Saturday, January 23, 2021

Does anybody know anything about gourds and Indian cuisine?


Bitter gourd (Momordica charantia)

Michigan has a healthy population of East Indians other East Asians.

I see that the culinary habits of Chinese, Koreans, Japanese and others are very well served. However, there are few shops or growers who specifically target the preferences of East Indians.

Looking at a smattering of Gujarat recipes the one ingredient that is not common in other cuisines is the use of gourds. Yes, I know there are over fifty different, distinct cuisines in India  but I had to pick one.

Wax or Ash gourd (Benincasa hispidia) notable for keeping well


Bottle gourd or Calabash (Lagenaria siceraria)

Luffa (Luffa acutangula and aegyptiaca)

Snake gourd (Trichosanthes cucumerina)

Apple gourds

So, if you live north of the Ohio River and have grown any of these...what are your thoughts?

If you are a fan of East Indian cuisine (or are married to an expert), which of these are most desirable from a locally sourced supplier standpoint?

If I don't get any feedback I am leaning toward the Wax gourds due to their long shelf life and the bottle gourds because they have a secondary use if I cannot find buyers for them as a vegetable.


  1. Bottle gourd for sure. I sell them to a few customers at the nursery

  2. We don't use those to make Pasties so sorry, I can't help.--ken

  3. Looks like bottle gourds are preferred

  4. My wife made a type of Bitter Melon Salad appetizer.
    Its quite bitter and that item was not too bad.
    We have a catering business and it was for a event.


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