Saturday, March 17, 2012

Kubhindo - Ash Gourd (कुभिन्डो)

Kubhindo - Ash Gourd (कुभिन्डो)

Kubhindo is also called, Ash Gourd, Wax Gourd, White Gourd or Winter Melon, and it is a watermelon or pumpkin look-like large gourd.  The gourd range from oblong to cylindrical and has a pale green skin with a chalky wax coating.  The mature gourd has a hard and tough shell with a firm and white flesh.  It is one of the common vegetable grown in Nepal, India, China and many parts of Southeast Asia.

Ash gourd is also known to have healing properties.  For more information click on this link.  The botanical name of this gourd is Benincasa hispida.

Kubhindo is cooked as a vegetable when young, but the ripe gourds are usually popular in making preserves or crystallized candied sweet known as "murabba" or "petha"
Photo taken at the fruit shop, next to the temple of Nardevi in Kathmandu (walking distance from Thamel).  Kubhindo is neatly arranged in the shelves along with other fruits.  The Pasale (store owner) told me that the fully matured gourd can be stored for almost a year.
Kubhindo is offered to deities during Hindu rituals and many other religious ceremonies.   It is a popular item used during Lakhee Naach (masked demon dance ceremony) in the festival of Indra-Jatra in Nepal.

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