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Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019

The world of gourds

In India, gourds were a common sight in traditional kitchens but these days seem to have lost out to the more popular zucchini. But they are making a comeback as they are great for summer

more-lifestyle Updated: Jun 07, 2019 12:04 IST
Joanna Lobo
Joanna Lobo
Hindustan Times
Louki ka raita made by food blogger Vernika Awal at Juhu, Mumbai.
Louki ka raita made by food blogger Vernika Awal at Juhu, Mumbai. (Aalok Soni/HT Photo)
         

Gourds should ideally be the kings of summer. The fleshy fruit of the Cucurbitaceae family has high water content that helps with hydration and to cool down the body. Ayurveda believes that gourds help lower the pitta (fire element) in the body.

Kripa Jalan, nutritional coach and founder, Burgers to Beasts enumerates the many benefits of eating gourds in summer. “Eating seasonal is one of the best ways to eat healthy. These have high water content, and fibre, which is useful for people suffering from dehydration and constipation. They are mellow tasting, don’t have much sugar and help with gut health and immunity,” she says.

In India, gourds were a common sight in traditional kitchens but these days seem to have lost out to the more popular zucchini, and other imported vegetables. Their fleshy texture and seemingly bland taste don’t win them much favour. Their versatility in the kitchen extends from juices and salads to curries and even sweets. “They make meals lighter because of their low calorie content. They work as good fillers, adding bulk to your meal without the calories. They can be added to salads, can be turned into noodles, and grated or used raw in parathas and koftas,” says nutrition expert and author of The Everyday Healthy Vegetarian, Nandita Iyer.