7 Sponge Gourd Dishes That Must Be Added To Your Monsoon Diet

Ask any expert or elders in your house and they will tell you to eat seasonal vegetables. During monsoon, the best vegetables are the ones that grow on trees or climbers like lauki (bottle gourd), torai (ridge gourd), and kathal (jackfruit). Since the rainwater accumulates on the land, vegetables like spinach, cabbage, and cauliflower are often attacked by pests and considered unfit for consumption.

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Torai or ridge gourd is a green vegetable with a lot of water retention. It is also called Chinese okra or sponge gourd. It is healthy and lightweight to consume during monsoon and pairs well with rice, paratha, or roti. Here are some dishes that you can make using torai.

Stuffed Torai

Have you tried making stuffed torai? This unique recipe is a melange of all kinds of spices. A mixture of gram flour, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, and turmeric powder is prepared and deseeded torai is stuffed. Tie a thread around it before sliding the vegetable into the kadhai and cook until the gourds tenderise.

Torai Chana Dal

Like lauki or bottle gourd, torai can also be cooked with chana dal. While chana dal adds protein and a slight crunch to the recipe, torai makes it watery and hydrating. The split chickpeas are cooked with sponge gourd in a minimal amount of spices like red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and a pinch of coriander powder. This flavour dish is best served with puffed roti, hot and crispy paratha, and steamed rice.

Torai Bhurji

Just like scrambled eggs, you can make torai bhurji during monsoon. In fact, you can cook sliced ridge gourds with tomatoes, eggs, and onions. Sprinkle a few spices like red chilli powder, black pepper, and oregano (optional) to infuse it with flavours. It is a quick meal option that you can prepare on days when you want to indulge in comforting food. Pair with toasted bread or garlic bread on the side.

Torai Sabzi

The easiest recipe for torai is to make normal everyday sabzi with it. The dish is quite famous in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Prepare a tempering with ghee, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, and chopped green chillies. After sauteing for a couple of minutes, sprinkle red chilli powder, and add round sliced torai. Add half a cup of water and salt to taste. When torai cooks, it releases water, therefore, do not add too much water.

Torai Nariyal Sabzi

If not North Indian, you can opt to make torai in South Indian style. You can prepare the tempering of chopped green chillies, 1-2 dry red chillies, mustard seeds, and curry leaves. Cook torai slices with grated coconut until the ingredients tenderise and the vegetable releases its water. Make it in an earthen to infuse it with the rust aroma that adds to the sensory experience.

Torai Aloo Fry

Torai and potato is an unusual combination but worth a shot, especially if you have no vegetables to cook at home except these two. First, stir-fry potatoes with a few spices because they will take more time to cook compared to sponge gourd. When aloo is 80-85% done, add torai slices and sprinkle salt to taste. 

Torai Raita

Just like lauki raita, you can also indulge in torai raita. Its refreshing flavour combined with spices of stuffed paratha make a soulful marriage. Add grated ridge gourd to curd and make it flavourful with spices like roasted cumin powder, mint powder, and red chilli powder. Top it with fresh coriander leaves and serve with a meal, especially aloo paratha, gobi paratha, and mix veg paratha.