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Tinda is small to medium in size, averaging 5-8 centimeters in diameter, and is globular, squat, and slightly lopsided in shape, similar to a cross between a green apple and a pumpkin. The skin can be green, yellow, to brown and has shallow dimpling, lumps, and very small, soft, semi-prickly hairs that cover the surface. When immature, the skin will be thin and edible, but when overly mature, the skin will turn thick and tough to eat. The white flesh is tender, moist, and spongy and contains many small, edible, cream-colored to pale yellow seeds. When fresh, Tinda is soft with a mild flavor similar to a cucumber.
Tinda is available year-round, with a peak season in the spring.
Tinda is a small gourd that grows on prolific vines that can reach over 1-2 meters in height and belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family along with cucumbers, squash, and pumpkins. Also known as the Indian Apple gourd, Crown gourd, Indian squash, Indian Baby pumpkin, Tindi, and Apple gourd, Tinda is a popular vegetable in South Asia, India, and Pakistan. Tinda is used in a wide variety of culinary applications and has a mild flavor that will take on accompanying flavors in a dish. It is commonly used for curries, stews, and for stuffing.
Tinda is an excellent source of vitamin A, antioxidants, and has high water content.
Tinda is best suited for cooked applications such as roasting, baking, sautéing, stir-frying, and grilling. It is recommended to consume Tinda when immature and still has thin skin, and it is most commonly found fresh or canned. Tinda can be cooked and added to curries, stews, and soups, stuffed with meat and vegetables or pickled. It is extensively used in sabzi’s, or vegetable dishes where the skin is peeled and the gourd is cooked whole with household Indian spices. The seeds can also be roasted and consumed as a crunchy snack. Tinda pairs well with cumin seeds, fennel seeds, coriander, turmeric, garam masala, onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, tomatoes, eggplant, peas, and potatoes. It will keep 1-3 months when stored in a cool and dry place.
Tinda is extremely popular in select regions of India and Pakistan. It can be found at local restaurants in curries, at farmers markets sold fresh, or wrapped in cellophane and sold at larger grocers. In addition to culinary use, Tinda is believed to help soothe and relieve stomach acidity. Tinda contains several antioxidants that can help moderate high blood pressure and cholesterol level, and its high water content is also believed to assist with debloating, fat loss, and obesity.
Tinda is native to India and has been cultivated since ancient times. Today Tinda is popular throughout Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East, and is also becoming more popular in Southern California, where it can be found at farmer’s markets and in specialty Asian food stores.
Recipes that include Tinda. One is easiest, three is harder.
|My Diverse Kitchen||Tinda Do Pyaza|
|Ruchi's Kitchen||Tinda Masala|