experiment with everything, always. I still have a grade school kid’s curiosity: what happens if… It wouldn’t describe this particular experiment prompted by ignorance and audacity because it describes every dish I make. As Tevye says in Fiddler on the Roof, “On the first hand… And on the second hand… And on the third hand…” That was to make sure you are awake and still reading!
So on the third thought, since I love Indian food, which is such a rare treat in the kosher environment that I really should learn how to do it, and since this array of fascinating Indian vegetables is a whole new world for me, I decided to call it the Intrepid New World. With all due respect to Aldous Huxley, of course.
This is Tindora, a.k.a. Tindy. It’s not a baby cucumber or a baby zucchini; it’s a gourd. Another name for it is Ivy Gourd. I’ve already described my first encounter with Tindora and the decision I made to pickle half of them and to stir-fry the rest, and see what happens. For the pickling part of my experiment, please click here. This is the stir-frying installment.
When I cut my tindies in half lengthwise, I discovered that some of them were yellow-brownish inside, some pink or orange, and some even deeper red. I bit into one of those, and it tasted the same as the green guys, but it was somewhat softer to the touch. Intrepid, right? No, just a curious cat. Google confirmed that it was fine, and in they all went into a very hot, barely misted with oil frying pan.
Meanwhile, I got out the Muli greens (that’s Diakon radish) which I had iced, salted, rinsed, and dried yesterday.For instruction on cleaning and preserving greens, please click here. I quickly tore them into pieces and added them to the tindies getting nice and soft in the pan. I stir-fried them together for maybe a minute.
I think the most important part of the experiment was the combination of spices. I decided that Indian vegetables just couldn’t survive without curry, no matter what you do with them. I added cinnamon, just because I put it in almost everything. Then I went according to my nutritionist friend Irit’s advice (to see her advice, click here) and added some lemon juice and soy sauce. I heard the tindies squeaking in the pan. “Ginger! Give us some ginger, please!” so I obliged. Finally, I grated some white turmeric in, for good measure. Believe me, it took much longer for me to write this paragraph than for tindies to turn beautiful golden brown and for muli greens to soften and start wilting.
I judged readiness from my experience with kale or Swiss chard, so I removed the whole mess, plated it in a clear salad bowl, and garnished with pickled ginger. You can hardly see the greens as tindies take center stage, but you can definitely taste the subtle radish tang and the sweetness particular to Daikon radishes. I served this salad warm, but I think it would be delicious cold as well. It could also be a nice light side dish, and if some grilled or stir-fried tofu is thrown in, you’ll have a main dish. I am also thinking about cashews, or maybe peanuts – what do you think? In the background, you can see the product of the first experiment – pickled tindora, almost ready to eat. By Shabbos, it’ll reach perfect half-sour readiness and will take a rightful place on my table.
- 1/2 lb Tindora (tindy), A.K.A. Ivy Gourd
- Leafy greens of one large Muli (mooly, or moolie), A.K.A. Daikon radish
- 1 heaping tablespoon grated ginger
- grated white turmeric to taste
- 1 tablespoon or more soy sauce (to taste)
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon or more curry powder (to taste)
- Cinnamon to taste
- Wash greens thoroughly, rinse and dry, put aside.
- Preheat a large frying pan or dutch oven on high, lightly mist with oil.
- Cut tindies into halves lengthwise, place in the pan. Stir for 1 minute. Cover.
- Tear muli greens into pieces, and to tindies. Stir-fry together for another minute.
- Add all spices and seasoning. Stir for 1 – 2 minutes, or until tindies turn golden brown, and the greens soften and wilt.
- Transfer to a clear salad bowl. Garnish with pickled ginger or pickled daikon radish.