Once I had got the hang of the name (there are several depending on what part of India the speaker is from, and the spelling varies wildly since it's just transliterated into English). The English name is ivy gourd, which does not sound like food. It's a tiny little cucumberish sort of vegetable, tastes a little like cucumber, and you top and tail and slice it to get working on it.
She gave me a bag of fresh tendli, since I was interested in trying my hand at cooking it, and today I embarked on it. I wanted a nice green spring-like soup, and the raw tendli with the remains of the broccoli and a handful of watercress, the two latter from the freezer from last year, seemed a good idea.
|Onion skins in the foreground, dish of spicy tendli with raw behind there and onions|
I added in the dish of her highly spiced cooked tendli, seen above, as part of the seasoning. About a tablespoonful of diced fresh ginger (well, from the freezer, I prep and freeze), and another of lemon zest. Started with an onion and garlic in olive oil, and toasted some cumin seeds in there, too, with curry leaves, coarse salt and black pepper. And, in case she wants to sample it, I used water rather than chicken stock, she being a religious vegetarian. She knows she can trust that I will not slip in anything she doesn't know about.
It came out well, but a little too peppery for my taste. I like spicy, but it has to have flavor under it, too. So I added in a big blurt of lemon juice, and then thickened with a shake or two of potato flakes. Between them they tamed the heat and gave a bit more texture. Might serve this with some plain yogurt dropped on top, too.
And the art got in there since I had a new bag of Spanish onions, and kept the outer skins for natural dyeing. It makes a lovely yellow, soft color, and soon I'll be dyeing again. The rest of the onions, cut once across the equator, went into the freezer.
I was reminded to keep the skins when I dived into the freezer to get the broccoli and realized I was getting down to the layer of dye containers I put up last summer. All labeled in case anxious readers wonder if I might end up cooking with them. Most of them are safe anyway, but it would be a waste to eat them after all the trouble I took!