Stuffed Indian Round Gourd (Bharwan Tinda) – Starter or Side Dish – Treat it the way you like it!

Sometimes it gets so tough to think of new recipes so that the food we eat and cook doesn’t get boring! Infact, I would say that vegetable shopping is the activity from where the conceptualization of meals for next few day’s begins. I will take an example, the other day I went to get some veggies from a nearby store where the variety of vegetables is very limited. When I entered the place, I just saw some capsicum, carrot, beans and very small size apple gourd (Indian round gourd/ Tinda). Initially I thought of skipping apple gourd because the size was not good enough for the usual apple gourd side dish that I prepare but then immediately my creative bell rang and I could visualize those small balls stuffed with tempting spices! This is the reason I said that vegetable shopping is the first and most crutial part of how the dish would be.

  • The person who goes to buy should be able to select fresh and good quality vegetables. This would automatically enhance the taste of the dish that will be prepared using those fresh veggies!
  • Also, from the selected options, one should be able to think of the different dishes that are possible and then take a call on what to buy.

Bharwan Tinda as we call this dish in India can be prepared with many variations. The one I prepared this time is quite dry by choice as I wanted to try this as a starter also! If you have a taste for it, you can relish this as a starter or snack. I first fried and then steamed this one in a pan. I would definitely try baking and grilling to see the results!


  • 10-12 very small size round gourd(Tinda)
  •  2 table spoon Mustard oil for frying

For filling

  • 2 1/2 tea spoon Salt
  • 5 tea spoon Coriander powder
  • 2 tea Spoon Dry Mango Powder
  • 1/2 tea Spoon Turmeric Powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon Black cumin seeds
  • 1 Tea Spoon Mustard Oil
  • 1 Tea Spoon water
  • a pinch of Asafoetida

Preparation Steps

  1. Peel round gourd and divide each piece into four parts without cutting the base.
  2. Mix the stuffing ingredients and fill them uniformly in all the balls.
  3. Take mustard oil in a pan and heat it. Slowly and gently place all the balls in the pan. Let the round gourds fry for a couple of minutes.
  4. Gently turn the balls  upside down and fry again for a couple of minutes.
  5. Take 3 table spoon water and add it to the pan. Cover the lid and let the gourds cook for 10 minutes. (after 4-5 mins check if some more water is required, the cooking time may very depending on the quality and size of balls)
  6. Once done, try turning the sides and frying the balls for a couple of minutes from all the sides so that the balls get as crispy as possible.
  7. Serve these hot either as a starter or along with chapati!

Don’t forget to tell me how you liked it (smiles)!

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Comments: 7

  1. Sanjeeta KK August 8, 2012 at 11:27 am Reply

    Mmmm…now you are tempting me…I hardly get Tindas here..
    Sanjeeta KK recently posted..Recipe | Thin Crust, Gluten Free and Wholewheat Pizzas Base with A Crunchy Cilantro PestoMy Profile

  2. Rachna August 8, 2012 at 6:54 pm Reply

    At first I thought it was an Amla dish.. we also prepare dry Amla dish in almost the same fashion…
    and is there any alternative to “Dry Mango Powder”, as me, sumit and kids are allergic to “Amchoor” and thus I always try to find out an alternative to that?

    • Srishti@ProlificCooking August 13, 2012 at 1:21 am Reply

      Try using “Anardana powder”. I add it to many paratha’s stuffing. It will also give a tangy flavor. Although not same as Dry mango powder but I really like the flavor it adds to the dish.

  3. Priya August 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm Reply

    Never had a chance to cook this round gourd, those stuffed tindas looks irresistible.
    Priya recently posted..Couscous & Peas TikkiMy Profile

  4. Priya Sreeram August 10, 2012 at 8:36 am Reply

    back in delhi, I remember my mom making them occasionally- but never tried stuffing them; nice idea and the stuffed gourds look swell !
    Priya Sreeram recently posted..Ven Pongal -The South Indian Khichdi (A wholesome breakfast)My Profile

  5. preeti sahani August 16, 2012 at 4:43 am Reply

    SHRIS… have been trying almost all ur dishes.. except the appos… let me tell.. all of them came out very well… thanks to ur detailed description… just wanted to knw.. when u use mustard oil in the filling the gourd.. do u use the smoked version…also.. do u use smoked version of mustard oil…

    • Srishti@ProlificCooking August 21, 2012 at 1:33 pm Reply

      Finally, you are back :). Was wondering where are you these days! Thanks for your feedback, you know how big a motivator it is. As far as this recipe goes, I don’t use smoked version of mustard oil as we love its flavor in these kind of stuffed masala. Depends, if you don’t like the raw flavor, heat it a bit. Avoid over heating as makes the oil rancid.

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