Snake gourd is also called as serpent gourd, chichinga, padwal, pathola, potlakaya, podalangai or padavalanga in different Indian languages. Its soft, bland, somewhat mucilaginous flesh is similar to that of the luffa and the calabash. It is most popular in the cuisine of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The shoots, tendrils, and leaves are also eaten as greens. Snake gourd, although the name of this vegetable sounds forbidding is like bottle gourd in taste and offers several nutrients, including some protein, fiber, and carbohydrates.
Depending on the variety, the slender and serpent-like fruits of the snake gourds can grow up to a length of 150 cm. Immature fruits are light green in colour with stripes which turn bright orange or red when mature. Fruits are harvested and eaten when they are still immature, when they are about 30 to 60 cm long. The flesh is soft but rather bland and is often cooked and favored with spicy prawn paste (sambal) or curries. Mature fruits are inedible as they are fibrous and bitter to taste. This vegetable produces long and curved fruits that appear like snakes hanging on the supports or ground. To ensure the snake gourd fruit will grow straight, some gardeners actually hang a stone that is actually tied to the blossom end.
This preparation allows the snake gourd to retain it beautiful green color and at the same time spices it up with the sesame flavored masala. Traditionally it is a dry accompaniment to the sambar, kuzhambu, rasam and rice meal. For making the Snake gourd masala, firstly slit open the snake gourd and remove the seeds. Cut in into small pieces. Along with with this boil channa dal till its partially cooked. After its half cooked add the snake gourd pieces and add little salt. Allow it to boil till the snake gourd is tender and not mashy. Take a non stick pan, add little oil in it. When its hot add red chillies, mustard seeds, cumin seeds & onions. Add turmeric, hing (optional), green chillies, chopped curry leaves and saute all well. Once channa dal and gourd mixture is ¾ cooked, add it into the tempered pan. Toss it well till the moisture gets evaporated. Once it becomes day mixture add the gun powder or melagai podi of your choice.
(Note:-Channa dal should not get mashed during the boiling process & any excess of water in the mixture should be strained out before adding to the tempering). Toss the mixture well. Add salt (if required) and Serve it hot with rotis/rice. View the making of Snake gourd masala at:
Snake gourd otherwise has limited preparations like the poriyal or it can also be cooked in milk. While preparing the Snake gourd masala do not over cook the channa dal and snake gourd or else they would lose the crunchy texture.
Snake gourd is a tropical vine and native to southeastern Asia and Australia but is currently cultivated throughout the world. The fruit is considered to be anthelmintic, emetic, and purgative. The seed are cooling. There are also a number of medicinal uses for Snake Gourd including use as an aphrodisiac, a laxative, and to treat worms. It can be used to treat ailments such as wasting, thirst and fever. Another interesting use for Snake Gourd is the fruit can be used as a soap substitute.
Snake gourd is a very nutritious vegetable and consists of moisture 94.6 percent, protein 0.5 percent, fat 0.3 percent, fibre 0.8 percent and carbohydrate 3.3 percent per 100 grams of edible portion. Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium 26 mg. percent, phosphorus 20 mg. percent, iron 0.3 mg. percent, carotene 96mg. percent, thiamin 0.04 percent, riboflavin 0.06 mg percent, niacin 0.3 mg. percent. Its calorific value is 18.
Snake gourd has got natural medicinal values as it is a natural antibiotic, expectorant, and laxative. It can disperse phlegm, remove pus, expel toxic matter and is anti-inflammatory. It creates a cooling effect in the body. Snake gourd is a tonic for the heart. It is useful in correcting disorders, processes of nutrition and it restores the normal function of the system. Snake gourd helps stimulate the production of body fluids, relieving dryness. The plant is particularly useful in checking night sweating during the active phase of tuberculosis of the lungs. The leaves of the plant are used in folk medicine all over India.
Snake Gourd masala
|Recipe of Snake Gourd masala|
|Salt ||to taste|
|Snake Gourd ||large||1|
|Directions | How to make Snake Gourd Masala|
|1. Slit open the snake gourd & remove the seeds.Cut it into small pieces. 2.Along with this boil chana dal till its partially cooked.After its half-cooked add snake gourd & pinch of salt.Allow it to boil till the gourd is tender & cooked. 3. On the other side,take a non stick pan & put oil in it.When it is hot add red chillies,mustard seeds,cumin seeds & onions.Add turmeric,hing(optional),green chillies,chopped curry leaves & saute all well. 4.Once chana & gourd mixture is 3/4 cooked add it to the tempering in the pan . Toss it till remaining water evaporates.Once it becomes a dry mixture add the gunpowder of your choice . (Note:-Chana dal shouldnot get mashed during the boiling process & any excess of water in the mixture should be strained out before adding to the tempering) 5. Toss the mixture well.Add salt (if required) 6.Serve it with rotis/rice.|
|Gun Powder recipe is available in the previously posted video.|