Luffa or ridge gourd is an elongated, cylindrical fruit pod in the cucurbitaceae family of vegetables. Luffa are also known as patola, angled or ribbed luffa, silk gourd, Chinese Okra etc.
It grows well in sandy,fertile soils and requires good sunlight and humid conditions to flourish
Luffa fruit contains various antioxidants,minerals,vitamins,nutrients and lipids.
Energy 20 k cal
Total Fat 0.2g
Dietary Fibre 0.5g
Vitamin C 12 mg
Health benefits of Luffa:
1.Prevents eye ailments:
Vitamin A prevents from the macular degeneration that leads to the blindness.Eye drops made from Vitamin A is used effectively to treat the dry eyes.
Manganese is essential for the production of digestive enzymes which is responsible for a process called gluconeogenesis.
3.Prevents muscle pain:
Potassium balances the fluid levels and helps to relax muscles.The low presence of potassium leads to the muscle cramps,pain etc.It assists to break down the protein and carbs on which the muscle depends for the repair and energy.
Copper provides anti-inflammatory properties which soothe stiffness and pain which is related to arthritis.People with arthritis wear copper bands or bracelets as it is believed that the copper can reduce the painful symptoms.
Vitamin B6 is essential to produce haemoglobin in the blood which helps to transport the oxygen to the cells and mobilizes iron.
Study shows that high intake of Vitamin C can reduce the skin dryness,wrinkles and slows down the aging process .
Oxygen is required for the brain to function properly.The brain results to poor memory and decrease the productivity in the absence of iron as the brain wont receive oxygen.
Side effects of Luffa:
1.Pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid the excessive intake of Luffa fruit.
Fun facts of Luffa:
1.There are 2 species of luffa:Ridge gourd,Smooth luffa.
2.It is one of the popular vegetables featuring in India,China.
How to buy and store luffa?
1.Ridge gourd is available all round the season.Choose immature,green,firm pod with long intact,healthy stem.
2.Avoid oversize,mature as well as limp,soft fruits as they indicate old stock and out of flavor.Also avoid those with surface cuts,cracks,bruised or broken.
3.Fresh luffa doesn’t last long.
4.Store them in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator and should be used within two or three days of purchase before it begins to limp.
North Indian Dish:
Masalewali Turai (Ridge gourd)
Vitamin C 31.9mg
Folic acid 29.5mg
1.2cups thickly sliced ridge gourd
2.2 tsp oil.
3.1/2 tsp cumin seeds
4.1/2 cup chopped onions
5.1/4 tsp turmeric powder
6.1 tsp grated ginger
7.1/2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
8.1 3/4 cups fresh tomato pulp
9.1 1/2 tsp coriander -cumin seeds powder
10.1 tsp chilli powder
11.1tsp dried mango powder
12.Salt to taste
13.2 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves.
1.Heat the oil in a non-stick pan ,add the cumin seeds and saute on a medium flame for about 30 seconds
2.Add the onions and saute on a medium flame for about 1 minute.
3.Add the turmeric powder,ginger,green chillies,1 tbsp of water and saute on a medium flame for 1 minute.
4.Add the tomato pulp,mix well and cook on a medium flame for 2 minutes.Stir ocassionally.
5.Add the coriander-cumin seeds powder,chilli powder,dried mango powder and mix well.Cook on a medium flame for 1 minute.
6.Add the ridge gourd ,salt and mix well.Cover the lid and cook on a medium flame for 8 minutes.
7.Garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot.
South Indian Dish:
Ridge Gourd Chutney:
Energy 29 calories
Cholesterol 0 mg
1.1/2 cup finely chopped ridge gourd
2.3 tsp cooking oil.
3.1 tsp mustard seeds
4.2 tsp chana dal
5.2 tsp urad dal
6.Pinch of asafoetida
7.1 dry kashmiri red chilli,broken into pieces
8.2 green chillies
9.1 cup chopped coriander
10.1 tbsp tamarind
11.2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
12.Salt to taste
1.Heat 2 tsp of oil in a pan,add the ridge gourd peels and saute on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
2.For the tempering heat the remaining 1 tsp of oil int the same pan and add the mustard seeds.
3.When the seeds crackle,add the chana dal,urad dal,asafoetida and red chillies.Saute on a medium flame for 2 minutes .
4.Pour the tempering over the sauteed ridge gourd peels and mix well.
5.Add the coriander,tamarind,coconut salt and 1/4 cup of water and blend in a mixer to a smooth paste.Store it in an air-tight container and use as required.