Saturday, August 28, 2010

Simebadanekayi Upkari

When we first came to Bangalore, this vegetable caught our attention as it was available in plenty. This vegetable is known as “Simebadanekayi” in Kannada. In Tamil it is know as chou-chou and in western countries esp. in US it is known as chayote.

This vegetable cooks very easily and varies dishes can be made from it. Besides, it is also very good for health and not expensive too. It is a very versatile vegetable. It can also be used in Sambhar, Sindhi Kadhi, Kurma, salads or even fries or “phodis”.

When I first tried my hand at this vegetable, I was not aware that the skin needs to be peeled. So we all had a tough time eating this - as the peel does not cook and is very hard and chewy! Ofcourse, I have learnt my lesson the hard way - literally!

This dish which I have made here is a typical Bangalorean dish.

Simebadhanekayi Upkari




Channa Dal (split gram)

3 tbsps

Mustard seeds

1 tsp

Jeera (cumin seeds)

1 tsp

Dry Red chillies


Green chillies



A pinch

Curry leaves

1 sprig


To taste


1 tbsp

Corriander leaves (chopped)

2 tbsps

Lime juice

2 tsps

Grated coconut (optional) 1 tbsp


  1. Wash and peel the skin of simebadanekayis. Halve it and discard the white seed which is inside. Then cut the vegetable into cubes.
  2. Wash the channa dal and keep aside.
  3. Heat a pan/kadai/wok on a medium flame. Add to it oil, mustard seeds, jeera and dry red chillies.
  4. When mustard seeds pop, add curry leaves, asafetida and green chillies. Then add the washed channa dal. Stir well and add half a cup of water and allow it to cook for a while.
  5. When channa dal is half cooked, add the simebadanekayi cubes, salt and mix well. Simebadanekayi leaves its own water. But if necessary, you may add a little water to avoid sticking at the bottom.
  6. Cook till done. Add lime juice and mix well.
  7. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.
  8. Serve hot.

Serves: 3


  • Grated coconut is generally also added as garnish along with coriander leaves.
  • This dish goes well with rice and dal and even with chapattis.

See here for more info on this vegetable:


  1. i had seen the chow chow and eaten it too in Bangalore, but was very hesitant to buy it when I saw it at Matunga veg market. (I am from Mumbai) I did not how to cook it was reluctant as I did not know the name properly. Well your recipe and info on chow chow given me the confidence to buy it and prepare it at least once. I did not know we had to peel the skin. Thanks!! you have explained in detail.

  2. Thanks Anitha for your visit and comments and I am glad to know that my recipe has helped you in a small way.

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