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A Mystery Vegetable in a Stir-Fry-Stew!


Last week I was stumped when I brought home this green cucumbery squashy looking vegetable!

But yall were so helpful in responding to my post – with Kelly and Helene suggesting it might be a bottle gourd, and Juliana and Lorraine agreeing. So after some researching aka me calling my mom to ask her, it was confirmed that this little chap is indeed a bottle gourd and it is a smorgasbord of good-for-you stuff!!!

According to mom and several articles online, the bottle gourd originated in Africa and is widely used in India, Sri Lanka and several surrounding countries. It has numerous health benefits, some of which are:
aiding in digestion and indigestion
controlling blood pressure,
regulating blood sugar,
preventing premature greying and balding, &
alleviating fatigue.

bottle gourd

All these and more in this humble green cucumbery, squashy, totally inexpensive little chap …

My mom mentioned cooking this in lentils or daal, but my mom’s lentils are fantastic – she could put liver in her lentils and I would lick the whole bowl – and am not even a fan of liver!

bottle gourd stir-fry-stew

So I figured I would make it into a “Stir-Fry-Stew”!

Raw, bottle gourd tastes a lot like cucumber, cooked it tastes like a firm less sweet cucumber.

This Stir-Fry-Stew got a thumbs up from my daughter and she is always loathing the fact that she is my main guinea pig taste tester when unfamiliar vegetables are involved!

Bottle gourd
Bottle Gourd Stir-Fry-Stew

Bottle Gourd Stir-Fry-Stew

Yield: 4
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


  • Olive Oil
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 yellow onion chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/2 inch piece of ginger chopped finely
  • 1/2 inch piece of fresh turmeric finely chopped
  • I Bottle Gourd skin and seeds removed and cubed
  • 1 carrot cubed
  • 1 can spicy red pepper tomato, I used Hunt's brand
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium heat, add the onions and saute till they are caramelized - about 15 minutes
  2. Add the garlic, ginger,and turmeric and the carrots, bottle gourd, canned tomato, cumin, paprika and salt and pepper and cover and let cook for 10 minutes covered and 5 minute uncovered
  3. Enjoy with naan, pita bread, rice or cous cous or whatever else your heart desires!

Did you make this recipe?

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Friday 10th of January 2014

Oh, nice! I never saw something like this for sale here... although I think they might have grown them in an ornamental garden near where I used to live in France?! I'd love to try cooking with gourds... really want to try a bitter gourd too!


Friday 10th of January 2014

I always love learning about new ingredients that I can experiment with. I love cucumbers and this gourd sounds like it would be right up my alley! The stirfry looks absolutely delicious! Thanks, Shashi!


Wednesday 8th of January 2014

Yay, so glad you found more info and came up with an awesome recipe for the bottle gourd. This stir fry stew looks fantastic! I love all the spices in here and it sounds amazing with some naan, yum!

Emily @SinfulNutrition

Wednesday 8th of January 2014

I've never heard of such a thing, but it looks tasty in that stew! I just found my firsh kabocha squash and can't wait to try it!

Happy New Year to you friend!

Fine Dining at Home (@fdathome)

Wednesday 8th of January 2014

I, like many others, haven't seen anything like this. Looks a great stew you've made with though. I'm very intrigued by this.