spiny bitter or teasle gourd

[English] plural spiny bitter or teasle gourds

The teasle gourd or spiny bitter gourd is a small egg-shaped vegetable, highly prized on the Indian subcontinent. It is prickly and green to yellow in colour, and having a long stem. It is not commonly available, and only during the rainy months. There is a wild variety, Momordica cochinchinensis, which is usually red in colour. The vegetable is rich in calcium, phosphorus, iron and carotene. They are either fried or included in fish or meat stews or served mashed with green chillis and mustard oil.

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