Use tomatoes - Add 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes after the onions turn soft. Let the tomatoes cook for about 3-4 minutes before adding the spice powders. Tomatoes give a nice tang to the dish.
Instead of making the spice powder from scratch, I replace it with a tablespoon of Kundapur masala that I usually have in my pantry. If you make a lot of Mangalorean food just make a big batch of this masala mix and store it in your pantry.
Most recipes call for pressure cooking tindora which often leads to overcooking them. I prefer to stir-fry it so that it retains its shape and crunch.