I've gone on tirelessly about how I eat all vegetables and how I am not a fussy eater and all that. And I feel sorry for all of you for having believed me all this while. There is one vegetable that I actually "hate". No, it isn't bitter gourd. But it is a gourd nonetheless: the round gourd. This is more popularly known as Tinda. I ate this once some 9 years ago at someone's house in Bangalore. Everyone at the lunch table seemed so excited that Tinda was on the menu. I hadn't eaten Tinda before and I really did eat everything at the time. And so I did. I hated it. Good upbringing made me finish everything that was on my plate and I politely declined further helpings. A few months later, I moved to Gurgaon. Tinda featured in every menu during the summer that followed. Since I "had" to eat vegetables (I've always preferred eating vegetables and dal to rice), I would end up with Tinda on my plate. And when I moved back south, I was happy to get rid of this vegetable.
Now that I am back in Gurgaon, I have let one entire summer go by without as much as even looking at Tinda. But my colleagues kept telling me that it is really a tasty vegetable when made well. So, despite my hatred for this vegetable, I bought some and made this dish last week. It wasn't intended as an entry to any event, but merely as a means of trying out a new vegetable. But since I found this recipe in Rajasthani Cooking by Tarla Dalal and adapted it, this is off to Padmaja at Spicy Andhra as my fourth entry to the RCI Rajasthan - Flavours of the Desert event.
2 cups Tinda, sliced1/4 tsp Asafoetida
1 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
1 tsp Chilli Powder
1 tsp Coriander Powder
1 tsp Dry Mango Powder
2 tbsp Oil
Salt to Taste
Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida and the Tinda slices. Add the turmeric powder along with a little water. Cover and cook for a few minutes until the vegetable is cooked.
Add the spices and the salt and mix well. Cover and cook again for a few minutes.
Have my feelings towards this vegetable changed since? Not really. But I know it is tolerable now and with time and a few more experiments, I will be able to incorporate this otherwise sorry vegetable into my regular menu.
P.S. Tinda lovers: Please do not take offence. I am looking for ways to relish the vegetable. So, please help.