ridge gourd

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Also Known as
Turai, Turiya

Description
It is a dark green, ridged and tapering pretty vegetable. It has white pulp with white seeds embedded in spongy flesh. A ridge gourd also commonly known as Turai or Turiya is a well beloved in India. Its hard skin is peeled off and chopped and cooked as desired.

Chopped ridge gourd

Chop ridge gourd by cutting them in small pieces approximately ¼ inch in diameter, although the chopped food doesn't need to be exactly the same size. If the recipe calls for the ingredients to be "coarsely chopped," make the pieces slightly larger.
Ridge gourd cubes
Cube turai by cutting them into uniform strips. Line up the strips with your non-working hand and cut them into square pieces. As per the recipie, chop them into particular size of the cubes, (for example, "cut into ½-inch cubes").
Sliced ridge gourd
Peel and cut ridge gourd lengthwise on all four sides, cutting around the stem, seeds, and ribs. With a sharp knife, remove any remaining rib. Slice it as desired


How to Select
Choose ridge gourd that has a deep green color, taut skin, and that are free of soft spots, blemishes and darkened areas. Their stems should be green and fresh looking. Ridge gourd should be heavy for their size and firm enough. Avoid those that have signs of decay including injuries to the skin or water-soaked areas or if they are soft and rubbery.

Culinary Uses
· Ridge gourd can be stuffed with zesty filling made from spices like sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies that are roasted and ground to a fine paste along with ginger, garlic, onions and tamarind, has a mingling of flavors :- sweet-spicy-tangy. A delicious stuffed curry that goes well with both rice and rotis
· It is a tasty and nutritious addition to dal/sambhar
· Although, the most common everyday method seem to be cooking turai solo with few spices, either with or without a gravy.
· Ridge gourd is a vegetable which is cooked by Andhras usually as a pachadis, stir fry, cooked in milk or with lentils.
· Ridge gourd can be cut into slices and fired in batter like our chilli bhajjis.
· A healthier option would be to make gravy out of it. Fry some onions, tomatoes, garlic with some salt and chilli powder. Add some cubed ridge gourd and let it cook on a simmering flame. Add half a cup of milk and let the gravy thicken. After removing from flame, season and serve hot.

How to Store
Fresh ridge gourd is best stored in a refrigerator. They can be wrapped in plastic bag and will stay crisp and firm for a week.

Health Benefits
· Ridge gourd is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, high in dietary fibre, vitamin C, riboflavin, zinc, thiamin, iron, magnesium and manganese.
· The nutritional value of gourd makes it suitable for maintaining optimum health and weight loss.
· It has excellent cooling properties.




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