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Health Benefits of Ridge Gourd ‘Tori, Torai’

Though an acquired taste, ridge gourd has quickly become a must have vegetable in the regional kitchens of Asian continent. Tori ‘Torai’ is also fast becoming famous for its cereboprotective,  anti inflammatory, antimicrobial and anti allergy health benefits. 

Ridge Gourd, locally known as turai or tori is a popular vegetable used in Indian cooking. It is available in two variants – one with a ridged surface and another with a smooth surface. The external appearance of turai is green in colour, while internally the edible fleshy part is white. It has a bland taste. 

Nutritional Facts of Ridge Gourd

As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, 100 gm of fresh, raw ridge gourd contains 20 kcals, 0.2 gm of fats, 1.2 gm of proteins, 0.5 gm of fiber, 4.35 gm of carbohydrates, 20 mg of calcium, 0.36 mg of iron, 14 mg of magnesium, 139 mg of potassium, 32 mg of phosphorus, 3 mg of sodium, 12 mg of vitamin C, 7 μg of folates, 0.4 mg of niacin and 0.06 mg of riboflavin.

Potential Health Benefits of Tori

1/5. Enhances vision

1. The large amounts of vitamin A found in ridge gourd, in the form of beta carotene helps in enhancing eyesight even at an older age. 

2. The beta carotene is an important antioxidant that rids the optic nerves and visual blood vessels of toxins hence, shielding the eyes from harmful free radicals. 

3. Turai helps in preventing partial blindness, macular degeneration, and other eye complaints.

2/5. Controls diabetes

1. The low-calorie content and the antioxidant properties of turai make it an ideal option for people suffering from diabetes.

2. Turai being hypoglycaemic, helps in controlling the blood sugar levels.

3/5. Relieves constipation

The high content of water, cellulose, and dietary fibre in ridge gourd offer relief from constipation. It also restores normal bowel movement and digestion.

4/5. Promotes weight loss

1. The high dietary fibre content in ridge gourd takes time to be absorbed in the body thus offering a feeling of fullness. 

2. Ridge gourd is low in calories and high in water content thus, making it an ideal option for weight loss.

3. Ridge gourd contains negligible amounts of saturated fats and cholesterol.

5/5. Other possible Benefits…

Ridge gourd produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces a few more such as helps in reducing inflammation, aids in decreasing heat in the body, prevents premature greying, reduces skin infections, protects liver function, treats anaemia, prevents hair fall, and prevents skin diseases. It can also help in purify blood of toxic wastes and help remove alcohol residues from the body.

As with cucumber and lauki and a few other vegetables, Ridge Gourd ‘Tori, Torai’ can become poisonous due to excessive cucurbitacin- a natural toxin, that can make ridge gourd bitter in taste. Having said that, been consumed for centuries, toxicity due to tori is extremely rare.

How to incorporate Turai into our diet?

Before using turai, it is to be washed and then the ridges need to be scraped. If the skin is tough then, it is better to peel it off completely. It can be consumed in the below-mentioned ways…

  • Eaten raw.
  • Used in raita. 
  • Chutney can be made.
  • Used to prepare curries.
  • Can be fried like pakoras.
  • Added to your regular dal or sambar.
  • Used in stews, soups, and stir-fries.

How to prepare Turai ki Sabzi or Ridge Gourd Curry?

Take 2 turai, peel, and chop them. 

Finely chop the onions and tomatoes. 

Take a kadai and heat 2 tbsp oil, add ½ teaspoon cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds turn slightly brown, add onions.

Saute the onions and then add the finely chopped tomatoes.

Add ½ teaspoon red chilli powder, ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder, and a little salt to taste. 

Add the chopped turai and mix well.

Add ¼ cup of water, reduce the gas flame, cover and cook until the turai cooks. 

Add garam masala powder and finely chopped coriander leaves. Stir it.

Allow it to simmer for a couple of minutes.

It is ready to serve.

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