Kundol/Benincasa hispida Cogn., is also called as Chinese Preserving Melon, Wax Gourd, is a native plant of South East Asia used basically to make sweet preserves. The unripe fruit is used as a vegetable and the young leaves and flowers are steamed and consumed as vegetable.
This plant needs well drained soil and lots of composted manure or tea up to the time fruits have set. It needs a lot of space to crawl or a strong trellis to support its heavy fruits. Likes full sun and plenty of water. Young melons are good for eating as vegetables and mature ones good for candied melons.
This simple vegetable has medicinal uses: fruits are made into syrup and used to treat a number of ailments Even the seeds, rind, and leaves have medicinal values. There are also recent studies to support the support its use so check out StuartXchange.org for these.
Recipes from the web:
A. Kundol Preserve filipinovegetarianrecipe.comIngredients:
1 Mature Kundol or Kondol (white melon gourd)
2 parts sugar and 1 part water for sugar syrup
(for every 2 cups sugar use 1 part water)
How to make kundol preserve:
Select mature but firm kondol. Peel thinly and cut into desired size and shape.
Soak in lime water (one tablespoonful lime to one liter water) overnight.
Wash thoroughly and blanch in boiling water for 5 minutes. Wash in cold water and drain.
Cook in syrup made up of two parts sugar to one part water for 30 minutes and let stand overnight. Boil syrup again until thick.
Drain and pack kondol in 12-ounces preserving jars.
Fill with syrup. Half-seal and sterilize jars for 25 minutes in boiling water. Seal completely.
<= See More Fruit Preserve Recipes
B. Winter Melon Ham and Prawn Soup marketmanila.com
First boil up a ham bone, a sliced onion and some peppercorns in some water for about 30-40 minutes until the broth is cloudy and nice flavored. Strain the broth to remove solids and return to pot. I buy ham bones from ham retailers who sell them for a steal â€“ P50-60 pesos for the bones of a medium ham â€“ throw them in the freezer so I always have a supply of them. If you donâ€™t have ham bones, this works well with good chicken stock as well. Into the stock I add cubed kundol (peeled) and let that cook for a few minutes, add sliced ham bits (cheaper than sliced ham) and throw in whole large shrimp or small prawns and some salt and perhaps white pepper. As soon as the prawns are cooked (just 2-3 minutes), the soup is ready to serve. The kundol should have just turned translucent or somewhat opaque. If you want color, add some wansoy leaves. This is great on its own or with a bowl of steamed rice. If you put a lot of shrimp and ham it is a meal by itself.
C. Thai Chicken and Winter Melon Curry http://importfood.com/recipes/kaengkuagaicurry.html
9 tablespoons coconut cream powder
1 can kaeng kua curry paste (4 oz)
3/4 lb chicken
1 teaspoon salt
1 lb winter melon (see below *)
2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
3 tablespoons palm sugar
3 tablespoons fish sauce
Clean chicken, cut into 1 inch pieces, mix with 1 tsp salt and fry until dry. Peel melon, remove seeds and cut into 1 inch chunks. Mix coconut cream powder with 3 cups warm water, stir well. Put 1 cup coconut cream in frying pan and heat. When oil begins to appear on the surface, add the kaeng kua curry paste, then add the chicken and cook. Spoon into a pot, add the remaining coconut milk and the melon and heat. Separately combine tamarind concentrate with 2 tablespoons warm water, mix well. When the melon is done, taste and season with tamarind juice, palm sugar, and fish sauce. Stir and serve with jasmine rice.
*Winter melon is also known as Christmas melon, wax gourd, or ash gourd.