Ivy Gourd, Cumin and Fennel Stir Fry

By: Esther Vasa

FENNEL SEEDS: Fennel has many medicinal properties. Fennel seeds find usage in treating gastrointestinal disorders. Make tea by boiling fennel seeds for about ten minutes and consume it to relieve you from stomach cramps. Also, after a good hearty meal, you could chew these seeds and take in the juices to help you with digestion. They not only taste good but add a special aroma to the foods in which they are added. Use a few of these seeds while cooking rice. They have anti-inflammatory properties, help with vision, have a mild diuretic and laxative effect.

Ivy Gourd (cut into quarters) - about 4 cups
Medium sized onion - 1 (diced)
Dried red chillies - 3 or per your taste (or use a few pinches of cayenne pepper)
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic cloves - about 8
Himalayan Salt - per your taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 2 tbsp

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a wok and let the cumin seeds and fennel seeds fry for a few seconds. Then, add diced onion bits, garlic cloves and red chillies (or cayenne pepper). Allow these to fry for a minute or so. Add some salt; stir the mixture; allow it to cool. Then blend either in a blender or in a food processor. Set the paste aside.

Heat up the other tablespoon of oil and fry the ivy gourd pieces with some salt added. It takes about 8-10 minutes for ivy gourd to cook up while still retaining the fresh texture. When ready, add the paste prepared above and mix all the ingredients thoroughly. Transfer to a serving bowl and enjoy with a soup!

Serves: 3-4