Snake Gourd Paretal

It’s been ages since I last shared a veggie recipe. Usually it’s because I cook the same old same old every day (read: whatever veggies stirfried with minced garlic.) I tend to put a lot more effort into the meat dish so I like to keep the veggies simpler. Also, overcooking veggies ain’t all that good anyway.

Nevertheless, I decided recently to pick up this snakey looking gourd I see everytime I go grocery shopping called (unsurprisingly) snake gourd. The skin reminds me of watermelons but it’s thin and long. And after scouring the internet for recipes, I found that it’s used predominantly in Indian cooking. It intrigued me because I’ve never really cooked veggies with so many spices before. granted, I didn’t have a few of them but it turned out okay.

Let’s try this!

Snake Gourd, Ginger, Onion, Tomato, Mustard Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Tumeric, Chilli Flakes
Snake Gourd Paretal 1

The core of the gourd is pretty tough. The seeds are super hard. Scrape ’em out. It does look a lot like the insides of an angled luffa/petola. I’ll share a recipe of that soon.Snake Gourd Paretal 3

Once everything is nice, clean and chopped, we can progress to the exciting bit.
Snake Gourd Paretal 4

Toasting the spices for just a brief moment to wake them up because they’ve been dried and kept in a jar for so long.
Snake Gourd Paretal 5

Then the aromatics get their turn in the heat.Snake Gourd Paretal 6

Once the house smells yummy, our main ingredients are tossed in to soften. It takes a little time and a bit if water, covered. Snake Gourd Paretal 7

It’s super fragrant and the colour! So vibrant!Snake Gourd Paretal 8

This is not something I cook all the time as we like our veggies very simple but I like this for a change.

This isn’t any more difficult than our regular veggie rotation. Totally doable. 🙂Snake Gourd Paretal 10

Warning: This dish will make your house smell amazing.





But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be Ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.” (Micah 5:2)

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Snake Gourd Paretal
recipe adapted from


1 Snake Gourd, peeled, pith removed & cut to inch pieces
1 large red Onion, peeled & chopped
1 knob thumb-size Ginger, sliced
1 Tomato, chopped

  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
    1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
    1/2 tsp Fennel seeds
    1 tsp Red Chilli Flakes
    1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
    1 sprig Curry Leaf (I didn’t have any but highly recommended!)
    3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
    1 tsp Salt (to taste)
  1. Heat up oil on MED heat. Toss in spices to toast for a brief minute until mustard seeds begin to pop and everything becomes fragrant.
  2. Add in ginger & onions and stirfry for 1 minute, until the onions are translucent.
  3. Scatter in snake gourd & tomatoes. Add salt & a splash of water.
  4. Cover & leave to steam for 5 minutes. Stir every minute or so. Add more water if necessary.
  5. Once the gourd is tender, dish up!


  1. Very interesting. I don’t think I’ve ever seen or taste a Snake Gourd before. They look a little bit like Chinese Okra, is the taste or texture similar to that?

    • It does, doesn’t it? After peeling it, it looks so much like Chinese okra/petola. But I found than the core is very hard and plasticky, unlike young Chinese okra. So I had to cut it out. Also, after cooking, snake gourd retains some crunch and juiciness whereas Chines okra tends to get really soft and spongy. I quite like it. Might want to experiment with it more using Chinese cooking methods as this gourd, I think, is predominantly used only in Indian cooking.

  2. Haha I love your warning sign “Warning: This dish will make your house smell amazing.” I’m tempted! My son who’s into snake will love this gourd because of its name! With all the delicious spice, this must be delicious!

    • That’s hilarious! I am sure kids would eat anything if the name sounds cool. Reminds me of a Calvin and Hobbes cartoon strip.

      Calvin’s mom tried to get him to eat a bowl of rice with soup. Calvin, as always, made an ugly face. So his dad said, “Look Calvin! It’s moving! It’s a bowl of maggots.” Calvin scarfed down the bowl thinking: “Oh boy, imagine what the other kids will say when I tell them this!” And his dad said to the mom, “What? At least that did the job.” (I’m paraphrasing this whole thing, of course)

      LOL. It still cracks me up.

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