Kovakkai with Tofu


  • ½ lb Kovakkai
  • 4 oz tofu
  • Oil spray
  • 2 teaspoon canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ½ cup red onion thinly sliced (1-inch pieces)
  • 3-4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • Tamarind extract
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • Coconut milk or any other milk (regular milk, almond milk etc.)
  • Few curry leaves



  • Quarter Kovakkai lengthwise. If small, just slit into half.
  • Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray some oil to a baking sheet.  Arrange cut Kovakkai in a single layer and spray oil over Kovakkai.  Roast for about ½ an hour or until kovakkai is golden.
  • In a separate cookie sheet spray oil. Drain and cut tofu into ¼ inch cubes.  Arrange in the cookie sheet and spray oil over tofu.  Roast for about 15-20 minutes.
  • In a large saucepan add canola oil. Add mustard seed and once mustard seed start spluttering, add fennel seed and fry just for 30 seconds.  Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden.
  • Add Kovakkai to the sauce pan and add water, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and cover and cook for about 10 minutes
  • Now add ground coriander, cumin, tamarind extract, roasted tofu and cover and cook for further 10 minutes.
  • Add curry leaves and milk/coconut milk and heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Serve warm with rice or roti.

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