Gourds can also be called a staple food of India, just like Roti or Rice. Read on to know more about the types of gourds in India.
It is often confused with bottle gourd or Lauki, which is one of the most popular varieties of gourds in India. Gourds work as a staple for India. There is not one but different types of gourds in India. They are used in vegetables, stews, soups, and salads. You can eat them raw, as well as in cooked form.
Here are different types of gourds in India.
1. Bottle Gourd (Lagenaria Siceraria)
Indian Names: Lauki, Doodhi, Surakkai, Pechura, Sorakkaya, Sorekayi, Ladu, Tumada, Tiktalabu
It gets its name due to its thick bottle-like appearance. It is an annually occurring, climbing vine, known to have multiple health benefits. This gourd is beneficial for gut and heart health; it is also instrumental in weight loss and makes for an excellent post-workout drink. Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, and Madhya Pradesh are leading producers of Bottle gourd in India
2. Bitter Gourd (Momordica Charantia)
Indian Names: Karala, Karelu, Karela, Kathilla, Poraru, Haagalakaay, Kaaraate, Kayppa, Pavaykka, Karon akhabi, Ambalem, Karali, Karelo, Changkha, Kaarvellakah, Kathillah, Paraaru, Sushavi, Urdhvaasitah, Iraca-valli, Pagakkai, Kakara
Karela is named so because of its origin in the south Indian state of Kerala. It is a tropical or subtropical vine of the gourd family. This gourd is helpful in weight loss and aids blood purification. It also helps in managing gut health and strengthens the immune system. States like Chhatisgarh, Andra Pradesh, Orrisa, and Telangana are the major karela producers in India.
3. Sponge Gourd (Luffa Cylindrica)
Indian Names: Ghia Torai, Palo, Neyangnattakolu, Bhatkakrel, Aibhi, Thuppada Heere
This round and rigged gourd have various medicinal uses in Ayurveda. Besides blood purification and skin treatment, it is also helpful in curing inflammation and constipation. You can also grow it as a decorative plant in your garden. Uttar Pradesh and Punjab are avidly producing Sponge gourd.
4. Ridge Gourd (Luffa Acutangula)
Indian Names: Tita dhundul, Kadvi ghisodi, Ban turai, Kahihireya balli, Kodu ghosaale, Kattu peechil, Kattu peechinga, Divali, Kadu-dodaki , Jalini, Tikta-koshataki , Akaca-veni, Tittakocataki, Adavi bira, Chedu bira, Verri bira
Ridge gourds are one of the most loved vegetables in India. They are used in various ways in the cuisines of different states. These gourds are firm and have ridges all over them, hence the name. They aid in diabetes, digestion, and weight loss. Madhya Pradesh, Orrisa, and Maharashtra are the leading producers of these gourds.
5. Pointed Gourd (Trichosanthes Dioica)
Indian Names: Patol Patola, Parval, Kaadu Padaval, Kadu padavala, Kayi Parval, Patola, Lulka, Tikta, Panduka, Kambupudalai, Kommu Potla, Chedu Potla
The pointed gourd is a vine that comes in green color, with white stripes over it. Native to the Indian continent, it serves as a great medicine for various diseases. Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Uttar Pradesh serve as major pointed gourd producing states.
6. Snake Gourd (Trichosanthes Cucumerina)
Indian Names: Chachinda, Chichonda, Adla Balli, Adla kaayi, Bettada padavala, Padavalanga, Kaippam-patolam, Jangli padavala, Amritaphala, Bijagarbha, Pudalankaai, Alakaipputal, Potlakaaya, Adavi potla
These gourds are long and slender in shape, packed with vitamins and minerals, and serve as a great source of energy. They make an important part of Maharashtrian cuisines.
7. Ash Gourd (Benincasa Hispida)
Indian Names: Petha, Pethakaddu, Torobot, Kohla, Neer Poosanikai, Kumbalanga, Gummadikaaya, Budekumbalakayi, Boodu Gumbala, Kumra, Chalkumra, Komora, Brihatphala, Ghrinavasa, Gramyakarkati, Karkaru
Apart from its culinary uses, ash gourd serves multiple purposes. Highly packed with nutrients, it helps in combating acidity, stomach ulcers and also keeps the gut healthy. Furthermore, due to its anticoagulant properties, it can help prevent internal bleeding. The climate of north Indian states is apt for growing ash gourd.
8. Ivy Gourd (Coccinia Grandis)
Indian Names: Kundru, Tondli, Kovai, Kova, Donda kaya, Tondikay, Telakucha, Ban-kundri, Bimbika
Ivy Gourd is a tropical vine, growing mainly in the southern states of India. It serves many health purposes; for example, it helps in preventing obesity, improves digestion, increases metabolism, and strengthens the immune system. Moreover, it can help in regulating blood sugar levels also.
9. Spine Gourd (Momordica Dioica)
Indian Names: Ban karela, Kartoli, Katwal, Avandhya, Agakara, Kikoda
It is available in India mostly around monsoon season. Besides being rich in proteins and vitamins, it has very less amount of calories, thus, serving as excellent diet food. Furthermore, the commercial cultivation of spine gourd happens in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Orrisa, and Maharashtra.
10. Apple Gourd (Praecitrullus Fistulosus)
Indian Names: Tinda, Dhemase, Bimbi, Kondvalli, Tendli
This easy to digest vegetable is one of the favorites in India. Eating apple gourd has many health benefits. It is an excellent diet for diabetes patients. It also helps in boosting the immune system and slows down the aging process. They can be grown throughout the year. Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujrat are the largest producers of apple gourd.
11. Cucumber (Cucumis Sativus)
Indian Names: Khira, Thabi, Kankri, Vellarikkay, Vellari, Dosakaya, Soutekayi, Kakudi Trapushpa, Kantakilata
Cucumber is a highly nutritious vegetable, having hundreds of benefits. Not only it serves as healthy food, but it also has various other uses in skin treatment and medicines. No salad is complete without cucumbers in it. Moreover, it has high water content and low-calorie count, making it a favorite of weight watchers.
So, we can conclude that the Gourds are indeed a staple for Indian households. More importantly, if your mother never forced you to eat gourds, are you even Indian?