Saturday, October 13, 2012

Parvar - परवर - (Pointed Gourd)

Parvar - परवर - (Pointed Gourd)

Fresh Parvar is found in abundance in Nepali markets.  For more information, please check this link.
Fresh Parvar for sale
Pointed Gourd (Parvar or Parwar) is a tropical vegetable with origins in the Indian subcontinent.  The pale green fruit is oblong, 4 to 5 inches long,  tapered at both ends, and marked with a few irregular longitudinal stripes.  The vegetable is prized for its nutritional value and digestibility. It can be used to make soup, which smooths stomach disorders.  It is also wonderfully delicious simply stir-fried or sauteed in a spicy sauce, boiled with other ingredients, or curried and stuffed.  Parvar is considered a luxury and is expensive.
A very popular vegetable in Nepal
 Shopping for Parvar at open air market in the Maru Tole area of Kathmandu -  a nice display of fresh, young Parvar above on the right.  In the foreground of the picture,  you will see the assortment of other vegetables like Bitter Melon, Yard-long Beans in the front, and Nepali variety of cucumber.
Common name: Pointed Gourd, Parvar (Nepali), Parwar (Hindi), Potol (Bengal, Assam, Orrisa)
Botanical name: Trichosanthes dioica Roxb., Cucurbitaceae


Parvar is grown in a perennial vine plant, the skin color of the fruit is bright yellow-green and the flesh inside is cream-white colored with firm seeds intact.  When Parwar matures, it turns into a orange-red color and becomes tasteless.  It is exclusively grown in Terai region of Nepal.
The tender fresh Parvar tastes good in a simple stir-fry. To prepare the fresh Parvar, use a sharp knife to scrape off the outer coating lightly and gently.  There is no need to peel the vegetable.  Cut off the pointed top and the bottom and discard. Cut it into two halves vertically, and scoop out the mature and tougher seeds, but leave the young seeds intact to cook.  (Please check the recipe, Sauteed Parvar and Potato (Parvar-Alu ko Tarkari) in my cookbook "Taste of Nepal" on page 164).
Sauteed Parvar and Potato (Parvar-Alu ko Tarkari) - Serve hot with rice. Enjoy!

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