Ash gourd is like a melon which is mostly eaten in China and India. It is also called vital life energy food because of its quickly energizing power to the body. The scientific name of ash gourd is Benincasa hispida. The common names of ash gourd are
- White gourd
- Winter Melon
- Wax gourd (denotes one sub-type of ash gourd)
- Kushmanda, brihatphala, ghrinavasa, gramyakarkati, karkaru (Sanskrit)
- Petha, petha kaddu (Hindi)
- Torobot (Manipuri)
- Kohls (Marathi)
- Neer poosanikai (Tamil)
- Kumbalanga (Malayalam)
- Boodida Gummadikaaya (Telugu)
- Bude Kumbalakayi, boodu kumbala (Kannada)
- Kumra, chalkumra (Bengali)
- Komora (Assamese)
The health benefits of ash gourd are
Keeps stomach free of ulcers and intestinal parasites
Ash gourd acts as anantimicrobial in nature which helps in relieving in acidity, ulcers and removes harmful bacteria from the stomach. It also reduces gastrointestinal infections and promotes digestive health.
Aids in weight loss
Ash gourd has 96% water in it which helps in maintaining the weight of the body and boosts metabolism.
Helps stop bleeding
Ash gourd is used to treat all types of internal bleeding. Like it is used to stop nose bleeding that sometimes occurs in summers, bleeding through ulcers, haematuria as it is a natural anticoagulant substance.
Helps fight mental illnesses
Ash gourd acts as a natural sedative as it helps in calming the nerves and brain. It also helps in fighting mental illness like epilepsy, anxiety, insomnia, neurosis, and paranoia.
Ash gourd contains vitamin B2 which increases eye health, reduces the risk of oxidative stress, macular degeneration, and other eye disorders.
Protects the heart
Ash gourd contains potassium and vitamin C which lowers high blood pressure, heart stroke, releases tension from the veins.
Ash gourd contains vitamin C and zinc which promotes the production of WBC and boosts the immune system and promotes proper growth and development of the body.
Helps in digestion
Ash gourd contains high amounts of dietary fiber which reduces the risk of gastrointestinal problems like stomach upsets, hemorrhoids, constipation, cramping and bloating. Italso reduces cholesterol levels and boosts digestive health.
Increases energy levels
Ash gourd contains vitamin B2 which maintains the hormonal balance of the body and increases the energy levels in the body.
Improves cognitive function
Ash gourd contains iron which increases the blood circulation in the body. It reduces the risk of anemia, ensures the proper flow of blood to the brain and helps in increasing the memory, concentration, and focus.
Detoxifies the body
Ash gourd has diuretic properties which help to detoxify the body by eliminating all the excess fats, toxins, water and salts from the body. It also promotes liver and kidney health.
Ash gourd is low in calories so it maintains diabetes by controlling cholesterol levels of the body.
Ash gourd can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with every food item.
Uses of ash gourd
- Peptic Ulcer
It is AN economical remedy for hardening peptic ulceration. Ash gourd juice mixed with equal quantities of water ought to be consumed within the morning on AN empty abdomen. There ought to be a niche of regarding 2 to 3 hours before any food is consumed. This juice is additionally helpful within the inflammation of the canal.
It is wont to stop exuberant harm from the nose and lungs. Ash gourd acts sort of a blood coagulator. The recent juice of ash gourd ought to be mixed with a teaspoon of juice or amla juice for relief in conditions like piles and symptom, an unwell whereby blood cells are seen in piddle.
- Intestinal Worms
Seeds of ash gourd ought to be shelled and mixed with coconut milk. they’re useful in promoting tissue growth and body process tapeworm and different parasitic worms from the abdomen.
- General weakness
The pulp of ash gourd is stewed in water associate degree syrup is extra thereto to form it an edible mixture. This sweet pulp is helpful in gaining weight, improves the potency of heart, produces heat within the body, and reduces TB and anemia.
The seeds and also the depart ash gourd ought to be cooked in copra oil and applied to hair that prevents dandruff, waterlessness of the scalp and promotes hair growth.
- Mouth ulcers
Gargling with the juice of ash gourd is helpful in protecting the life of the teeth and gums. It reduces mouth ulcers and hemorrhage of gums likewise.
● Increased Energy
Consumption of ash gourd brings a vast quantity of energy, at a similar time it keeps your nerves terribly calm. If you drink occasional, it offers you energy with agitation. If you drink a glass of ash gourd, it offers you a monumental quantity of energy, and still keeps you calm.
● Constipation, Piles, Boils
If you consume a touch little bit of ash gourd juice, it cools down the system. this is often useful for those who excess heat within the body, which might manufacture issues like boils, piles (hemorrhoids) and constipation issues.
● Cooling Caution
People who square measure vulnerable to issues like colds, asthma, and rubor ought to be a bit careful with ash gourd as a result of it creates an excessive amount of sheeta, or coolness, within the system. Such folks must always combine it with honey or pepper and drink it, in order that the cooling impact is neutralized to some extent.
● Sharpness of Mind
Drinking a glass of ash gourd every day will bring alertness to the body and make it cooler.
- Beneficial for face and hair
- Using ash gourd juice in any face pack or applying it with lemon juice on the skin will remove dark spots and bring a natural glow to the skin.
