Kovakka Peera Recipe

Discover the tantalizing flavors of Kovakka Peera, a South Indian culinary delight! Spice up your meals with this authentic recipe.

Kovakka Peera

    Kovakka Peera

  • Cuisine: Indian
  • Category: Side dish
  • Prep Time:
  • Cook Time:
  • Servings: 3
  • Calories: 150 calories

Kovakka Peera, a popular South Indian dish, is a flavorful and nutritious preparation made with Ivy Gourd (Kovakka) and grated coconut. This dish beautifully combines the subtle sweetness of Ivy Gourd with the rich and aromatic taste of coconut, resulting in a delectable side dish that's often served with steamed rice.

To make Kovakka Peera, Ivy Gourd is sliced into thin rounds and cooked with a tempering of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chilies, and curry leaves. The addition of turmeric and salt infuses the dish with a hint of spiciness and a vibrant yellow color. As the Ivy Gourd simmers and becomes tender, it's joined by grated coconut, which enhances the dish's creamy texture and imparts a delightful nutty flavor.

Kovakka Peera is not only a treat for the taste buds but also a healthy choice. Ivy Gourd is known for its nutritional benefits, including being a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. This dish is a testament to the diverse and wholesome flavors of South Indian cuisine and can be enjoyed by anyone looking to savor a unique combination of ingredients that truly represent the region's culinary heritage.


Indulge in the best Kovakka Peera recipe. Enjoy South Indian cuisine with our step-by-step guide. Perfectly spiced and full of flavor.


  • 250g Ivy Gourd (Kovakka)
  • 1 cup grated coconut
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chilies, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • A few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons oil

Method Instructions

  1. Wash and chop the Ivy Gourd (Kovakka) into thin, round slices.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
  3. Add cumin seeds and sauté for a few seconds.
  4. Add the chopped onions, green chilies, and curry leaves. Sauté until the onions become translucent.
  5. Add the sliced Ivy Gourd (Kovakka) and sauté for a few minutes.
  6. Add turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and cover the pan. Let it cook on low heat until the Kovakka becomes tender. Stir occasionally.
  7. Once the Ivy Gourd is cooked, add the grated coconut and mix everything together.
  8. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring continuously, and then remove from heat.

Recipe Video

Kovakka Peera

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Recipe Tags: Kovakka Peera, Kovakka Peera Recipe, Recipe


Kovakka Peera is traditionally served as a side dish in South Indian cuisine, typically accompanying steamed rice. Here's how to serve it:

  • Steamed Rice: Kovakka Peera pairs wonderfully with plain steamed rice. You can serve it on a plate alongside a generous helping of rice.
  • Sambar or Rasam: To complete your South Indian meal, consider serving Kovakka Peera with sambar or rasam. These are popular South Indian lentil-based soups that add even more depth of flavor to your meal.
  • Chapati or Roti: If you prefer bread over rice, you can also enjoy Kovakka Peera with chapati or roti, Indian flatbreads. It makes for a satisfying and hearty combination.
  • Pickle: Many South Indian meals include a side of pickle for an extra burst of flavor. A small serving of mango pickle or lime pickle can complement Kovakka Peera nicely.
  • Curd (Yogurt): To balance the spiciness, you can serve plain curd or yogurt on the side. The coolness of yogurt can be a refreshing contrast to the Kovakka Peera's spices.
  • Lemon Wedges: A few lemon wedges on the side can be used to add a zesty touch to your dish. Squeezing a bit of lemon juice over the Kovakka Peera can enhance its flavors.


  1. Choose Fresh Ivy Gourd: Select fresh and firm Ivy Gourds. They should be green in color and free from any blemishes or soft spots. Fresh ingredients make a big difference in the taste of the dish.
  2. Slice Kovakka Evenly: When slicing the Ivy Gourd, try to keep the slices of uniform thickness. This ensures that they cook evenly and look appealing in the final dish.
  3. Tempering Technique: Pay attention to the tempering step. Let the mustard seeds splutter and cumin seeds sizzle before adding other ingredients. This infuses the oil with their flavors.
  4. Control Spice Levels: Adjust the number of green chilies to control the spiciness of the dish. If you prefer it milder, use fewer chilies, or remove the seeds and membranes to reduce heat.
  5. Grated Coconut: Use fresh or desiccated coconut for the best taste. Freshly grated coconut imparts a richer flavor, but desiccated coconut works well if fresh isn't available.
  6. Stir Coconut Gently: When adding grated coconut, be gentle while stirring. You want to mix it in without mashing the coconut, as the texture of coconut plays a key role in the dish.
  7. Cover While Cooking: Cover the pan when cooking the Ivy Gourd to help it cook evenly and retain its moisture.
  8. Season to Taste: Taste and adjust salt and spice levels as needed before serving. South Indian cooking often involves a balance of flavors, so feel free to tailor it to your preferences.
  9. Garnish: For a final touch, you can garnish the Kovakka Peera with a few fresh curry leaves or a drizzle of coconut oil before serving.
  10. Leftovers: Kovakka Peera tends to taste even better the next day as the flavors meld. It can be a great option for meal prepping or enjoying as leftovers.

Ingredient Substitutes

If you're looking for ingredient substitutes for Kovakka Peera, here are a few options:

  1. Ivy Gourd Substitute: If you can't find Ivy Gourd, you can use green beans or zucchini as a substitute. These vegetables have a somewhat similar texture and will work well with the spices and coconut.
  2. Grated Coconut Substitute: Freshly grated coconut provides a unique taste and texture, but if it's unavailable, you can use desiccated (dried) coconut. Rehydrate it by soaking it in warm water for a few minutes before using.
  3. Green Chilies Substitute: To adjust the spiciness, you can substitute green chilies with red chili flakes or powder. Use these sparingly, as they tend to be hotter than fresh green chilies.
  4. Mustard Seeds and Cumin Seeds Substitute: If you don't have mustard seeds or cumin seeds, you can use ground mustard and ground cumin as substitutes. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of each in place of the whole seeds.
  5. Onion Substitute: If you prefer not to use onions, you can omit them altogether or use thinly sliced shallots for a milder flavor.
  6. Oil Substitute: While traditional South Indian recipes use coconut oil for its distinct flavor, you can use any cooking oil of your choice, like vegetable oil or sunflower oil.
  7. Turmeric Substitute: Turmeric is used for color and flavor. If you don't have it, you can skip it, but you'll lose the vibrant yellow hue.
  8. Curry Leaves Substitute: Fresh curry leaves can be substituted with dried curry leaves, or you can use a pinch of curry powder for a similar flavor.


We hope you've savored the essence of South Indian cuisine with our Kovakka Peera recipe. Spice up your kitchen and delight your taste buds!

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