What do you understand by petha? Is it a vegetable or sweet? Many people understand that it is a sweet candy or murabba. Perhaps, they did not ever visit a vegetable market or petha as a vegetable does not exist in their life. Haha! But it is a popular vegetable and this vegetable is used to make various delicious dishes. Petha vegetable is super nutritious too. But do you know petha vegetable meaning in English? I mean to say what is called petha in English?
Ash gourd is petha in English.
It is also known as wax gourd in English.
So now you came to know the pethe vegetable meaning in English. The name also shows its physical characteristic. If you have noticed petha carefully then you have definitely noticed that there is a coating over the vegetable which is similar to ash or wax. You can rub the vegetable with a cloth to remove that. That is why petha is called ash gourd or wax gourd in English.
Many people get confused with petha & ghiya/lauki/bottle gourd. They can not identify between two because those two look similar. But as its name suggest ash or wax. So that will help you to identify. There will be always a coating over petha. So skin/peel will be different. Both plants also look similar. But colour of flowers of those plants are different. Ash gourd has yellow flowers whereas bottle gourd has white flowers.
Growing ash gourd (petha in English name) in the kitchen garden
Almost every year, I grow ash gourd in my kitchen garden. One plant is enough for a small family because that one plant can more more than 10 fruits in the season. I got highest 16 fruit in one plant. It is an annual and climbing plant. So we need to provide a support and train it so that it spreads all over the trellis.
Anybody can grow this vine naturally. You just need to add 3-4 kg of compost fertilizer ( or even more) for a vine. I apply kitchen waste or garden waste compost to grow this vine. To keep the vine pest free, I spray dashparni ark and sour months old buttermilk after evert 10 days. Do you know how to make dashparni ark? It is a easy to make and very effective organic insect repellent. It will help your plant free from insects, fungus, bacteria. Yes, it is that much effective and cost is almost zero. That is why I make it almost every season. Do you know how to make dashparni ark? If not then you can see my previous post to know more about organic pesticide dashparni ark.
I also use months old sour buttermilk as a fungicide. It is a very effective fungicide as well as insecticide. So application of both dashaprni ark and buttermilk will help you to keep your plants free from any kind of pest.
I love those two pesticide because those are organic, homemade and cost effective. But most importantly, it fulfills my purpose too.
This season, after 60-70 days, I noticed flowers on my ash gourd (petha in English) plants. I am growing it from my yard garden and prepare trellis in my terrace garden. I provided support so that its vine can reach upto the terrace. So within a few days I can expect small fruits on my plant. As per my experience, this plant love rain because growth of this plant increases after rain.
Usage of ash gourd (Petha vegetable meaning in English)
Ash gourd is a nutritious vegetable. It contains very low energy but high in fiber. So it helps to reduce body weight. It also contains various important vitamins and minerals.
Health conscious people generally use it to make soup or stew. Some people also cut its pieces and serve as salad along with some other vegetables. Sometimes they boiled those and make raita.
But Being a Bengali, I used to have it as chal kumro ghonto, panch misali ghyat etc. There is another awesome traditional dish where ash gourd can be added. The name of the dish is gaarur dal. If you are not Bengali then perhaps you did not hear about this food. It is a very special dish and it is prepared on a special day of the year. It cooks on the last day of Ashwin month and store it to consume the first day of month of Kartik. Did you know about it? It is really special dish. Many Bengali people still follow the tradition. If you know more about the tradition and gaarur dal then read this post.