Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chutney with Fuzzy Melon (Mo Qua)

Fuzzy Melon (Mo Qua, Mo Gwa)
Fuzzy Melon (Mo Qua)

If you come across a fuzzy melon, also sold as “Mo Qua” at Asian grocery shops please don’t hesitate to pick it up. This fuzzy looking vegetable with green mottled skin has sweet tasting white flesh, and cream colored seeds that are typical of gourds and squashes. It has almost ridge gourd like flavor, and a pleasant, thirst-quenching type of taste. Delicious raw and assimilates enthusiastically with other ingredients when cooked, it’s my kind of vegetable.

I have been trying out different recipes with fuzzy melon since last December. Here is a recipe I liked very much. It’s chutney, made in a classic south-Indian style.

Fuzzy melon, onion, green chillies are skillet-roasted first and then together with tamarind and salt are blended into chutney. Just another ordinary preparation, but together with the other four ingredients, fuzzy melon delivers an applause-worthy performance on taste buds.

Fuzzy Melon, Red Onion, Green Chillies and Tamarind
Red Onion, Mo Qua, Green Chillies and Tamarind


  • Fuzzy melon: Firm, fresh looking vegetable, about 4 to 6 inches in size. Wash, peel the skin and cut into big chunks. about 2 cups.
  • Red onion or shallots – cut to big chunks, about a cup
  • 4 to 6 – Indian or Thai styled green chillies
  • Marble ball sized tamarind – soak in quarter cup of water.
    (To soften, so that it can blend well.)
  • ¼ teaspoon – salt
  • 1 tablespoon – peanut oil

In an iron skillet, add and heat peanut oil to smoking point. Add the onion, green chillies and fuzzy melon. Keep the heat on medium-high, and saute the vegetables to tender brown. Turn off the heat, and wait for the skillet contents to cool down to room temperature. (This waiting process is essential, makes a difference in how the chutney tastes.)

Add the skillet contents to a blender or in mortar. Add tamarind and the water it soaked in, also salt. Blend to fine. Remove to a cup and serve fresh. Makes a great side dish for any kind of grain based meal.

Chutney Ingredients
Chutney Ingredients ~ Skillet Roasted

Mo Qua Chutney with Couscous-Vegetable Upma
Mo Qua Chutney with Couscous-Vegetable Upma, and an Orange ~ Meal Today


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Fuzzy Melon (Wednesday January 23, 2008 at 7:19 pm- permalink)
Comments (10)

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10 comments for Chutney with Fuzzy Melon (Mo Qua) »

  1. Wow! what a wonderful recipe with just few ingredients. Thanks for sharing.

    Comment by Mythreyee — January 23, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  2. thanks for introducing this veggie. a well balanced meal.

    Comment by Lavanya — January 23, 2008 @ 11:36 pm

  3. Indira!
    we call this neti beerakaya in telugu.this is a famous backyard garden veggie back home.pachchadi is very tasty and difficult to resist.

    Comment by Madhavi — January 24, 2008 @ 6:39 am

  4. I was really having question marks on my mind when I saw this veggie at stores, now with your description here, I feel like I would love to taste it, as ridge gourd is my all time favorite :). Thanks for Info Indira, also I have one yummy recipe to try it with now 😛 . You know thats what I love about your blog :D, I can find something really useful for me here, thanks a lot Indira for such a lovely post.

    Comment by Pooja — January 24, 2008 @ 6:59 am

  5. Its like the ridge gourd isnt it….I have bought it here and cooked it as a thuvayal….the bowls are simply beautiful!

    Comment by Miri — January 24, 2008 @ 7:09 am

  6. Thanks Mythreyee and Lavanya.

    Madhavi: Check this photo for neti beerakaya. You can see this fuzzy melon is different from neti beerakaya.

    Hi Pooja: I am also one of the turai worshippers.:) I think you are going to like this vegetable.

    Thuvayal, that must have tasted good.
    Thanks Miri.

    Comment by Indira — January 24, 2008 @ 12:27 pm

  7. Hi Indira,

    We look forward to your review of soon to be released book ” Nostalgia Cuisine ” by Sucharita Reddy.

    She says she honed her culinary skills in USA only after her marriage to an NRI doctor.

    Comment by Jagan Mohan reddy — January 24, 2008 @ 8:04 pm

  8. thanks Indira! for the photo.I was thinking this melon is neti beerakaya and cooking this all the time.god! did not even know the diff till now.thanks for enlightning me.but has real good taste and I cud not make out till this moment.

    Comment by Madhavi — January 25, 2008 @ 10:30 am

  9. we do beerakaya pachadi the same way… Never bought this fuzzy melon in the farmers market.. i am gonna buy it next time.. Thanks Indira

    Comment by kalva — January 26, 2008 @ 6:09 am

  10. Hello Indira,
    While browsing through this recipe of yours, I happened to notice that you use cast-iron skillet for cooking the chutney. I needed some advice from you regd the same. I also cook in cast-iron pans and grills and added a new one to my collection recently. This new pan worked great for the first 3 times, and then has developed a thick coat of flaky black film. I seasoned this pan for an hour in the oven, oiled. This did not happen with my other cast-iron pans, and was wondering if you have any tips to fix the problem.
    Thanks for the wondering recipes you post on your blog, it inspires me everyday.

    Comment by Smitha — January 30, 2008 @ 7:35 am

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