Ivy gourd, more popularly known as tendli or tindora, is a plant grown widely in the tropical regions. It is a very common vegetable in India and Pakistan. It is a climbing vine, which is highly aggressive in nature. It very quickly spreads over other plants, shrubs, bushes, fences, and may even creep in through your window. It grows very fast, and is an annual crop. It can spread either by way of seeds, or even vegetative. The climber is slender, and has roots coming out at places. The tendrils or tip is quote long, and can wrap around the host very effectively. It has elastic properties, making it easier to make its way up. It has large, white flowers, leaves in the shape of hearts or sometimes pentagons, and it has a green fruit when it is raw, which matures into a bright ripe red by the time it is ready to be picked. These fruits are of the berry varieties, being oval in shape, and with no hair whatsoever. Many people belonging to South Asian countries, as well as Indonesia, consume the fruits and the leaves.
When you go to the market, to but fresh ivy gourd, make sure that the skin of the vegetable is light green and not too dark. The inside flesh should be white in color, and the seeds should be soft and tender. From the outside, make sure that the skin is smooth, and the gourd is firm and healthy, not wilted or water soaked. The more mature the ivy gourd is the fruitier flavor it provides to the recipe you are cooking. Keep these points in mind, and make your cooking more enjoyable to eat, as well as a healthier diet.
Ivy gourd, or tendli as it is more commonly known as, has a large number of culinary usages. Just like most vegetables, they can be prepared in a numer of ways before being cooked. Some of them are:
- The tendli is chopped into small pieces or larger chunks or cubes as the need may be, and added to many other vegetables like carrots or potatoes to create curries.
- It may be grated and had with cream sauce or used in sandwiches.
- A unique style of cutting the tendli is cutting it in a circular shape, to form tendli rings. These may be used in a large variety of recipes.
- You may also cut the tendli into halves, and remove the inner seeds and have only the soft fleshy interior. You may also slice it with the help of a sharp knife, and deep fry it along with chillies. This is very common in Mexico.
- In many parts os West Indies and South Asia, tendli is cooked along with potatoes, and served along with curd or yoghurt, or may even be used in vegetable preparations.
- Tendli can also be stuffed by removing the seeds, and adding a large number of spices to it. Different combinations can be tried out, according to your liking.
After you have bought the ivy gourd from the market, and you want to have it after a few days, the best way to keep it fresh as much as possible, is to wrap it up in a plastic bag or put it in a sealed container, and put it in the crispier drawers of your refrigerator. You may also put it into the vegetable drawer to keep it fresh for up to a week, if it is stored at about 50 degrees F.
Like many other vegetables, even ivy gourd has many medicinal benefits. It is rich in Vitamin C, which helps in strengthening your bones and improving your body structure. It also has plenty of Vitamin B1 and B2, as also trace quantities of Vitamin A. All these vitamins are vital for the human body, and help in strengthening your immune system, and thus keep away diseases.
Tendli is also rich in minerals like potassium, calcium and iron, which are needed in optimum quantities for the optimum functioning of your body.
Ivy gourd goes a long way to help in controlling diabetes. Researchers have found out that the mechanism by ivy gourd stops diabetes is very complicated,. What it basically does is to suppress the formation or activity of an enzyme called G – 6 – phosphotase, along with some other enzymes, which are responsible for the production of glucose in the body.
Apart from that, ivy gourd has many references in the historic ayurveda, which is still so popular in today’s world which has such a huge market in cosmetics. Ivy gourd is said to be a brilliant bloody purifier and detoxifier, which thus helps in cleansing your body. It also simulates the liver, and clears harmful germs from your body.
The fibre content in ivy gourd is also responsible for preventing or curing constipation, as also for clearing the alimentary canal and the smooth functioning of the body.
Where to Buy Ivy Gourd in USA
Ivy gourd is grown in a small scale in many parts of USA. It is also found in the backyards of many houses. However, it is most widely grown in Hawaii. Hawaii is the leading producer of ridge gourd in USA. It is also grown in many parts of Florida and California.
Nutritional and Dietary Information
Ivy gourd contains about 90% water. From the remaining, almost 95% is constituted of carbohydrates. There is also about 4.5% of fat, and traces of proteins, cholesterol and dietary fibres. Apart from these, it also has minimal amounts of Vitamin C, and Vitamin B complexes like Niacin and Thiamine. Thus, it is a very nutritious vegetable, and can be used as a regular diet because of its high carbohydrate content.
Thus, you can easily see how beneficial ivy gourd is for your body. It helps you recuperate from illnesses, and also strengthens your immune system. Now you understand what they mean by saying – Eat green, live longer!
|Calories from Fat||0.9|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because it has not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|