Snake gourds are long and curved vegetables that fall into two different categories. There are the extremely long varieties that are grown for ornamental purposes and have hard skin and there are those grown for eating and medicinal purposes. These Snake gourds have a waxy green skin and are often speckled or striped with a lighter shade of green. The fruit is eaten when young. Longer varieties are best harvested when they are between 16 and 18 inches long. Smaller varieties are best harvested at 6 to 8 inches in length. When the gourd is young, the seeds are fairly nonexistent and the pulp around the seed mass is firm. The taste of a Snake gourd is similar to that of a cucumber. As a Snake gourd gets older, the rind gets hard and turns red. The taste becomes bitter and the insides gelatinous. The seeds are very hard and look similar to jagged-edged watermelon seeds.
Snake gourd can be prepared and used like zucchini; sautéed and served as a side dish or added to dishes with other sautéed vegetables. Snake gourds can also be stuffed or sliced and grilled. In Asian dishes, Snake gourd is made into chutneys and pickled. When the gourd is mature, the seed mass within is scraped out and used like tomato paste in various Indian dishes.