The cuccuzi edible gourd (Langenaria siceraria) vines have outdone themselves this year. I tried growing this edible gourd in 2013 and 2014 but with no success. My first attempt produced a sickly seedling that didn’t even make a vine. The next year I was able to grow a vine which produced a few flowers and one very small squash before the whole thing was struck down by frost.
This year the cuccuzi is doing much better. The warm summer has certainly helped. There has been a succession of many showy white flowers for over a month. Sometimes there are 20 flowers a day. And now there are fruits a few of which are ready to harvest for eating.
The cucuzzi edible gourd is grown in many warm and tropical climate countries and goes by many names: pergola lagenaria (Italy), yugao (Japan), hu gua (China), upo (Philippines), bau (Viet Nam), and dudhi or lauki (India). Each country has many recipes and uses for this plant. I’ve chosen an Indian recipe (sorakaya sanagabedala kura) that will use chana dal (split lentils or peas, I will be using yellow split peas), salt, cumin, mustard seeds, and red chili powder. The recipe calls for grated coconut so I’ll need to buy one. I won’t be adding any asafoetida as I don’t know where I could find any around here. I might be able to substitute garlic but the flavor probably won’t be the same. Finally, there is the grain on which it will be served. Rice is not recommended as it reportedly does not go well with this cooked gourd or kura. Instead, a big spoonful kura is spread on a warmed chapati (flat bread) which is folded over and served with steamed vegetables as a side dish.
A full report after this weekend.