Pressure Cooker Tendli Masale Bhaat| One Pot Maharashtrian Spiced Ivy Gourd Rice

Have you been acquainted with Tendli Masale Bhaat yet? If not, you definitely must, and soon! This super flavourful dish deserves to be tried out and loved.

What is Tendli Masale Bhaat?

It refers to a rice dish from the state of Maharashtra, prepared using the very nutritious ivy gourd or coccinea (‘tendli‘ or ‘tondli‘ in Marathi, ‘kundru‘ in Hindi and ‘kovakkai‘ in Tamil). It is usually a little spicy, with just a hint of sweet and tangy tastes. There is a version of Masale Bhaat made without ivy gourd too, but the one using it is hugely popular across Maharashtra.

The ‘masale’ in the name of the dish comes from the use of goda masala – a traditional Maharashtrian spice blend made using coconut, stone flower (patthar ke phool or dagad phool), dry red chillies, cinnamon, bay leaves and sesame seeds, among other ingredients. Goda masala is an absolute must in Tendli Masale Bhaat, and it is what gives the dish a unique aroma and flavour.

Tendli Masale Bhaat is an absolute delight to eat, rustic and hearty and delicious, just perfect for a winter’s day. I do have several fond memories of sitting with my family around the dining table, on chilly winter evenings in Ahmedabad, eating it, this dish that happened to be my grandma’s signature. It can be served with plain curd or with a raita of your choice. I usually do plain curd, but recently served it with a sweetish Boondi Raita, and the combination was a huge hit!

About my One Pot Tendli Masale Bhaat

I was introduced to the wonders of Tendli Masale Bhaat by my grandmother, who spent a large part of her life in a Maharashtrian colony. Her cooking had a definite Marathi touch to it, thanks to her neighbours, friends and acquaintances from the colony. Grandma, though, would make the dish in a pan, with oodles of oil and chillies. Over the years, I adapted her recipe to use less oil, a pressure cooker and limited spiciness – the way my family likes it.

Grandma would get her stash of goda masala home-made by her friends, which explains why I have never seen her making it. I used to buy goda masala whenever I spotted it in the departmental stores, which is still somewhat a rare occurrence in Bangalore. Lately, though, I have started substituting the goda masala I use in various Maharashtrian dishes with kala masala from Wandering Foodie. I absolutely love the masala, made the traditional way, without any artificial colouring or flavouring agents or preservatives. This brand of kala masala is available online, and it gives my Tendli Masale Bhaat the same gorgeous fragrance and flavour I remember from my grandma’s times.

Are goda masala and kala masala the same?

No, they aren’t. Several online recipes suggest that they are the one and the same or that one can be substituted for the other – just the way I did here – but the two spice blends are different. There are subtle differences between the two, although they might look and smell similar.

I’m not sure of the nuances, having never prepared either goda masala or kala masala. I have, however, used both extensively. There are a few differences in the ingredients used in both masalas, and the degree to which they are roasted in both cases is also different. Goda masala is brown in colour, lighter in shade than the blackish kala masala – this is because of the greater time for which ingredients are roasted in case of the latter. I believe both these masalas have traditionally been used in different regions of Maharashtra too.

However, goda masala and kala masala do have a rather similar flavour profile. I have used one in place of the other – in dishes like misal, amti and Tendli Masale Bhaat – without any noticeable change in taste. It is, according to me, anyday better than using garam masala in a quintessentially Maharashtrian dish, as some recipes suggest. Garam masala has an entirely different flavour, and I don’t think it can replace goda masala or kala masala in a dish.

Tendli Masale Bhaat for #GourdsAreBeautiful

Today, I’m going to share the way I make Tendli Masale Bhaat in a pressure cooker for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop. The theme for the blog hop this week is #GourdsAreBeautiful, and we are showcasing dishes made using different types of gourds. There are so many different types of gourds available in India – bottle gourd, ridge gourd, spiny gourd, bitter gourd, ivy gourd, pointed gourd and snake gourd, to name a few. However, the gourd family is oft disliked and ignored, in spite of many of them possessing various health benefits. Our aim at the Foodie Monday Blog Hop is to make sure you eat gourds, by presenting some really beautiful and delicious dishes with them. πŸ™‚

It was Sujata ji of Batter Up With Sujata who suggested the theme this week. Her blog is a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind baked goodies, traditional Bengali curries and desserts. You should check it out, if you haven’t already. I made this Niramish Aloor Dom using Sujata ji’s recipe and all of us at home absolutely adored it. Now, I’m super eager to try out her Bengali-style Chatpata Gobhi and Chhanar Dalna!

How to make Pressure Cooker Tendli Masale Bhaat

Here’s presenting to you the way I make the Tendli Masale Bhaat, in a pressure cooker. This way, it gets cooked in just a few minutes – a lifesaver on busy weekdays and lazy weekends alike.

This is a no-onion, no-garlic recipe. It is a completely vegetarian and vegan preparation, suitable to those following a plant-based diet. It can be gluten-free too, if you skip the asafoetida in the tempering. The Wandering Foodie Kala Masala I use does not contain any asafoetida in it either – make sure it is the same with whatever brand of goda masala or kala masala you are using.

