Pointed GourdTrichosanthes dioica, also known as a pointed gourd, is a vine plant in the family Cucurbitaceae, similar to cucumber and squash, though unlike those it is perennial. It is a dioecious (male and female plants) vine (creeper) plant with heart-shaped leaves (cordate) and is grown on a trellis.
The pointed gourd is typically around in length and around in large, but can get up to. The fruit of the plant is eaten boiled, fried, or baked after removing the skin and seeds. They are widely cultivated throughout Asia, especially in India (where it is called "Turi" or "Jhinga"), Thailand, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Pakistan. It is also cultivated in Japan to a lesser extent.
The fruit is known as Cucurbita pepo var. cylindrica in the United States Department of Agriculture plant database. It has several names such as Indian cucumber, bitter gourd, bitter squash, snake gourd, balsam pear, and pointed gourd.
The plant is a vining plant with roots that run deep into the ground for stability to support the weight of the fruit. The leaves are hairy and vary in size from long and across. The flowers are yellow-green with five petals and are in diameter.
The fruit has a distinct "look" to it, compared to other types of cucumber or squash. It is a light green color with dark stripes running throughout the exterior skin. The inside contains many seeds and a bitter-tasting juice. In general, the fruits are harvested while still young and tender enough to be consumed whole.
The fruit should be washed before eaten but the skin should not be removed until just before consumption as it is an excellent source of pectin and can help aid in digestion (similar to okra).
The fruit can then be sliced or chopped and added to salads, curries, rice dishes, etc. It should be noted that the bitterness of the fruit does not dissipate upon cooking, so it is generally eaten while still young and tender enough to have a milder flavor.
The pointed gourd vine prefers bright sunlight and moist, warm conditions. The vine can grow up to 5 meters in height and needs support from other plants or structures to climb. The vine can be grown in a container or directly into the soil of your garden.
Global pointed gourd production
The pointed gourd is a tropical vegetable that is popular in many parts of the world. It is also known as parwal, parval, or patola. The vegetable is widely cultivated in tropical and sub-tropical regions for its edible fruits.
The pointed gourd grows on a vine and typically reaches a length of 1-2 meters. The fruits are green and have a sharp point at the end. They are usually harvested when they are 10-15 cm long. The pointed gourd is a good source of vitamins and minerals. It is rich in vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and calcium. It also contains dietary fiber which is beneficial for digestion.
The pointed gourd is typically cooked before it is eaten. It can be stir-fried, boiled, or used in soups and curries. The vegetable has a mild flavor and can be used as a replacement for other vegetables in recipes.
The global production of pointed gourd was estimated to be 3.7 million metric tons in 2013. India is the largest producer of vegetables, accounting for nearly 60% of the world's production. Other major producing countries include China, Bangladesh, and Vietnam.
The pointed gourd is a popular vegetable in many parts of the world and has a range of culinary uses. It is a good source of vitamins and minerals and is easy to incorporate into the diet. With a mild flavor, the pointed gourd can be a versatile ingredient in recipes.