Ridge Gourd

Description
Ridge gourd, or Turaj or Turiya as it is also known as, is a common vegetable in India and many other South Asian countries. It is dark green in color, and has a tapering end to it. The pulp of this vegetable is white in color. Generally, it is consumed after peeling off the skin and cutting it into small pieces. It is widely used in curries.

Buying Tips
When you go to the market, do not get tricked by the shopkeeper. How will you know which type of ridge gourd to choose, if you have never experienced it before? That is why this article is here for, to help you make your choices safely!

When you choose a ridge gourd, make sure that it is firm and has a deep green colour. Lighter shades of green would mean it is still not ripe yet. Try to take those which do not have any dark spots or stains on them. Make sure your ridge gourds are healthy and strong, not wilting and water soaked. Avoid them, as these are signs of decaying, because this is a firm indication that your vegetables are no longer healthy!

Culinary Usage
The ridge gourd provides immense versatility to the cook. You can cook it in a variety of ways, as there are numerous alternatives from which you can choose from. You can chop it off into small pieces up to a diameter of as small as ¼th of an inch. You can also slice it through the middle and have it. You are free to experiment with your choices! However, it is advisable that you should cut off the top portion and the stem. The rib should also be removed, so that you can enjoy the rest of the succulent vegetable! Some of its prevalent culinary usages are:

Just like the snake gourd, even the ridge gourd can be stuffed with spices of your choice. The inside is carved out, and filled with the required stuffing. One common choice is filling the inside with a paste made out of a collection of spices liker red chilly, tamarind, garlic, onions and ginger. It gives a brilliant combination of both a sweet and tangy taste, along with a lot of spice.

  1. It is a very tasty and highly nutritious supplement to dal or sambhar.
  2. It is most commonly used as a curry vegetable, though there are various other alternatives too.
  3. Other options include cooking it in milk along with some lentils, or splitting it longitudinally and frying it with chilies.

Storage
Once you get fresh and healthy ridge gourd from the market, try to consume it as early as possible. This is because, it being a vegetable, however well you may pack it, it will lose its freshness gradually over a period of time. Thus, it is best to be had within a week of purchasing from the market.

Ridge gourd should be kept tightly packed in a sealed container or in plastic bags to keep them fresh, crunchy and healthy, for up to a week.

Medicinal Value
Like many other vegetables native to the country of India, even the ridge gourd has rich medicinal properties. They are:

  1. Ridge gourd has a high water and nutrient content, thus having a low percentage of fats and cholesterols. Thus they may be used as a dietary food, especially for diabetics, who can have it to keep their nutrition levels intact, but also reduce their weight considerably. Doctors always prescribe obese patients to have a lot of vegetables, in order to reduce their weight.
  2. It also a high nutritive value, and is often called a nutrition powerhouse because of its rich and varied nutrient content. It has Vitamin C, which makes our bones stronger, and also contains Vitamin B and amino acids, which are essential for our body to work.
  3. It helps in cooling down the body to a large extent.
  4. It is a natural detoxifier, and thus helps in purifying blood. Many alcohol addicts are advised to have this vegetable, as it removes harmful toxins that come from alcohol. It nourishes the liver, and also helps in curing disorders of that organ.
  5. The charantin and peptides which are present in this vegetable, has insulin regulatory properties, and thus helps in lowering blood sugar levels as well as urine sugar levels. However, they do not interfere with blood insulin levels!
  6. Its high fibre content helps in good digestion and proper functioning of the excretory system. If you are down with constipation, you should have it.
  7. Apart from all this, it also helps in building your immune system by all the vital nutrients it supplies. It makes your skin glow. Also, you can make sponges or loofahs from this, because of the strength of its stem!

Where is Ridge Gourd Found in USA?
The ridge gourd is not native to USA. Hence, it is not much produced in USA. Ridge gourd generally grows well in a warm temperate climate, with temperatures ranging from 25-30 degrees Celsius. Thus type of a climate is rare in USA.

Even in Georgia, which is by and far the leading producer of vegetables, does not produce ridge gourd as yet. However, with proper research, this may be cultivated in the future.

At present, ridge gourd can be found in Dekalb International Farmer’s Market, which is in the Atlanta region.

Nutritional and Dietary Information
Like most other vegetables, even the ridge gourd is rich in different types of nutrients. You will be surprised to know, that 100 g of ridge gourd, contains:

– 17 calories

– 95 g of moisture. This means an astonishing 95% of water content in this vegetable, thus proving its low dietary attribute.

– 3 g carbohydrates

– 26 mg Phosphorous

– Trace quantities of Iron, Calcium, proteins and minerals. Also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin B complexes like riboflavin, Niacin and thiamine.

Ridge gourd also contains many different peptides and essential amino acids which are needed to sustain the human body. It also contains alkaloids and charantin which regulates blood sugar levels.

Thus, ridge gourd, with its large number of medicinal uses and its awesome taste, is a complete vegetable in itself.

Nutrition Facts
Servings Size 165g
Calories from Fat 65.7
Total Fat 11%
Total Carbohydrate 2%
Protein 3%
* 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.

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Comments

  1. sushila says:

    very nice

  2. very tasty vegetable

  3. My Asian food market supplied the seed for a smooth luffa/turya and I was only growing it for sponges here in New Jersey. The smaller guys (12/16″) end up in my wok and I am leaving the monster’s to ripen and to dry in order to get some luffa sponges for my self. The vine has the most beautiful bright yellow flowers and I’d grow it just for its amazing floral display. But after I did my research on ridged gourds, etc,.I was amazed at its uses. Being able to pick fresh gourds every day for mealtime, and, ultimately, replacing my aged, tattered luffa sponge for new ones will fill my cup to overflowing!

    .

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  1. […] Urbana farmers market after my relative who shall remain unnamed mentioned to me that they had seen ridge gourd being sold there.  I am familiar with it as a Chinese vegetable, but the ridge gourd can also be […]

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