Parwal is small to medium in size, averaging 5-15 centimeters in length, and is globose to oblong in shape with pointed ends. The smooth rind is yellow-green when young, transforming to a burnt orange when mature and can be solid or have some light striping running lengthwise. The flesh is a creamy white, moist, and firm with a central cavity filled with slippery, small ivory seeds.
Parwal contains vitamins A and C, magnesium, copper, fiber, vitamin B2, calcium, iron, sulfur, and potassium. Best suited for cooked applications such as stir-frying, sautéing, frying, and boiling. To prepare for cooking, the gourd should be peeled, the pointed tips removed and then sliced in half with the tough seeds discarded.