Ridge Gourd to manage your blood sugar and boost immunity!
Ridge Gourd, Turai, Kalitori, or Angled Luffa is widely available across South East Asia and forms an essential part of the Asian, African, and Arabic cuisine. As with rest of the gourd family members, ridge gourd has high water content, grows on a vine, and works wonders for your health. It is rich in Vitamins, Minerals, and Bioactive compounds that boost the functioning of your body organs and nurture them with the micronutrients they need.
There are two variations available in Asian markets, one with ridges on the skin and other with a smooth darker skin. The fruit of the plant is eaten before it matures, as old fruit becomes hard after losing the water, and hence too fibrous to be palatable. Some variations are bitter in taste, however edible with an even denser concentration of bioactive compounds. Bitter variety should be consumed in moderation by children, pregnant, and elderly.
In Ayurveda, it is considered to be hot in nature and possesses bitter and pungent tastes. It is known to pacify all three Doshas, Kapha, Vata, and Pitta and hence related digestive, circulatory, and inflammatory health disorders. It is used as a diuretic, purgative, expectorant, laxative, and hypoglycemic agent – highlighting the multiple functions and health benefits of this simple vegetable fruit.
Health Benefits and Nutrition Profile of Ridge Gourd
It is rich in Dietary fiber, Vitamins C, Vitamins B2 and B3, and Carotene. It contains minerals as Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Magnesium. Ridge Gourd has high concentrations of moisture, antioxidants, polyphenolics, and flavonoids.
- It is a blood purifier and helps to restore, nourish, and protect the liver.
- It helps to regulate sugar levels in the blood and urine as it contains alkaloids and charantin that have hypoglycemic activity without altering the blood insulin levels.
- It supports the digestive system and helps fight off health disorders such as piles and constipation.
- It supports gut health by providing prebiotics – food for the bacteria in the form of soluble fiber.
- Ridge Gourd juice is a natural remedy against Jaundice.
- It is low in calories and high in nutrition. With its purgative properties, it helps to flush the toxins out, helps to manage weight, and prevents obesity and metabolic health disorders.
Ridge Gourd Soup Recipe
This recipe is one pot, extremely quick and easy, and yet so delicious. It is super soft on the belly and packed with nutrients to boost immunity. It is specifically recommended for little ones when they are suffering from cold and cough as their digestion is weak during those days and they need something warm but light. This is great for new and expecting mothers and for its innumerable health benefits, it is a go-to meal option for those suffering from Diabetes, Hypertension, Metabolic Disorders, and other Inflammatory disorders.
We cooked the vegetable in a pressure cooker to make it fast. This gives a further soft texture to the vegetable. If you prefer the crunchy texture, go for a pan instead of a pressure cooker and let the vegetable cook at low heat.
PS: When cooking in pressure cooker, there is no need to add any water as ridge gourd has very high moisture content and releases water when heated. So when you open the pressure cooker, you will get a soup even without adding any water. When cooking in a pan, you can choose to add water if you want a runny soup. When no water is added to the pan, then a soft and drier version of the vegetable will be made. This works great as a side dish or chutney along with the main course.
Ingredients (Serves 4-5 people)
- 6-7 Smooth Skin short Ridge Gourd or 2-3 rough skin long versions.
- 1 Small Tomato (optional)
- 1 Inch Ginger – finely chopped
- 1 Medium-sized Onion – finely chopped (optional)
- 2-3 cloves of Garlic – finely chopped (optional)
- Salt to taste
- 1 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
- 1 Teaspoon coriander powder
- A bunch of coriander leaves (finely chopped) for garnishing
- 1 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds – Jeera
- 2 Tablespoons Ghee. Replace with pure cooking oil such as Mustard Oil, Sesame Oil, or Coconut Oil of your choice if you do not like Ghee.
Method of Preparation (15-20 mins)
- Wash and peel the ridge gourd. Cut into small pieces – 1 inch by 1 inch
- Finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and tomato.
- Heat the pan/pressure cooker. Add Ghee or cooking oil of your choice.
- Once the ghee is slightly hot, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter.
- Add onion, ginger, and garlic and keep stirring till it turns golden brown (2-3 mins)
- Add salt, turmeric, and coriander powder and stir for another minute.
- Add chopped tomato and mix well for another 1 minute till tomato is mashed.
- Add cut gourd and mix well.
- Bring the heat to low, cover the mix, and let it cook for another 10 mins till the vegetables turn soft and mushy.
- Let it cool down. Garnish with chopped coriander.
- Serve with hot chapati or rice. Enjoy!