Ok, I’m continuing with the same theme for two days in a row! Wheeeeeee!
Now that I’ve regaled you with the most disgusting Indian Vegetable to date, let’s talk about my favorite (or favourite, since we’re talking about India, which still speaks the Queens’s English…). Yes, it’s Indian (Hey… so am I!), and like karela, I’ve never seen it sold outside of an Indian grocery store.
Kundru (or Tindora, depending on what region you come from) looks like a itty, bitty teeny cucumber, and tastes like a cross between a cucumber and an okra. It is so divine, I’m eating it as we speak over rice. (But don’t tell anyone in India… you’ll get the side eye every time you ask for it… apparently in India, only the poorest of the poor eat it. Well, I’m poor in the US, so bring it on!)
And it can lower the blood sugar levels in patients with mild diabetes. (Hey, Dad!!!) What a magical fruit… without the disgusting symptoms of the popular children’s saying…
[Ed note: I can’t believe Wikipedia had the Magical Fruit song lyrics as a stand alone page… oh, Internet!]
On the sadder side, apparently, the plant itself is so invasive that it is a “vigorous pest” in Hawaii and… Texas. (Go figure… I’ve never seen it grow wild, but to be fair, I’m not an outdoor person. Certainly not in humid Texas, anyway.) It grows like a weed, and is destroying native flora. Even more reason to eat it, I say. Do your part for the environment, people!
So get thee to an Indian grocery store and try some. I know you’ll be glad I ordered you to do so!
No Disrespect’s Kundru recipe:
Cut off ends of kundru and slice in half lengthwise. In a pot, warm up some oil (canola or mustard) and add 1 tsp of mustard seeds and 1 tsp of cumin seeds. Once they start popping, add kundru and stir them around, coating kundru with oil and seeds. Add chili powder, garlic powder and salt to taste, turn the stove to low and cover pot, stirring periodically until cooked through.
Serve with Basmati or Jasmine rice.