Bottle Gourd

Did you know?
The calabash (also known as lauki, opo squash, bottle gourd or long
melon) is a vine grown for its fruit, which can either be harvested young and used as a vegetable, or harvested mature, dried, and used as a bottle, uten- sil, or pipe. The fresh fruit has a light green smooth skin and a white flesh. Fruits of bot- tle gourd plant vary in shapes, taste and sizes. Most common varieties which can be eaten as vegetable, are bottle shaped (bottle gourd), and round shape (calabash). These varieties are slightly sweet in taste and with tender pulp.

Health Benefits
Used to aid digestion and regulate blood pressure
Rich in dietary fiber
Known to have a general cooling, calming effect on the body

Cooking Tips
Bottle gourd is traditionally used in soups and curries, but you
can cook it as you would most gourds or squashes
Just make sure the taste is sweet, rather than bitter! (Bitter
bottle gourd can cause illness)

Creamy Bottle Gourd Soup

INGREDIENTS:
1 long bottle gourd
2 onions or 4-5 scallions
4 cloves of garlic
2 tsp mixed herbs/spices of choice 1⁄2 tsp black pepper powder
3-4 tbsp cream cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
salt to taste

DIRECTIONS:
1. rinse and peel bottle gourd.
2. chop the bottle gourd and put it in a pan.
3. chop the onions and garlic and add to pan
4. add just enough water to cover the chopped gourd,
onions and garlic.
5. cover the pan and steam the veggies for 15-20 min.
6. allow the mixture to cool, then blend in a blender or
food processor
7. heat the olive oil in a pan and add the pureed bottle
gourd, onion, garlic.
8. flavor it with the dry herbs and black pepper and salt.
9. add water or stock to desired consistency and simmer
for 5-6 min.
10. add the cream cheese and remove from heat once
incorporated.
11. give the bottle gourd soup a swirl and serve the soup hot with bread