Snake Gourd is a perennial climber belonging to Cucurbitaceae family of vegetables. Its technical name is Trichosanthes cucumerina, while the common names are Chichinda, Chinese Cucumber, Padwal, pudalangai, pathola, and padavalanga. It is a low calorie food and is packed with several vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre, and antioxidants.
The fruit of the plant is light green to dark in colour when young. It turns yellow and then red at maturity. The seeds harden and the flesh becomes fiburous as the fruits mature. It is cultivated and consumed across several parts of India, where is known by different names.
Snake Gourd carries multiple benefits for the entire body. In Ayurveda it is considered to have a cooling effect on the body and help flush the toxins out of the body organs. The vegetable is recommended to be consumed for heart disorders, for Diabetes, during fevers, and to reduce inflammation.
Snake Gourd promotes weight loss and helps fight obesity. It has antimicrobial properties and also relieves gastric disorders. It promotes circulation of fluids in the body and also nurtures the body systems.
Snake Gourd Soup – For Sick and Healthy
This recipe of snake gourd soup involves minimal level of preparation and cooking time. It is super juicy and delicious for the times when you need the warmth and energy from food! The soup is ideally combined with Indian flat bread Roti or can also be taken along with steamed rice. With the ease of preparation and multitude of health benefits it provides, the snake gourd soup should be added to meals on a weekly basis!
This recipe is great for sick as it allows them to boost immunity, reduce fever, and pacify Kapha Dosha reducing symptoms of cold and cough. It supports digestion by boosting the digestive fire and also is light to digest. The soup is ideal for new mothers, during pregnancy, for children, and those suffering from health disorders as Diabetes, Cancer, Hypertension, Menstrual Disorders, and also Obesity.
Tips on Selection and Storage of the Gourd
Snake Gourd fruit is usually non-consumable if it turns yellow or red. This is because the seeds mature and the pulp also turns highly fibrous. So, when looking for gourds in the market, look for thin versions that are not very very long. For colour, go for bright green to dark green colours. Avoid any pieces that have slightly yellow tinge or are thicker towards the centre
The gourd can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week without any problem and outside the fridge for 2 days. Do not keep for very long as the gourd will keep maturing, making it harder to chew and relish the juicy taste.
Snake Gourd Soup Recipe – List of Ingredients
Serves 3-4 persons
- 2 Medium to long Snake Gourds ~ 600 g
- 3-4 cloves of Garlic
- 1 medium sized Onion
- 1 medium sized Tomato
- Few sprigs of Coriander leaves to garnish
- 2 Tablespoons Peanut oil or Mustard oil or Ghee
- 1 inch Ginger piece
- 2 teaspoons Turmeric powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon Coriander powder
- 1 teaspoon Mustard Seeds
Method of Preparation
Preparation Time – 10 minutes
Cooking Time – 15 minutes
- Wash and lightly peel the gourd. Do not peel and wash but first wash and then peel. This to prevent the water soluble nutrients from running away into waste water.
- Cut horizontally in small – less than half inch pieces. Towards the centre the gourd turns thicker, so cut the horizontal pieces once more to make it easy to consume.
- Finely chop the Onion, Garlic, Tomato, Coriander leaves, and grate the Ginger.
- Heat the pan and put the oil. Once the oil is little hot, add the mustard seeds.
- Let the seeds splutter. Then add garlic, onion, and ginger.
- Stir-fry for 5 mins till the mix turns golden.
- Add turmeric, salt, and coriander powder. Stir for another 2 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes and stir for another 5 minutes till the tomatoes turn mushy.
- Add the cut gourd pieces. Mix well. Add 2-3 cups of water.
- Cook for another 10 minutes till the gourd is soft in texture.
- Garnish with coriander leaves and serve. Enjoy!
Tip: If you are making the soup in a pressure cooker, add only 1 cup of water as the gourd itself is very watery and it will release the water in pressure cooker. Also, time of cooking would be less, perhaps 5 minutes only as only 1 whistle is usually required.