Good Gourd!

One of our region’s much-loved summer vegetable is the Teasel Gourd/Momordica dioica. Various other gourds flood the markets around this time of the year but the sight of these little gourds is a joy, to say the least!

A little online research came up with this finding. This gourd, commonly known as bhaat kerela, in Assam, a cucurbitaceous crop originated in the Indo-Malayan region and has been cultivated in India, Bangladesh, and neighbouring countries for a long time. It is rich in carotene, protein, carbohydrate and Vitamin C.

It’s the mild taste of the vegetable that makes it widely popular. The leaves are also edible. It’s a climber with tuberous roots that slows down in winter. It’s only with the first rains that the shoots and leaves appear. By the end of May and well up to August, this vegetable is available in our markets.

We have them fried, add to mixed vegetables, fish curries, to lentils, and also stuff them. Here I used spicy potatoes for the stuffing. Tender ones are best, before the seeds are fully formed. They can be blanched, and the insides scooped out and the shells are ready for the stuffing. The flesh can be used on their own or mixed with other vegetables such as potatoes.

The stuffed gourds. Crunchy on the outside, soft and delicious on the inside. For the batter I used chick pea flour but if you want the extra crunchiness, you can use rice flour.

And since I had the pictures, I thought I’d include the blooms as well. This is the female flower. The fruit will soon form at the base. The picture is rather blurry.

These are the male flowers. No fruit will be borne by this plant. I saw this on a walk and I’m glad I snapped it. I wonder what veggies you are enjoying the most this season…..:)

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About Kanak Hagjer

Hello from north-east India! I love to blog about all things floral and foliar and sharing the beauty of my region is what I am most passionate about!
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18 Responses to Good Gourd!

  1. I’ve never seen a gourd like this in my life, and would never have known what it is!!! Our gourds here are smooth and shiny. Those fried ones do look delicious! They look a bit like fried chicken or crab cakes.

  2. Randy Emmitt says:

    Kanak,

    Oh I can smeel them cooking, bet they taste great. Enjoy!

  3. Andrea says:

    Hi Kanak, i wouldn’t be able to associate it to anything if you did not put the Scientific name. We dont have it, but we have its cousin that is very famous here, both the long and the short, Momordica charantia. It has recently been found good for diabetes. I read another genus which is also very medicinal, Momordica cochinchinensis (not sure of spelling), but i havent seen it as well. Is it also bitter like the M. charantia?

    • kanak7 says:

      Andrea…not bitter at all. Totally different from the M. charantia. I looked up M.cochinchinensis…not seen around our parts. was surprised how at how similar the blooms and the innards looked.

  4. lotusleaf says:

    The teasel gourd is a rarity here. My vine is coming up strongly, and I’ll see the fruit probably next year. Its cousin, the Karela or momordica charantia is said to be good for diabetes. Your stuffed teasel gourd is mouth watering!
    I loved your photos for Watery Wednesday- the drops look like jewels! I could not write comments on your posts and many other posts earlier because Blogger was behaving funnily:(

    • kanak7 says:

      Padma…so glad to know that your vine is doing well. One good thing about tuberous plants is that they’ll always be there, in the garden. With Blogger, I’ve been there!;) Our internet is also slow at the moment. Everything takes much longer.:(

  5. aerie-el says:

    Fascinating gourd…looks delicious the way you’ve prepared it!

  6. Elu says:

    This is a veg.which I like ,esp. when the stuffings are spiked with mustard paste (the way Bengalis do) ,dipped in chick pea flour and fried (your fritters look tempting). The mustard paste spiked fritter, is an item which we get sometime in our office canteen,which is convenient, because that saves me from the ordeal of scraping the bristles which I am somehow phobic that those may enter my eyes.This veg.with its bristles is like the esteemed rose which comes with thorns.

    • kanak7 says:

      Elu, I like the Bengali way too. You’re lucky you get it the way you like it in your office canteen. About scraping off the skin, I must say I’ve never heard of anyone with that phobia. But I do get the creepy feeling while cleaning/scraping the pointed gourd/potol. I detest that sound!!!

  7. Anita says:

    I’ve seen this in our markets, but was never keen on it as I thought it was bitter. (I am not fond of bitter gourd.) Now I know better. Will buy it the next time I see it. Thanks for the post.

  8. They remind me a bit of our squash. Stuffed with spicy potatoes I bet they are delicious.

  9. Este vegetal me lembra o nosso maxixi, que é também de gosto suave e refrescante. Seu prato está muito apetitoso. As fotos estão muito boas.

  10. birdy says:

    New species for me. Hoping this species will be not bitter like common bitter gourd, as I don’t like bitter veggies.

  11. abhi says:

    Dear kanak i want some momordica dioica please contact k.abhilash24@gmail.com

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