Ridge gourd is one of my favorite vegetables in summer. Not only ridge gourd but all the vegetables from the gourd family are very healthy for us. and of course, we love to eat them. But sometimes when we cook ridge gourd and found it bitter. the first thing that comes to our mind is can we eat bitter turai/ridge gourd. So in this article, we will see why the gourd become bitter, are bitter ridge gourd edible.
Table of Contents
What is Turai/Ridge gourd
Turai is a popular vegetable in India, China, and Vietnam. The scientific name of ridge gourd is Luffa aegyptiaca. The turai is called ridge gourd or Chinese okra in English. In India, it has different names in different regions. Some common names are Turai, Tori, Gilki, and jhika. only the unripened fruit can be used as a vegetable, The ripen fruit has a very hard sponge in it, so it is not suitable to eat. The ripen one should be used as a cleaning sponge.
Why turai/ridge gourd becomes bitter
Why does ridge gourd taste bitter? All the vegetables from Cucurbitaceae have a little bitter taste in them. The reason behind this bitter taste is the compound known as cucurbitacin.
A very little amount of cucurbitacin is present in the ridge gourd. When the amount of cucurbitacin increases the gourd becomes bitter.
The main reason for increasing the cucurbitacin in gourds is climate change and genetic. The dryness and heat are some of the reasons for increasing cucurbitacin. This is the reason you find the bitter turai/ Ridge gourd mostly in summer
What is Cucurbitacine
Cucurbitacin is a class of biochemicals found in the plant.
They and their derivatives have been found in many plant families (including Brassicaceae, Cucurbitaceae, Scrophulariaceae, Begoniaceae, Elaeocarpaceae, Datiscaceae, Desfontainiaceae, Polemoniaceae, Primulaceae, Rubiaceae, Sterculiaceae, Rosaceae, and Thymelaeaceae), in some mushrooms (including Russula and Hebeloma) and even in some marine mollusks.
The plants we know commonly are Sponge gourd, Ridge gourd, Ivy gourd, Cucumber, zucchini, Pumpkins, Bottle gourd, Snack gourd, etc.
Is cucubitacine Poisionus
Substitution pattern on various Cucurbitacins provides the lead to understand and trace out a clear distinction between the toxic effects and curative role of Cucurbitacins. Cucurbitacins have been reported as highly toxic compounds and instances of severe poisoning and death in sheep and cattle that consumed bitter fruits of Cucumis and Cucurbita are well documented. The above lines are from a report published on the official website of the National Center for Biotechnology Information
Which vegetable comes from the Cucurbitaceae family
Cucurbitaceae family has 965 species in around 95 genera, But we generally do not need to know about all of them, we just want to know about the edibles. The Vegetables from the Cucurbitaceae family are Ridge gourd, Sponge gourd, Bottle gourd, snack gourd, ivy gourd, Cucumber, Pumpkins, etc.
Can we eat bitter turai/ridge gourd?
If you found the turai/Ridge gourd slightly bitter it is absolutely no problem, You can eat it by combining it with any other food with a different taste. But if you found the Turai more bitter, Don’t eat it, It can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even more danger to your health.