Bottle gourds are known by most people in North America as gourds that you dry and use for rattles, bowls, decoration or even musical instruments. In many parts of the world, including Africa and especially Asia, bottle gourds harvested while tender are mainstay vegetables appreciated for their flavor and usefulness in cooking. This heirloom variety from India is raised and harvested as a tender vegetable. The fruits are long, straight, green, and highly appreciated. Fruits are picked before they become tough; the easiest way of checking this out is by pushing one’s fingernail into the skin--you will know if it is still tender! The Gutka bottle gourd can be grown to complete maturity to produce a gourd, but its real appeal is as a vegetable. They grow well in hot and humid places, and are disease and pest resistant. They also thrive in hot dry places but will need modest watering to be productive.