Desi_TindaTurn your nose up at the sight of tinda sabzi on the dinner table? Well think again, because this light summer gourd is considered a super food due to its numerous health benefits. Most importantly, because it is almost 94% water, it is a vegetable with very few calories (approximately 66 cal in 100 g serving).

Also called Indian round gourd, apple gourd or Indian Baby Pumpkin, tinda is best known for being mild and soothing for the digestive system. But that’s not its only benefit. It contains antioxidants like carotenoids and many anti-inflammatory agents, which are effective in controlling blood pressure, heart diseases and strokes. It can also prevent cancer formation.

A water-rich vegetable, it keeps your body cool and healthy, increases urinary flow which helps excrete toxins from the kidney. It also contains a lot of fiber, which helps in digestion, relieves stomach acidity and prevents constipation. Some research indicates it is also very good for healthy skin and hair.

For those of you discouraged by its mild taste, here are some tangy recipes that will have you coming back for more.

Tinda Sabzi

Ingredients

250 gms tinda, peeled and chopped into medium wedges

½ tsp haldi (turmeric powder)

½ tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp jeera (cumin) seeds

½ tsp amchur powder

Salt to taste

2 tsp oil

2-3 big green chillies, slit lengthwise

1 tomato, finely chopped

Few sprigs green coriander, chopped

Method

  1. Heat oil in a wok or kadai. Add jeera and let it splutter.
  2. Now add chopped tinda along with all the powdered spices except amchur. Mix well, and cook covered on low flame.
  3. When the tinda is half done, add the tomatoes, green chillies and salt and mix well. Stir occasionally.
  4. When tinda is done (it should be firm, but tender when cut), add amchur powder and mix well. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and serve.

Vegetable Kurma with Tinda

Ingredients

3 potatoes, cut into cubes

3 carrots, cut into cubes

2 pieces tinda, peeled and cut into cubes

2 tomatoes

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

2-3 onions, chopped small

1 tbsp kishmish (raisins)

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp haldi (turmeric powder)

Salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala powder

½ tsp jeera (cumin) seeds

1 tsp sugar

3 tbsp oil

Chopped coriander leaves for garnish

Method

  1. Mix all the vegetables together, adding salt, haldi and a little water and boil until they soften. Drain excess water and set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a deep pan and add jeera. When it pops, add onions and ginger garlic paste. Fry until it browns, then add haldi, red chilli powder, kishmish and the boiled vegetables. Check the salt before adding more. Add sugar, garam masala powder and 2 cups of water and cook till the vegetables are nicely mixed and the gravy becomes a little thick. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Note: you can add coconut paste or rich nuts paste for flavor, but that would only add to the calorie count.

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Written by R. Kalpana

R. Kalpana

Nutritionists have a role to play that goes beyond mere meal-planning, says Kalpana, who believes she can motivate others to stay on the path towards a healthier life. A certified dietician with a PhD from SPMVV University, she is a Mary C Jacob Award-winner for Merit in Physiology from Madras University and has worked across various hospitals as well as nutrition clinics. She has been published both nationally and internationally in various science and health journals and writes regular health blogs for Sify. At home, Kalpana tracks her family’s food choices – she ensures that they follow a healthy lifestyle – and she believes she can help HealthifyMe users to do the same. People who really want to change the way they eat will see success, she claims, of the opinion that nutrition, lifestyle and behavioural changes can be transformative only in tandem. Eat good food, to your heart’s content, but ensure you also exercise are fundas she urges you to follow.

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