Applying ash gourd juice onto the hair before shampoo will remove dandruff and make your hair shine.
Ways to use ash gourd
Ash gourd can be eaten both raw or cooked in many different ways.
- In Northern India, it is used to prepare a candy called “Petha”
- In South Indian cuisine, it is traditionally used to make a variety of curries.
- Soup or vegetable dish also can be possible
- In Southeast Asia winter melon tea or Winter melon punch is famous
How to buy and store ash gourd
Buy ash gourd which has no bruised marks, indentations and have even texture. Store the ash gourd in a refrigerator.
Season in which ash gourd is available
Ash gourd is available all year round.
How to make White Pumpkin Gravy / Ash Gourd Gravy for Rotis
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Curry leaves – a few
- Onions – 2 cups (thinly sliced)
- White Pumpkin – 2 cups (thinly sliced or cut into small cubes)
- Tomatoes – 1 1/2 cup (finely chopped)
- Oil – 1 tbsp
- Salt – to taste
Masala to Grind:
- Garlic – 6 cloves
- Cinnamon stick – 1″
- Cloves – 2
- Coconut – 1/4 cup
- Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Split dahlia – 1 Tsp
- Green chilies – 8 to 10 (according to spice level)
Method of Preparation:
- Grind all the ingredients in the masala to grind and keep it aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and curry leaves.
- Then add the chopped onions and add some salt and fry till they become translucent.
- Add the chopped pumpkin and fry for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Now add the chopped tomatoes and fry for 3 minutes.
- Now add the ground masala and add some water (till the pumpkin gets completely immersed in water.
- Cover it and boil it for another 15 minutes or till the pumpkin gets cooked completely.
- Boil if necessary to get desired consistency.
- Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with chapati.
How to make Udupi Style Ash Gourd Coconut Curry Recipe
- 500 grams Vellai Poosanikai (Ash gourd/White Pumpkin)
- 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder (Haldi)
- Salt, to taste
- Cooking oil, for cooking
- To be roasted and ground to paste
- 4 Dry red chilies
- 1/2 cup Fresh coconut, grated
- 30 grams Tamarind Water
- 1/2 teaspoon Methi Seeds (Fenugreek Seeds)
- 1/2 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 2 teaspoons Coriander (Dhania) Seeds
- 2 teaspoons Sesame seeds (Til seeds)
- 3 tablespoons Jaggery
- 1 cup Tamarind Water
- For seasoning
- 1 teaspoon Cooking oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Mustard seeds
- 2 sprig Curry leaves, roughly torn
- 1 Dry red chilies
- To begin making the Udupi Style Ash Gourd Coconut Curry Recipe cook the ash gourd in the pressure cooker with little water, turmeric powder, and salt for just 1 whistle. Release the pressure naturally.
- Soak the tamarind ball in hot water for about 15 minutes, and squeeze and keep the water.
- Then dry roast the spices and other ingredients for the ground paste in a pan except for the coconut. Then grind it along with coconut to a smooth paste.
- In the same pressure cooker which has the ash gourd add the paste and little water and give it a stir. Keep the Udupi Ash Gourd Coconut Curry on the medium heat, Adjust the seasoning and texture if required. Once done transfer it in a bowl.
- For the seasoning, heat oil in a small skillet and add mustard seeds and let it crackle. After the mustard seeds have crackled add the curry leaves and red chilies. Turn off the heat after the red chilies have darkened and add it on top of the Udupi Style Ash Gourd Coconut Curry and serve.
- Serve the Udupi Style Ash Gourd Coconut Curry Recipe along with steamed rice, Elai Vadam and Pisarna Manga for lunch.
Safety profile for using ash gourd
People who are suffering from obesity, asthma, cold and bronchitis should consume minimal doses of ash gourd or should consult the doctor before consuming them. Otherwise, no other side effects have been observed.
Fun Facts about ash gourd
- Ash-gourd is loaded with nutrients. It’s an excellent source of vitamin B1 (thiamine), a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), and vitamin C. It is also rich in many minerals like calcium. Its high potassium content makes this a good vegetable for maintaining healthy blood pressure.
- Containing almost 96% water, this gourd is a dietitian’s delight. Be sure to include this vegetable in your weight-loss diet.
- In Ayurveda and other traditional eastern medicine, ash-gourd juice is used as a general tonic for its restorative properties. Because of the medicinal value of ash gourd, it’s frequently prescribed for treating various disorders.
- For instance, in Ayurveda, ash-gourd is used as brain food – to treat mental illnesses and nervous disorders such as epilepsy, paranoia, and insanity.
- Ash-gourd is alkaline in nature and hence has a cooling and neutralizing effect on stomach acids and as such used effectively for treating digestive ailments like hyperacidity, dyspepsia, and ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is a popular home remedy for peptic ulcers. Ash-gourd juice is also used to treat diabetes.
- Ash-gourd is also useful in treating respiratory disorders like asthma, blood-related diseases, and urinary diseases like kidney stones.
- Every part of this fruit is useful. Ash-gourd leaves are rubbed on bruises to heal them, while the seeds are used for expelling intestinal worms. The ash made from burning the rind and seeds are mixed with coconut oil and used to promote hair growth and to treat dandruff.
- Inexpensive and versatile, ash-gourd is a healthy vegetable that should definitely be a part of any nutritious diet.