Finding its origin in north-western India, Indian squash ‘tinda’ is consumed extensively in the subcontinent as a vegetable, pickle and candy, is also used as an animal fodder and also is included in certain traditional streams of medicine. Roasted Seeds of tinda are also consumed as a crunchy snack in certain parts of The Indian sub continent and Middle East.
Tinda is a small, globular vegetable. Tinda is also known as round melon, apple gourd, and Indian baby pumpkin. Its skin is green and it has shallow dimpling with small, soft hairs covering the surface. The skin is thin and edible, when immature but when overly mature, the skin becomes thick and inedible. Internally, the flesh is white, tender, and spongy comprising of several small, edible seeds.
Nutritional Facts of Tinda
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of tinda contains 21 kcal, 1.4 gm of proteins, 0.2 gm of fat, 1.6 gm of fiber, 3.6 gm of carbohydrates, 0.9 mg of iron, 25 mg of calcium, 24 mg of phosphorus, 0.3 mg of niacin, 18 mg of vitamin C and 13 μg of carotene.
Potential Health Benefits of Indian Squash ‘Tinda’
1/5. Boosts Heart Function
1.The zero cholesterol content of tinda promotes heart health
2. Tinda enhances the blood circulation to and from the heart, ensuring optimal functioning of cardiac muscles.
3. The extract of tinda is beneficial in many heart complaints such as chest pain, palpitations, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeats, and coronary heart disease.
2/5. Promotes Skin Health
1. The antioxidant property of vitamin E, which is present in tinda has skin smoothening properties thus, moisturizing the skin.
2. Tinda helps combat skin infections, it decreases fungal infections, boils, or carbuncles.
3/5. Promotes Hair Growth
1. The abundant minerals and vitamins present in Indian squash offer nourishment to the hair strands.
2. The potent chemicals present in tinda helps in reducing dandruff on the scalp.
3. Tinda promotes rapid hair growth, increases the strength of the hair, and reduce hair fall.
4/5. Regulates thyroid
1. The iodine content present in tinda helps reduce the increased thyroid hormone levels.
2. The zinc content of tinda plays an important role in helping enzyme function for optimizing thyroid concentrations.
5/5. Other possible Benefits
Apart from the benefits mentioned above, tinda also produces few more benefits such as battles fevers, maintain, ideal electrolyte balance, fights jaundice, boosts the defence system and liver function, heals joint disorders, uplifts immunity, alleviates insomnia, detoxifies the kidneys, enhances digestive system and strengthens respiratory processes.
Excellent source of Vitamin A, antioxidants, tinda vegetable is believed to help people suffering from acute stomach acidity. Tinda is 95% water, hence an excellent vegetable for people on weight loss and detox programs.
Tinda is considered a superfood due to the various health benefits it offers. In fact, most of the Indian Wellness retreats include tinda vegetable in their body healing and detox programs.
How to add Tinda to the diet?
Tinda can be roasted, baked, sautéd, stir-fried and grilled. Tinda is best to be consumed when immature and has thin skin. It can be added to the diet in various ways, such as:
- Eaten raw in salads.
- Added to soups, curries, and stews.
- Stuffed with vegetables and meat.
- Used in sabzi, or vegetable dishes.
- Seeds are roasted and consumed as a snack.
How to prepare Tinda Sabzi?
Heat oil in a kadai. Add ½ tsp jeera and allow it to splutter.
Take 250 gms peeled and chopped tinda and add it along with ½ tsp haldi and ½ tsp red chilli powder. Mix it well and cook.
When the tinda is half done, add 1 finely chopped tomato, 2 – 3 slit green chillies, and salt and mix well. Stir occasionally.
Add ½ tsp amchur powder and mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.