Friday 28 March 2014

Lauki, Bottle Gourd, White Flower Gourd, Dodhi. Dudhi, Calabash Gourd

 Gourd, the not so popular vegetable. 

From the family of the cucurbitaceae, the gourd is a healthy vegetable. It is grown on creeping vines, and best eaten when picked young. It should be crisp to the touch and a light green colour, unblemished and not soft. It has a white pulp inside with a centre filled 

with seeds. It is grown in areas with hot climatic conditions.

Fresh bottle gourd from the local market.

Bottle Gourd/Dodhi/Lauki

Calabash Gourd

Inside of the Bottle Gourd

White Flower Gourd also known as bottle gourd

It is a "cooling" vegetable. It aids digestion, balances acidity and calms inflamed stomach ulcers. Also good to calm burning urinary tract infections. It is a healer when one has Jaundice and is said to help balance the liver function. It is high in Thiamin, vitamin C, Zinc, Iron and Magnesium. Diabetic patients are advised to drink the juice of this not so favourite vegetable; It is also pointed out that very rarely it can be bitter and toxic. High in water content, it aids the constant thirst that diabetics tend to generally suffer from. It is also high in fibre and hence great for avoiding constipation. One should eat it daily when suffering from fatigue. It prevents tooth decay. Myth has it that it slows graying of your hair and helps prevent baldness!

This vegetable can be long, called the bottle gourd which is abundant in the  Indian 

sub-continent. It can also be round which is the calabash gourd and originates in Africa. Latin America and Spain also enjoy the gourd in their cuisines.

It is served in curries, soups and even as sweets. In preparation its skin must be peeled. It can be cooked in pieces or grated. The seeds are discarded by most, but in Latin America they tend to use these seeds to sugar coat them as candy. Parsis relish their Dodhi no Murumbo and the Indians their Dudhi Halwa. 

Time to bless the old folks who introduced us to this healthy and nutritional vegetable. A non medicinal natural healer?

Images from Google

and photo courtesy of Sheriar Hirjikaka

For recipes on bottle gourd click the links

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