Family: Cucurbitaceae

Synonyms: Bryonia glabra, Bryonia grandis. Bryonia palmata, Bryonia acerifolia, Cucurbita dioica, Momordica bicolor, Momordica bicolor 

Common name: Ivy gourd, Tindora, Scarlet gourd

Local Name: Kandiari (कंदीयारी), Shiblingi (शिबलिंगी), Sanakdi

Kandiari is a perennial deciduous bush or vine growing from a tuberous root stock. It is found in Savannah, evergreen dry forest to moist ignored places. Kandiari climbs over other plants especially on hedges and seek support itself by means of tendrils. It succeeds well in moist soil, but generally prefers a sunny or partial shady position in a humus-rich well drained soil. Kandiari is seen growing up to an altitude of 1000 m in Western Himalaya.

Kandiari young leaves and tender shoot tips are cooked and eaten as a green these are also added to soup. Fruits are also edible both raw and cooked . They are sometimes also preserved as a pickle. Almost all the parts of the plant root, stem, leaf and fruits are known to have medicinal uses. Inhabitants of Western Himalaya harvest kandiari from wild habitat as a source of food and medicine. Sometime people grow kandiari for its edible fruits. Its fruits are also sold in local market.

Kandiari Plant:

Plant of kandiari is slender perennial climber up to 20m long, with tendrils 2-fid.

Roots tuberous.

Stem green and longitudinally ribbed when young, becoming white-spotted when older and eventually woody.

 Leaves alternate, simple; stipules absent; petiole 1–5 cm long; blade broadly ovate to pentagonal or orbicular in outline, 3–12 cm × 3–15 cm, shallowly to deeply palmately 3–5-lobed, cordate at base, margin entire or sinuate, often with distinct reddish glandular teeth, glabrous, punctate.

Flowers axillary, yellow,  monoicous, pentamerous, with tubular receptacle 3–7 mm long, sepals linear, up to 6 mm long, corolla campanulate, with lobes up to 2 cm × 1.5 cm,  male flowers solitary or paired, rarely 3–4 in a short raceme, pedicel 1–7 cm long, stamens 3, united into a column; female flowers solitary, pedicel up to 2.5 cm long, ovary inferior, cylindrical, up to 1.5 cm long, 1-celled, style 3 mm long, stigma 3-lobed.

Fruit an ellipsoid or rarely spherical berry 3–7 cm × 1–3.5 cm, fleshy, green with white streaks when young, bright scarlet red when ripe; many-seeded.

kandiari can provide edible leaves round the year and fruits from pre rainy to winter season

Edible Uses:

Young leaves and tender shoot tips of kandiari are used as a potherb. These are cooked and eaten as a green along with potato or other potherbs. They are also added to soup. Leaf along with are spices are made into KACHRU to eat as a snack. Fruits are also edible both raw and cooked. Ripe fruits are used as a salad. Immature green fruits are cooked as a vegetable or vegetable curry. Sometimes they are also pickled and preserved for off season.

kandiari fruits harvested for cooking

Kandiari leaves Vegetable:


Tender tips and leaves of kandiari vine and other wild potherbs, 1 kg; mustard oil, 2 table spoons; coriander powder 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed ¼ table spoon; turmeric powder, 1/4 table spoon; red chilies, 2-3; chopped onions 2-4; chopped medium sized potato 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon and salt according to taste.


Boil chopped leaves they become soft. Mesh manually or in a mixer. Then sauté with hot mustard oil and the spices listed before in sequence. This sauted saag is then ready and can be served as such or can be mixed with 2 or 3 chopped onion and cooked for another 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Chopped leaves can be sauted with chopped potato and spices listed above to prepare vegetable. Cook this till they are soft and then serve with chappatis.

Leaf KACHRU can also be prepared by making paste of chopped leaves, spices and Besan or corn flour. Heat some oil on a flat cooking pan and spread this paste on it. Heat for 15-20 minutes and turning it to other side one or two times. KACHRU will be ready. Serve hot with tomato sauce or some other ketchup.

Kandiari Fruits Vegetable or Vegetable Curry:


Chopped immature kandiari fruits, 1 kg; mustard oil, 3-4 table spoons; coriander powder, 1 table spoon; fenugreek powder, ½ table spoon; cumin seed, 1 tea spoon; turmeric powder, 1 table spoon; red chilies, 2-3; chopped medium sized onions 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste ½ table spoon, chopped tomato, 1-2; curd. 4 cup amount and salt, according to taste.

Chopped immature kandiari fruits


Put oil in a pan and sauté chopped tender fruits and spices listed above in sequence. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes and serve with chappatis. For preparing vegetable curry add curd, stir well then serve after adding GARAM MASALA and garnishing with coriander leaves.

kandiari fruits Vegetable
kandiari fruits Vegetable Curry

Seek advice from a professional before using this plant medicinally.

Medicinal Uses:

The roots are cooling and aphrodisiac and are useful in vomiting, burning sensation and uterine discharge 1. The leaves are bitter, sweet, astringent and cooling and are useful in vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta 1. The juice of the roots and leaves is considered to be a useful treatment for diabetes 2. The fruits are cooling, sweet, astringent, depurative, and antipyretic, galactagogue and expectorant and are useful in burning sensation, leprosy, skin diseases, and fever. Asthma, cough, bronchitis, consumption and jaundice 1. The fruits and leaves of the bitter variety and bitter, acrid, thermogenic, emetic, purgative, vulnerary, anti- inflammatory, anthelmintic, digestive, liver tonic, alexiteric, depurative, febrifuge, sudorific and expectorant and are useful in vitiated conditions of kapha and pitta, wounds ulcers, inflammation, helminthiasis, dyspepsia and hepatopathy 1.The juice of the stem is dripped into the eyes to treat cataracts 2.The leaves are used externally as a poultice in treating skin eruptions 2.

Kandiari as a source of income:

Kandiari fruits are sold at local market at the cost of Rs 40 to 60 per kg. Local people harvest fruits from wild habitat or cultivate kandiari for this purpose.


1. Purohit SS, Sharma AK, Prajapati ND, Kumar T (2009); A handbook of medicinal plants: a complete source book. Edition. 2:352-3.

2. Chopra, R.N., Nayar, S.L. & Chopra, I.C (1956). Glossary of Indian Medicinal Plants. CSIR, New Delhi.  

44 thoughts on “Coccinia grandis (L.) Voigt – Kandiari (कंदीयारी) Shiblingi (शिबलिंगी), Sanakdi.

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