Also known as white gourd, marrow, calabash or long melons, bottle gourds are a fruit with a light green skin and white seedy flesh. They come in a variety of shapes, thick and rounded, small and bottle shaped or long and slim. The young fruits are eaten as a vegetable and the mature can be used as a bottle, pipe or utensil. Thus the name bottle gourd.
Used a lot in Indian preparations. With a short cooking time, it is often found in soups, stir fried, dal or simply served as a sabzi. It's grated form is used to make halwa's and kofta curries. Long thin strips of bottle gourd are used as a vegetarian substitute in sushi or can simply be drank as a juice. It's seeds are candied or roasted for consumption too.
These fruits have numerous nutrients stored in them. It is used to counter stomach acidity, ulcers, indigestion, fatigue, excessive thirst. Bottle gourds are also found in low calorie diets. Bitter bottle gourd can lead to poisoning, discarding is advised. The juice of bottle gourd is very good for the health with a lot of medicinal properties.
One of the first cultivated plants of the world, it was used for water storage as a container.
Many musical instruments such as kora and goje are made using bottle gourd in West Africa.
Bottle gourd is treated as a symbol of health in China.