Amma's Special


Adhala kaai poriyal

“Momordica tuberosa” is its name and the common name is “Adhala kaai”. First time seeing it I was fascinated by its shape and do not have any idea about the taste. Neighbours gave just 2 recipes one a tamarind based gravy the other this simple saute.

I made this simple saute and it turned to be real good for a tamarind kuzhambu. Slightly bitter and crunchy seeds inside is a rare taste combo indeed. But again this is very seasonal and will be avialble for a month or two in winter. Jumping to the recipe…

Adhalakai poriyal – Momordica tuberosa saute

Ingredients :
Adhalakkai (stems removed and washed) – 1 Cup
Shallots (finely chopped) – 1/2 Cup
Peanut oil – 1 Table spoon
Mustard seeds – 1/4 tea spoon
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Sambar powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Coconut (freshly grated ) – 1/4 Cup
Salt to taste

How to make ?
In a thick bottomed wide skillet heat the peanut oil. Add the mustard seeds and let it splutter. Add the a chopped onions and saute well. Once they turn soft add Adhalakkai and saute again for a minute. Add the trumeric powder, sprinkle the sambar powder and salt and mix well. Sprinkle 1 Table spoon of water and mix well and cover and cook for 5 minutes in low flame. Open the lid after that and mix well till the water evaporates. Taste and adjust salt.


The skin of Adhalakkai is very thin and hence cooks very fast. Before the veggie opens and seeds come out sprinkle the grated coocnut and give a final saute for 2 mins and switch off the stove. Serve with rice and any sour and hot kulambu. Enjoy !