Snake Gourd: Everything You Need to Know
Snake gourd, also known as Padwal or Parwal , is a light green elongated vegetable that resembles a snake or a gourd. It belongs to the cucumber family and is native to India. In Maharashtra, it is called Padwal, while in the north of India, it is known as Parval. The plant is a climbing herb with tendrils and divided leaves.
Its fruits are white cylindrical and slender with a waxy surface, which turns orange when ripe and pulpy red at maturity. To slice snake gourd, peel it using a peeler and cut it vertically across the cutting board with a sharp knife, slicing it thinly or thickly according to the desired recipe.
Snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina) is a type of tropical vine that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family. This vegetable is long and slender, with a greenish-white color and a slightly curved shape. The average length of a snake gourd is around 30-150 cm, and it can weigh up to 2 kg.
In this article, we will cover the following aspects of snake gourd:
- Nutritional Value of Snake Gourd
- Health Benefits of Snake Gourd
- Culinary Uses of Snake Gourd
- How to Select and Store Snake Gourd
- Interesting Facts About Snake Gourd
Nutritional Value of Snake Gourd
Snake gourd is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is an excellent source of dietary fiber, which helps to regulate digestion and prevent constipation. It also contains significant amounts of vitamins A, B6, and C, as well as potassium, magnesium, and calcium.
Health Benefits of Snake Gourd
Due to its high nutritional value, snake gourd has numerous health benefits. It is known to be an effective remedy for diabetes, as it helps to regulate blood sugar levels. It is also good for the heart, as it helps to lower cholesterol levels and prevent heart disease. Snake gourd is also a natural diuretic, which means that it helps to flush out toxins from the body and prevent urinary tract infections. Additionally, it is beneficial for the skin, as it contains antioxidants that help to prevent premature aging and protect the skin from damage.
Culinary Uses of Snake Gourd
Snake gourd is a versatile vegetable that can be used in a variety of dishes. It is commonly used in Indian and Chinese cuisine, where it is added to soups, stews, and curries. It can also be used to make stir-fries and salads. In some cultures, the seeds of the snake gourd are also used to make desserts.
How to Select and Store Snake Gourd
When selecting snake gourd, look for ones that are firm, unblemished, and free from soft spots. The skin should be smooth and shiny. To store snake gourd, wrap it in a paper towel and place it in a plastic bag. It can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week.
Interesting Facts About Snake Gourd
- Snake gourd is a popular vegetable in Asian countries such as India, China, and Vietnam.
- The fruit of the snake gourd is used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments.
- In some cultures, the snake gourd is believed to have aphrodisiac properties.
- The leaves and stems of the snake gourd plant are also edible and can be used in salads and soups.