Ingredients (serves 4-5):

  1. 1-1/2 cups rice
  2. 4 cups water
  3. 12-15 tender ivy gourd
  4. 1 medium-sized carrot
  5. 1 medium-sized tomato
  6. 4-5 large florets of cauliflower
  7. 1-1/2 tablespoons green peas
  8. 1 medium-sized potato
  9. Salt to taste
  10. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  11. Red chilli powder to taste
  12. 1-1/2 tablespoon goda masala or kala masala or to taste
  13. 1 tablespoon jaggery powder or to taste
  14. 1 tablespoon oil
  15. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  16. 2 pinches of asafoetida
  17. 2 small bay leaves
  18. A 1-inch piece of cinnamon
  19. 3-4 cloves
  20. 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander
  21. 1-1/2 tablespoons fresh grated coconut


1. The first step is to prep all the veggies needed to make this dish, and to keep them ready. Slice the tops and ends of the ivy gourd and chop them lengthwise. Peel the carrot and potato, and chop into large-ish pieces. Chop the cauliflower florets into slightly large pieces. Chop the tomato finely. Keep the shelled green peas, grated coconut and finely chopped coriander handy.

2. Wash the rice well under running water. Drain out all the water. Keep ready.

3. Heat the oil in a pressure cooker bottom, keeping the flame high. Add in the mustard, and allow it to sputter. Now, add in the asafoetida, cinnamon, cloves and bay leaves. Let them stay in for a couple of seconds.

4. Now, add the chopped ivy gourd, potato, carrot and cauliflower, as well as the shelled green peas to the pressure cooker. Saute on high flame for a minute.

5. Add the washed and drained rice to the pressure cooker. Saute for a minute.

6. Add the 4 cups of water to the pressure cooker, along with salt and red chilli powder to taste, jaggery powder, turmeric powder, kala masala and finely chopped tomatoes. Mix well. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed.

7. Still keeping the flame high, let the water start bubbling. Close the pressure cooker at this stage, and put the weight on. Pressure cook on high flame for 4 whistles. Let the pressure release naturally.

8. After the pressure has completely gone down, wait for 10-15 minutes to open the cooker. Then, gently fluff up the rice using the back of a ladle.

9. Gently mix the grated coconut and finely chopped fresh coriander into the rice. Your Tendli Masale Bhaat is now ready to serve. Serve it hot with raita of your choice or plain curd.

Tips & Tricks

1. I use Sona Masoori rice to make this. You can use any variety of rice you prefer.

2. Use only firm, fresh and tender tendli aka ivy gourd to make this dish. Overly ripe ivy gourd will alter the taste of the rice.

3. I have used 4 cups of water here for 1.5 cups of rice + some veggies, which comes to roughly 2.5 cups of water per cup of rice. Adjust the quantity of water you use, depending upon how grainy or soft you want the Tendli Masale Bhaat to be. The above measurements yield rice that is well-cooked, neither very grainy, nor overly mushy.

4. I have used a 5-litre pressure cooker to prepare this Tendli Masale Bhaat.

5. Only a few veggies work best in the making of this Tendli Masale Bhaat – green peas, pigeon peas (tuver dana) cauliflower, carrot, potato and the ivy gourd (tendli), of course. If you so prefer, you could skip all the other veggies and cook the rice using only ivy gourd.

6. Adjust the quantity of salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, jaggery powder and kala masala or goda masala, as per personal taste preferences. This rice is supposed to be spicy and fragrant with the masala, with just a hint of tanginess (from the tomatoes) and a bit of sweetness (from the jaggery).

7. Once the pressure from the cooker has fully gone down, wait for 10-15 minutes before opening it. Then, gently fluff up the rice with the back of a ladle, ensuring that the grains of rice do not break.

8. For best results, use very fresh goda masala or kala masala. Since these spice mixes contain coconut, it is important to use them before they start smelling rank.

9. Cooking times might differ, depending upon the type of rice and vegetables used, as well as the make of the pressure cooker. For the above quantities of ingredients, 4 whistles works perfectly for me. Please adjust the number of whistles or cooking time as per your preference.

Did you like the recipe? Do tell me, in your comments!


15 thoughts on “Pressure Cooker Tendli Masale Bhaat| One Pot Maharashtrian Spiced Ivy Gourd Rice

  1. We love tendli masala bhaat and yours looks absolutely tempting ! I do not add tomato though. Next time will try your version as variation.


  2. I love masala Tendli Bhaat. Made with fresh home made masala takes the dish to a new level.I am yet to try this recipe. Loved the pressure cooker version as i can make it in the morning and pack for lunch.


  3. I too make this Tendli masala bhat but never tried with kala masala. Would love to try your version.Loving all the tips and tricks you have mentioned in the recipe.


  4. It is perfect recipe for me. Looks absolutely scrumptious and inviting. Loved your detailed explanation about different masala used which is helpful for others. Bookmarking to try soon


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