Dudhi, opo squash: A summer staple

Dudhi

calabash

Dudhi is most patyahara – best food. Add it to green mung beans for recovery from fevers and illness. Dudhi has Sattva Guna in Abundance. Dudhi is also known as Calabash, Lagenaria siceraria, long melon, Opo squash, and Bottle gourd. To find a ripe one, you should be able to pierce the skin with a fingernail. You can usually find them in chinese grocers or Indian stores.

Qualities of Dudhi: Madhur Rasa, Laghu Guna, Virya: Shita, Vipaka: Madhur. Because of its Laghu quality, it is more easily digested.

Dudhi is sometimes prepared with tomato, but this will increase Rajas Guna and the desire to eat more and faster without experiencing satiation. However, if you did want to add tomatoes, you would do so after sautéing onions and before adding dudhi – cook until the break down a bit and get mushy. Will also aggravate Pitta, so be forewarned.

To prepare:

Peel green outer layer. Scoop out the inner seeds and discard. The remaining part is the part we eat.

We prepare differently according to dosha vikruti.

 

It can be made to pacify each dosha. Like most cooking that is done in Ayurveda, this is one aspect. Ayurvedic cooking is not eating foods for a dosha specific diet found from a checklist and then followed all year around.

 

Vata Shamana Dudhi/Vata Pacifying Dudhi

To pacify Vata, add sweetness, unctuousness, and warmth.

Ingredients:

  • Ghee
  • Dhanyaka/coriander
  • Hing
  • Cumin
  • black pepper (lots)
  • Could also add ajwain which is good for Vata/Kapha but tastes bad, so not useful.

Heat ghee, cumin and hingu, then sauté onions, add turmeric, then when onions soft, add dudhiand salt, cook till dudhi is soft but not mushy.

Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.

 

Kapha Shamana Dudhi/Kapha Pacifying Dudhi

To pacify Kapha, add pungency and very little ghee or salt (aap increasing), and no onions (kapha increasing).

Ingredients:

  • Grated Ginger
  • black pepper
  • mustard seeds
  • turmeric
  • Ghee – very little, only 1 tsp. – just enough to pop seeds

Heat ghee, add mustard seeds, wait for seeds to pop. Then add turmeric, dudhi and grated ginger, then a little salt.

Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.

 

Pitta Shamana Dudhi/Pitta Pacifying Dudhi

To pacify Pitta, add sweetness and bitters, and no pungents. Possible inclusions could be ghee, onions, cumin, fennel seeds, methi/fenugreek, dhanyaka/coriander

Ingredients:

  • Ghee
  • Cumin
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Onions
  • Coriander powder
  • Salt

Heat ghee, add cumin and fennel seeds, turmeric and onions. Saute till soft, then add dudhi, coriander powder and salt.

Saute in pressure cooker with NO water. Let steam for 4-5 long whistles.

 

 

 

Dudhi – anyone can have it, if not in vruddhi- it is easily digested and a good food for rasa dhatu. If in kapha vruddhi, already laghu so would it would add laghu. In vayu vruddhi, add more ghee and onions and garlic. In pitta, can add coriander leaves, fennel, cumin. The idea with ayurvedic cooking is more medicated cooking, not following a list of foods for a dosha, that is incorrect. Opo is homologous to all. Eggplant is hot and dry – so we aggravate vata and pitta. It is only good then for pure kapha. If someone is vata kapha may benefit from eggplant with a little oil.

Opo is nourishing, yet light good for rasa dhatu. Good post-fever, with aama, while convalescing, improves milk production. Famous for helping everyone get better – even eat it in the morning. Not only good in spring cause of its light and madhura quality, but also good for Pitta in the summer – balances pitta without aggravating vayu. Dudhi across the line is good for healthy and sick alike. If body weight loss is a concern, add less ghee.

 

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