Shirala / Dodka / शिराळा / दोडका / Ridge Gourd / Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb.

Other Names

  • Local Name: Shirala / Dodka / शिराळा / दोडका
  • Common Name: Ridge Gourd
  • Botanical Name: Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb.

Status & Habitat

  • Status: Common
  • Habitat: Climber
  • Occurrence: Close to sea level, in more humid areas.
  • Season of Availability: Warmer parts of the year.
  • Geography: Tropics
  • Method of Propagation: Seed propagation
  • Part used for Propagation: Seeds

Edible Parts

  • Edible Parts: Fruit
  • Can be Eaten Raw: Yes (immature fruits, flower buds, young leaves)

Method of Consumption

  • Raw: Yes (immature fruits, flower buds, young leaves)
  • Ripe: No
  • Both Raw & Ripe: No
  • Dangerous Form to Consume: Mature fruits
  • As Food: Immature fruits, young leaves, and flower buds of Luffa acutangula are used as vegetables; young fruits can be cooked or fried for soups or dried for later use; young fruits can be eaten raw like cucumbers or pickled when small.
  • As Medicine: Very fine powder of Dodka fruit is used to protect from jaundice. Also rubbed on swollen haemorrhoids. Kidney stones can be cured by adding roots of dodka to milk and cinsuming the concotion. Juice of a roasted tender fruit can help to relieve headaches. Leprosy can be locally relieved by paste prepared from pounding Dodka leaves with garlic. Powder of dried and chopped whole Dodka helps in prevention of premature greying
  • Cooking Without Prior Boiling: Yes
  • Boiling Before Cooking: Not required
  • Pickling: Yes
  • Brining: No
  • Fermenting: No
  • Drying for later Consumption: Yes, Chopped pieces of Dodka along with ridges to prevent premature greying of hair
  • Overall Method: Young fruits are eaten raw or pickled, or are cooked/fried. They can also be dried and used in soups.

Nutritional & Medicinal Benefits

  • Nutritional Benefit: Contains iron, calcium and phosphorus.
  • Medicinal Benefit: Useful for anemia, cough, urinary problems, hemorrhoids, leprosy. Cooling agent

Tribal Wisdom

  • Tribal Wisdom: Leaves and fruit powder are used to treat jaundice; fruit can be taken to treat diabetes; fruit powder helps treat swollen haemmorhoids; fruit juice alleviates headaches; seed powder treats urinary bladder stones

Recipes / Usage

  • Tribal Recipe / Usage: Sabji:
    Soak moong dal for 30 minutes, rinse, and chop ridge gourd, onion, garlic, and green chili. Heat oil in a pan and sauté onions, garlic, and green chilies. Add turmeric, asafoetida, and ridge gourd. Mix in moong dal and water, season with salt, and simmer until cooked. Add grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves before switching off the flame.

Shirala / Dodka / शिराळा / दोडका / Ridge Gourd / Luffa acutangula (L.) Roxb.