Ridge Gourd harvest

Wonderful news! Continuing on from my previous post on the flowers in our garden we now have our very first harvest of Ridge Gourd. In Tamil we call them peerkangai. The hardy green ribbed exterior protects a lovely soft white flesh that we chop up in to small cubes and lightly fry with mustard seeds, curry leaves, dried red chillies and urad dal (optional) and grated coconut. The other preparation that I make at home is pretty much the above recipe but it is then added to sambar. It makes the sambar wonderfully coconuty too

Ridge Gourd - first harvest (and lady's finger third harvest)

If you live in Vishakapatnam, then seeds of all sorts of vegetables can be found in a shop called Kisan in Daba Gardens on the left hand side of the road (if approaching from PAGES bookstore) third or fourth shop. We planted our ridge gourd at the end of May and it has taken them 4 months to produce any fruit. At first I had no idea it was a climbing plant and it clung fiercely on to the wobbly mesh fence we had built around our vegetable patch. I then learned (from the Heavy Metal Farmer’s blog) that they should be allowed to climb at least 6 feet and not trail on the ground. Fortunately we found a disused (at least I think it was) round metal cylinder that is used for keeping young plants and trees growing upright. It was all rusty and abandoned behind our house so we rescued it, and our ridge gourd.

Mesh cylinder

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About nonsense girl

Galley slave, qualitative researcher working in development, married my best friend, writing about my life, my family, my dog, TV, Indian culture, astronomy and my garden. www.nonsensegirl.wordpress.com
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8 Responses to Ridge Gourd harvest

  1. Radha says:

    is there a book you recommend that teaches you how to select vegetables when they are at their best nutritional stage?

    another veggie that i’m scared to by is bottle gourd. whenever i see those they also ooze with some yellow brown sap and some bruises. i’m not sure when to determine when that is right for eating…

    sorry for all these questions which are eaiser to ask when chatting in person…

  2. Radha says:

    can you explain how to select a fresh good quality ridge gourd for cooking? whenever i see ridge gourd, they are oozing with some type of liquid, it scares me to buy those, i feel they are maybe overmature?

    • gkorula says:

      I turn to the Padval Agriculture blog when in doubt. FRom first day of sowing it should take 60 days for fruit to form. It should not sound too hollow because that means there is less flesh and more seeds. The fluid oozing out is probably moisture which means that the gourd has been harvested too soon. You only harvest when the vine it hangs on is really dried up.This means that the fruit has absorbed all the nutrients that it can. So probably nothing wrong with the oozing (as long as it’s not been treated with pesticides) as it’s probably just moisture but you are getting an immature fruit so it might taste bitter and it won’t have all the nutrients that it could have.Hope that helps.

      • Radha says:

        so if it has lots of water, it means it didn’t form fully into fruit, hence its still in the water stage. like the way coconut water turns into coconut meat….? which means it was harvested too soon…

        i read that the ridges should be soft not hard and painful to touch? is this true? and the color should look rich green not pale washed out like grayish color. is this true?
        and it should be thin not overly big and fat, is this true?

        oh and if it tastes bitter that means it was immature. which is why they say eat ridge gourd first, like a small sample, before cooking.?

        the oozing has kind of color to it, and fungus often forms due to this oozing.
        kind of yellowish color, maybe there are sugars in that water giving it that color.

        and an old ridge gourd means it will be limp, not firm, kind of soggy feel….is this true?

      • gkorula says:

        OK, firstly I’m not an expert on ridge gourd but i’ve tried to answer some of your questions. Pls see my answers in BOLD.

        so if it has lots of water, it means it didn’t form fully into fruit, hence its still in the water stage. like the way coconut water turns into coconut meat….? which means it was harvested too soon… YES

        i read that the ridges should be soft not hard and painful to touch? is this true? NOT QUITE – IT CAN BE HARD.
        and the color should look rich green not pale washed out like grayish color. is this true? YES
        and it should be thin not overly big and fat, is this true? CANNOT BE SURE ABOUT THIS

        oh and if it tastes bitter that means it was immature. Not sure, probably
        which is why they say eat ridge gourd first, like a small sample, before cooking.? I JUST COOK IT ANYWAY AND ADD LOTS OF COCONUT TO COUNTER THE BITTERNESS

        the oozing has kind of color to it, and fungus often forms due to this oozing.
        kind of yellowish color, maybe there are sugars in that water giving it that color. I’VE NEVER SEEN ANY OOZING OR FUNGUS SO CANNOT COMMENT

        and an old ridge gourd means it will be limp, not firm, kind of soggy feel….is this true? NO – OLD WILL BE DRIED UP AND HARD BECAUSE ALL THE MOISTURE HAS GONE FROM IT.

        is there a book you recommend that teaches you how to select vegetables when they are at their best nutritional stage? SORRY. I LOOK TO THE INTERNET

        another veggie that i’m scared to by is bottle gourd. whenever i see those they also ooze with some yellow brown sap and some bruises. i’m not sure when to determine when that is right for eating… I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS IN THE MARKET. I’M NOT SURE WHERE YOU ARE GETTING YOUR VEGES

        and why do people snap ridge gourd in half all the time. what are they looking for inside.
        it should be white and not empty or something? I’VE NEVER SEEN THIS BEING DONE BEFORE. INSIDE SHOULD HAVE MORE FLESH AND LESS SEEDS.

      • Radha says:

        thank you for you replies 🙂

      • Radha says:

        how to select the right snake gourd for cooking? what should it look like and feel like?

        recently i selected snake gourd,
        some were greenish some very whitish.
        which is the right color?

        some were thin some very fat.

        i selected all the ones that were firm not soft and hallow feeling. like if you pressed it it won’t press in, some in the basket were soft like if you press it you can press it in. when you cut into some, there will be whitish seeds. however sometimes the seed will be reddish. when we cooked it, my family didn’t like the taste. i don’t know what it did wrong. they said i maybe didn’t select right.

      • Radha says:

        and why do people snap ridge gourd in half all the time. what are they looking for inside. it should be white and not empty or something?

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