This is a traditional recipe that my Atthayya (Mother-In-Law) has taught me. It is traditional in Andhra Pradesh where my Husband’s family is from. Dondakaya is a gourd from the ivy gourd. It is also called Tindora/Tindoora. A good substitute is fresh gherkins. This is so easy yet so tasty! Ireally like the crispiness that my Atthayya gets and she salts them quite a bit as they make the dish taste more like a fresh pickle. Most of Andhran food is eaten with rice unless I specify otherwise and since this is a fry we normally eat this with Rasaam or Dal
1/2 kg (1pound) of fresh Dondakaya cut into rounds
1/2 TBS Red Chili Powder (I prefer to take dried red chili and grind it up into a powder, then add dried garlic cloves with skin on into the powder and store no longer than four months)
3 1/2 TBS Salt
3 Cups water
1 TBS oil
Soak the dondakaya in a brine mixture of the salt and water for 1-2 hours or even overnight in fridge but use less salt if so. Drain and get as much water off of them. In a pan heat oil and then add the dondakaya with the salt and chili powder. Fry the rounds stirring every minute or so for 10-15 minutes until dark brown and crispy.
Other variations: add peanuts (groundnuts) and split yellow lentils into 2 TBS oil and fry for 3-5 minutes until the nuts and lentils are just slightly light brown then add dondakaya, salt and chili powder.