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Also Known as
Padwal, Parwal, padval
Padwal, as it is known in Maharashtra, is snake gourd, a light green snake-like vegetable with a grey-white bloom on the skin. Parval is ethnic to India, especially north. Parval is an elongated gourd that grows from creepers and is light green in color. Snake gourd belongs to cucumber family and is native to India. Snake gourd is a climbing herb with tendrils divided into three parts. It has hairy, angular or 5 to 7 lobed leaves. It has white cylindrical, slender, tapering fruits with a waxy surface. Its fruits are orange in color when ripe and pulpy red at maturity.
Sliced Snake gourd
Peel the vegetable using a peeler. Holding the padwal vertically, slice using a sharp knife by cutting vertically across the cutting board. Slice them thinly or thickly as the recipe desires.
How to Select
Chopped snake gourd
Wash the Padwal thoroughly. Peel the vegetable using a peeler and then using a sharp knife, slice it from the top and then cut it into half from the centre. Cut the half portion into another half and remove the seeds, if mature from the centre. Chop it further 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
They should be firm, rounded at their edges, and their color should be a bright medium to dark green. Avoid padwal that are yellow, puffy, have sunken water-soaked areas, or are wrinkled at their tips. Thinner cucumbers will generally have less seeds than those that are thicker.Culinary Uses
· Parwal can be cooked on its own or can be stuffed with spices of your choice.
· Cooked padwal tastes great with avail, dal/sambhar
· Although, the most common everyday method seem to be cooking these gourd solo with few spices, either with or without a gravy.
· The snake gourd is also called tomato gourd in some parts of the world because the bright red pulp around the mature seeds is used much like tomato pulp in cooking.
· In India, the gourd is used as curry vegetable
· Cooking methods include the addition of milk to the simmering stew.
· Snake gourd can also be pickled. The stem tips and leaves are edible, but boiling is essential to remove the unpleasant odour. How to Store
Store in a cool dry place; in an air-tight container, preferably in a refrigerator. .Health Benefits
· Hundred grams of snake gourd contains only 20 calorie.
· The snake gourd is rich in minerals like magnesium, calcium and phosphorous.
· The fruit is rich in dietary fibre and contains many medicinal compounds.
· An analysis of snake gourd shows it to consist of substantial amount of moisture and little protein, fat, fibre and carbohydrate.
· Its mineral and vitamin contents are calcium, phosphorus, iron, substantial amount of carotene, little thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.
· It creates a cooling effect in the body.
· Being a low-calorie food, diabetics can safely include it to reduce weight while getting enough nutrition.
· Snake gourd is a popular home remedy for jaundice. Combination of the leaves is beneficial in the treatment of jaundice, if given in 30 to 60 gram doses with a decoction of coriander seeds thrice daily.
· Snake gourd is the best household remedy for heart problems. The juice of the fresh leaves is useful in heart disorders like palpitation and pain in the heart on physical exertion.
· Snake gourd plays a vital role in curing fever also. A decoction of snake gourd is useful in bilious fevers as a thirst reliever and laxative. Its efficacy increases provided it is given with honey.