7 Ash Gourd Dishes From Across India You Must Try Now
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If you aren’t a big fan of Ash Gourd, it is understandable. It’s not the most popular vegetable. However, this underrated gem lends itself beautifully to savoury curries, soups, condiments and sweet desserts. It's a good combination of both taste and nutrition. Whether you’re making a refreshing raita, a rich halwa, or a tangy curry, ash gourd's adaptability makes it easy to incorporate it in both everyday meals and festive dishes.

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From aiding in weight management and digestion to regulating blood sugar and improving heart health, ash gourd's benefits are extensive. Its traditional medicinal uses further highlight its importance in maintaining overall health and well-being. Incorporating ash gourd into your diet can contribute significantly to your health, making it a vegetable worth considering.

Though seasonal, various preservation methods have been developed to ensure that petha can be enjoyed all year-round. These methods include drying, candying, and pickling, which not only extend the vegetable's shelf life but also create new culinary applications.

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Ash gourd can be dried to make petha powder, which is used in different recipes throughout the year. The powder retains most of the vegetable's nutrients and can be rehydrated or added directly to dishes as a thickening agent or flavour enhancer.

One of the most famous preservation methods is the preparation of candied petha, a speciality from Agra. The vegetable is soaked in lime water, cooked in sugar syrup, and often flavoured with saffron or cardamom. This process transforms the humble ash gourd into a delectable sweet treat that can be stored for extended periods.

Petha can also be pickled, using a mixture of spices, oil, and vinegar. This method not only preserves the vegetable but also enhances its flavour, creating a tangy accompaniment to meals.


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This hot, tangy curry can be comforting. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they splutter, add chopped onions and sauté until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook until they turn soft and oil starts to separate. Mix in turmeric, cumin, coriander, and red chilli powders. Add ash gourd cubes and salt. Mix well. Cover and cook on low heat until the ash gourd is tender, about 15-20 minutes. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with roti or rice.


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This delicious sweet treat is easy to cook. Heat ghee in a pan and add grated ash gourd. Sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add milk and cook until the ash gourd is soft and the milk is absorbed. Add sugar and cook until the mixture thickens. Add cardamom powder and mix well. Garnish with nuts and raisins. Serve warm or cold.


Try this variation to the regular raita. It’s refreshing and makes for an interesting side dish that can be served alongside any dish. Mix the grated ash gourd with yoghurt in a bowl. Add cumin powder, black salt, and regular salt. Mix well. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. Serve chilled as a side dish with a biryani, pulao or paratha.


Ash Gourd soup has a mild and delicate taste. Making it hardly takes up any time. Heat olive oil in a pot and sauté onions and garlic until fragrant. Add chopped ash gourd and sauté for a few minutes. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the ash gourd is soft, about 20 minutes. Blend the soup until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh herbs and serve hot.


Ash Gourd Kootu, or "Kumbalanga Kootu," is a delicious and nutritious South Indian dish made with ash gourd, lentils, and coconut. It is a popular dish in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where it is often served with rice. It brings together the goodness of ash gourd and the protein-rich moong dal. Cook moong dal with turmeric powder until soft. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds and dry red chilli Add ash gourd cubes and sauté for a few minutes. Add cooked moong dal and mix well. Cook until the ash gourd is tender. Season with salt and garnish with curry leaves. 


This dish is a delightful combination of tender ash gourd, aromatic spices, and rich coconut. An easy-to-make stir-fry, it brings out the natural flavours of the ingredients: Mix grated coconut, green chillies, cumin seeds, and turmeric powder. Heat coconut oil in a pan and add curry leaves. Add grated ash gourd and sauté for a few minutes. Add the coconut mixture and salt. Cook until the ash gourd is tender. Serve as a side dish with rice.


With tender ash gourd, creamy yoghurt, coconut and aromatic spices creates, the Pachadi has a balance of flavours and textures.Cook ash gourd cubes until tender and let them cool. Blend mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and green chillies into a smooth paste. Mix the paste with yoghurt and add salt. Combine the mixture with cooked ash gourd. Heat coconut oil and add curry leaves. Pour over the pachadi. Serve chilled as a side dish.