Udayavni Special

Mangalore cucumber or Chennai cucumber? Know its origin and health benefits


Team Udayavani, Jun 9, 2021, 11:57 AM IST

Mangalore cucumber is the perennial relative of the humble cucumber, pumpkin, myriad melony fruits (its closest in texture to the musk melon) and the ash-gourd from the Cucurbita (Latin for gourd growing on a vine) family bears similarity to its family members in both texture and feel of the watery flesh.

It is also known as Chennai cucumber and commonly called ‘soutekai’ in Kannada.

Many believe that the cucumber was first grown around Madras but the answer depends on which side of Kaveri you are as the under the British reign, the province included all of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and most of Karnataka and Kerala too.

Scottish botanist and father of Indian botany William Roxburgh is credited with introducing the Madras cucumber to India’s east coast.

Mangalore cucumber is full of health benefits as it is rich in protein, fat, and carbohydrates and is often recommended to people who can’t have meat.

Being extremely rich in antioxidants and vitamins A, C, and E, they can help prevent macular degeneration in the eyes. The antioxidants in these seeds can keep blood cholesterol under check and decrease the risk of cancer.

Mangalore cucumber is also a great source of minerals like magnesium, phosphorous and potassium that regulate blood pressure.

It is found in lentil preparation in sambar in South Indian states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Mangalore Cucumber is a staple in Mangalorean cuisine, especially in the making of ‘koddilu.’

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