Snake Gourds that are used for consumption have waxy green skin and are often speckled or striped with a lighter shade of green. The gourd may grow straight or in twisted curls and spirals. When they are young, the seeds are fairly non-existent, the pulp around the seed mass is firm, and the flavour is mild and similar to a cucumber. As it matures, the rind becomes hard, turns red, and the flavor becomes bitter and gelatinous with many seeds.
Snake Gourds contain iron, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamins A, B, and C, fiber, calcium, and phosphorus. They are best suited for cooked applications such as stir-frying, baking, stuffing, and boiling. They can be prepared and used like zucchini, sautéed and served as a side dish or added to dishes with other sautéed vegetables. They can also be added to sabzi, chopped into curries, stuffed and grilled, made into a chutney, fried, blended into soups, sliced into stir-fries, or pickled for extended use.