I remember my school days. Whenever mummy tells that doodhi ka sabzi is made for lunch, my first reaction would be “Yuck, I am not going to eat it. I will just have dal and roti.” I would actually throw a tantrum. I am sure most of us yet do the same. But I am sure, once we read the importance of bottle gourd, I am sure we will react in a more positive way .
Bottle gourd or doodhi, lauki, calabash, cucuzza, sorakaya, and ghiya in various languages, belongs to the cucumber family and originated in
Africa. This is a popular vegetable in Indian cooking. When cooked, bottlegourd can be slightly sweet or bland, and lends itself to a variety of dishes. The varied health benefits of bottlegourd have long been recognized in Ayurveda. Bottlegourd has wonderful health-promoting and curative properties and is used as a remedy for many different ailments.
Bottle gourd has a number of health benefits as listed below:
· For all the girls who are “figure” conscious and for all who want to loose weight, bottle gourd has only 12 calores per 100 gms. So there will be no regret after you eat a bowl full of it.
· The water content in bottlegourd along with the high fiber content helps with constipation and due to high water content it has a good cooling effect. Hence it forms an excellent drink for hot summers.
· The vegetable is also very good for hypertensive patients as it is low in sodium.
· Bottle gourd is very valuable in treating urinary disorders. It serves as an alkaline mixture for treating burning sensation in urinary passage due to high acidity of urine. A glassful of fresh juice prepared by grating the whole fruit should be mixed with teaspoonful of lime juice and included in daily diet. It carries the potential for breaking calculus (stones) in body.
· For all the ladies who always want to look young, a glass full of the juice per day helps prevent premature greying.
· The juice is also good for inflamed liver.
· It is also good for stomach acidity, indigestion and ulcers.
· For all the insomniacs, mixture of bottle gourd juice and sesame oil acts as an effective medicine for insomnia. It should be massaged over scalp every night.
· The juice also helps to cure tuberculosis and helps boost immunity.
Culinary use of bottle gourd:
· One can make yummy raitas or dips with curd.
· With chana dal, a vegetable for lunch can be made.
· You can hide it in paranthas and theplas by grating and incorporating.
· You can add it as an additional vegetable in soups.
· An excellent cooler can be made by adding mint, lemon, coriander, tomato in the juice for summers.
Recipe for doodhi ka raita
1 cup chilled skimmed milk yoghurt
½ cup grated doodhi
Green chillies (as per taste)
Salt (as per taste)
Mustard powder (as per taste)
Mix all and serve chilled. Garnish with coriander.