Ridge Gourd is one of the vegetables belonging to the gourd family. It is a dark green vegetable with white seeds and white spongy flesh, but a ridged and hard skin, which gives it the name – ridge gourd. It is also known as ‘turai’, ‘luffa’, Chinese Okra and ‘ghosavala’.
Ridge gourd is widely grown in tropical countries as its cultivation requires a warm climate. It is commonly grown in India, Pakistan, Indonesia, China and the Phillippines.
Preferred Methods of Cooking
Ridge gourd can be steamed, boiled, fried or roasted. It is also stuffed with various fillings and then cooked, either dry or in a curry. It can be sliced, chopped into cubes or even minced to make chutney out of it.
Cuisines and Popular Recipes
It is popularly used in Indian, Indonesia, Filipino and Chinese cuisines to make popular dishes such as Ridge Gourd Curry, Stuffed Ridge Gourd Curry, Ridge Gourd Chutney, Ridge Gourd Fry, Ridge Gourd with Bengal Gram and Fish with Ridge Gourd, Ridge Gourd Kofta or Balls, Ridge Gourd Shrimp Curry and Ridge Gourd Pachadi among many other dishes.
Ridge Gourd is low in cholesterol and saturated fat and has excellent cooling properties. It is a rich source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, manganese, iron and magnesium. It is also rich in carotene. It is nutritional for overall health and also aids in weight loss.
Buying and Storing
Like other green vegetables, ridge gourd is best eaten fresh. However, it can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week. Wrapping it in a zip lock bag before refrigerating it helps to keep it crisp and firm.
· It works as a body scrubber or a skin polisher owing to its network of fibres.
· Its juice is used to cure patients of jaundice.
· It is combined with other vegetable matter and recycled plastic to make furniture and houses.
· A special dish called Pirkankai Dosai or Ridge gourd Dosai is made with sliced ridge gourd. Dosai is a pancake popularly made in south India.