Tinda Tinda is an Indian pumpkin grown for its immature fruit, a vegetable especially popular in South Asia. It is the only member of the genus Praecitrullus. Tinda is an Indian pumpkin grown for its immature fruit, a vegetable especially popular in South Asia. It is the only member of the genus Praecitrullus.
Praecitrullus fistulosus, commonly known as Tinda, also called Indian squash, round melon, Indian round gourd or apple gourd or Indian baby pumpkin is a squash-like cucurbit grown for its immature fruit.
In India, tinda is mainly cultivated in northern states such as Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi where it has been a traditional vegetable for a long time. In Himachal Pradesh, kullu valley produces tinda of excellent quality. Tinda is called kaddu in Hindi, sim sim in Rajasthan, tinda in Punjab and Haryana, tindora or tendli in Maharashtra, dudhi or ghaas phool (grass flower) or ghooti papdi (elephant's foot)in Gujarat , shukta in Uttarakhand.
Tinda is mainly cultivated during the monsoon season for its young fruits. It is an important crop in the Rabi (winter) season, as it thrives well under low-temperature conditions and can be stored for many months. The tindas are pickled with spices to preserve them for long periods. Tinda has high vitamin C, A & E content. It is also rich in minerals like calcium, iron, phosphorous, and zinc. 100 g of tienda provides about 26 calories of energy. Tinda also contains some amount of omega 3 fatty acids which are good for brain development and functioning.
It is an annual herbaceous plant, growing to 1–2 m tall. The leaves are palmately lobed, 7–15 cm long, and 8-13 cm broad with a 2.5-5 cm petiole, the blade having three or five-pointed lobes. The flowers are 3–4.5 cm diameter, yellow to yellowish-green, produced in a large, well-branched panicle. The fruit is 3–4 cm long, 2–3 cm diameter, containing one to three seeds; the seeds are red-brown, 1.5-2.5mm diameter. There are three types of tinda available in India: small, medium, and large. The small type is slightly flattened, the medium one has a projection like that of a watermelon and the large type is cylindrical. The fruits are usually picked young for food use. At this stage, they weigh about 100-200 g each and have a pleasant flavor with striking aromatic qualities.
Tinda is used for preparing various dishes. It is usually deep-fried or cooked with spices. The fruit has a slightly sweet flavor when ripe, but acquires an astringent taste if under-ripe. Tinda can be added to dals (lentils) and curries while making them.
Tinda is commonly consumed in northern states of India like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, and Himachal Pradesh. It is also available in the market throughout the year because it can be stored for many months; therefore, it's a good crop to include in-home gardens or farms. Tinda can be used as an alternative to potatoes and tomatoes during fasting days like 'Navaratra' in Hindu religion. It can also be boiled, baked, or steamed and consumed as a staple food.
Tinda is rich in vitamins A, C, and E which are good for strengthening the immune system of the body. Tinda is used to treat skin diseases like psoriasis because it acts as an antioxidant that prevents free radical damage to cells, which is normally associated with aging and other skin damage. Tinda also contains high amounts of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, and vitamin B that help in bone development and prevent osteoporosis.