TonDak/ ToNak (cowpeas in coconut curry)

February 12, 2018mayurisjikoni

Just too busy

Theme: Main Course with Gravy/Rice
BM#85 Week 2 Day 3

   Its amazing how many caps a woman has to wear. I really thought that once the kids are all grown up, I’ll be free. However, so many daily chores need our attention. Last week I was like up to my head and nearly wanted to stop everything and just sit. When I say everything, it means everything…cooking, housekeeping, blogging, book keeping, social, exercise, you name it… except of course sleep. Would just love to sleep, wake up, eat and go to sleep again. However, we all know that is not possible. 

   Since I’ve started blogging, never have I had to prepare for 3 events on the same day…yes you read right 3 events! I tried to sort of make one dish to fit all three themes but that was not working out. I thought of backing out but felt really bad.  The cooking part was not difficult, but the writing part is. I’m tired of writing. I know I should not have committed myself to so many events. The truth is that I didn’t realize at that time that they all would fall on the same date. And power cuts do not help at all! We’ve been without power for over 5 hours. So much work cannot be done as we depend so much on power. 

   Well, this is the last post for the day, two are out already Rose and Saffron Yogurt Mousse and Watermelon Gazpacho. Please take some time to check out the recipes.

   Coming to the last recipe for the day, my curry for today is a coconut gravy. This is a Goan Curry. The gravy is made with fresh coconut, onion and spices. I had bookmarked this recipe from Sandhya’s blog ages ago. I’m so glad I finally got to try out this curry as it was so delicious. I’m really nuts about coconut so this is a winner recipe. I enjoyed it with bread and hubby had his with rice. A bit of the curry was left over and next day I added some more chopped onion, coriander and some sev… it was like usal as Sandhya mentioned in her write up. Thank you Sandhya for sharing an awesome recipe.

   The coastal people of Kenya prepare cowpeas in coconut gravy but it tastes so different. Less spices are used and the cowpeas are cooked in coconut milk. But I love both the versions. Enjoy the recipe below with whatever you want, rice, parathas, roti, bread or as I had it the second day with chopped onions, coriander and sev. 

Serves 4
Recipe Source : My Cooking Journey

1 cup cooked cowpeas (soak in water overnight and then pressure cook)
1 medium potato, boiled, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large onion, sliced
1 cup fresh grated coconut
1 tsp green chili paste or 1-2 finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic paste
1 tsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1-1½ cup water

Tondak Masala:
2 tbsp coriander seeds (dhana)
½” cinnamon stick
2 dry red chillis
3 cloves
4-6 pepper corns
1 star anise
½ tsp fennel seeds (valiyari, saunf)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 cardamoms

For garnishing:
1 small onion finely chopped
2-3 tbsp fresh chopped coriander

Preparation of Tondak Masala:

  1. Dry roast the spices in a wide pan over low heat till the cumin seeds begin to crackle.
  2. Take the spices out of the pan and leave it a plate to cool of a while.
  3. Grind the spices in coffee grinder or any dry food processor.
  4. Keep the spice powder on the side till required.
Preparation of Tondak:
  1. Heat oil a pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the sliced onions and stir fry till they become golden in colour.
  3. Add garlic and chili. Stir fry for 30 seconds.
  4. Add grated coconut and stir fry till becomes light golden in colour.
  5. Add the stir fried mixture into a blender with the water. 
  6. Process to a smooth paste.
  7. Pour out the coconut onion paste into the pan.
  8. Add the cooked cowpeas and chopped potato. 
  9. Add salt, tamarind pulp, 2 tbsp of the tondak masala and more water if required.
  10. Mix well. Let the curry simmer over medium heat.
  11. Garnish the curry with chopped onion and coriander. 
  12. Serve tondak with pav (bread rolls) or rice.
  • Half a cup of raw beans when soaked and cooked yields about 1 cup.
  • I used more coconut. You can reduce the quantity.
  • Store remaining tondak masala in an airtight jar and use it for other curries.
  • Can use dried peas, black eyed beans to prepare this curry.
You may want to check out other curry recipes:
Red Chora Curry
Sending this recipe to the following event:



  • Sapana Behl

    February 13, 2018 at 12:32 pm

    Look at that tasty and creamy tonak. I would love to have it for my lunch.

  • Usha

    February 13, 2018 at 2:33 pm

    Power cuts seems to be a major problem there. You mention it quite often in your posts. Tonak is such a yummy curry. Thanks to blogging, I made it once and was a great side dish to serve with roti.

  • Harini R

    February 13, 2018 at 5:53 pm

    Three posts in a single day is tiring for sure. This surry sounds very interesting with all that coconut in there.

  • Jayanthi

    February 13, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    As you mention in post, BM does help in discovering new recipes. This recipe sounds delicious. I love coconut based recipes, I'm bookmarking it. Kudos to you to blog apart from power cuts.

  • Pavani N

    February 14, 2018 at 9:47 pm

    Tonak has been on my to-make list for a very very long time. You are tempting me to try this delicious curry really really soon. I love the combination of spices and coconut that go into this curry.

  • Priya Suresh

    February 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Power cuts for 5 hours, omg can guess how difficult for you. Bravo for making dish for three events on the same day, that simply awesoome. Tonak is in my to do list, hope i will prepare this flavourful curry soon.

  • Bhawana Singh

    February 15, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    looking very delicious dish. I am sure with rice it will go perfect.

  • Kalyani

    February 18, 2018 at 8:44 am

    awesome dish.. this is coming up soon on my blog (you know which event, wink wink ;))

  • Chef Mireille

    February 22, 2018 at 3:01 am

    looks like such a comfort food meal

  • Ritu Tangri

    March 10, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Lovely pics and a wonderful dish. Hats off to you for completing 3 dishes that to with a long power cut.

  • sushma

    March 10, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    Ohh wow dish looks so delicious.

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