Friday, September 16, 2011


What is Pendaro ? This is the question I asked my husband when we visited the market to buy flowers for the Ganesh Utsav as he insisted on buying this vegetable. They were there in plenty. Since this was the first time I had come across this vegetable, I was hesitant. But he informed me that this vegetable is rich in iron. Being a health freak, I agreed to buy provided he knew how it is to be used. But believe me; it (health) does not come cheap! The Pendaros were being sold for Rs.80/- per kg. We bought half a kilogram.

On our return to Bangalore, I was excited to try out this new vegetable and so asked my husband to tell me how to go about cutting the vegetable and preparing the curry. To my surprise he was clueless in the preparation but told me that I can prepare “upkari”, “gojju”, “phodi” and “sukke” out of this vegetable and that he has tasted them during his childhood days!

I then contacted some of my local relatives and friends for any guidance on how to cut and prepare any dish out of it. Most of them seemed to have eaten it sometime but not very sure on the preparation. I finally contacted my sister-in-law in Mumbai who was very pleased to give me all the details that I wanted to know. So here I am !

I am sure most of the Amchis (term used for konkani speaking people) who were brought up in the coastal Karnataka (Mangalore, Udupi etc) region would relate to this vegetable.
I was told that this is a wild vegetable found in the coastal Karnataka forest region and is available only during the monsoons especially during the Ganesh festival time. "Pendaro" is the Konkani word for this vegetable. I have not been able to find its equivalent name either in Hindi or English. I tried to find its botanical name but without success. If anybody reading my blog can give more info on this rare wild vegetable, I shall be much obliged.

Pendaros in basket
 Pendaros in a basket

This vegetable is almost round in shape, dark green in colour and resembles raw mango in appearance.
It cooks easily though. There is a seed inside which need to be discarded. Once cut, the seed turns black immediately (within seconds) and the rest of the vegetable will also change its colour after a while. While cutting, the chopping board and your fingers too will turn dark brown. But you needn’t worry as the stain can be easily removed by scrubbing and washing with soap.

I prepared Gojju (side dish) and  phodi (shallow fried) and upkari  (dry curry) from this vegetable. Since I am trying this out for the first time, I made it in small quantity – serving for two only. I found it quite tasty. The taste of the pendaro upkari was similar to that of  Raw Banana upkari.
Pendaro phodis can be prepared in the same way as  Phagila Phodi

Pendaro Gojju 2
Pendare Gojju

Pendare Gojju


Green chilles
To taste
½ cup
Seasoning ingredients:

1 tsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Curry leaves
1 sprig
Asafetida (hing)
½ tsp (a pinch)

Method :

Pendaro halved
  1. Wash the pendaros. Then cut off the ends. Halve it and remove the seed. If the inside is tough near the seed, then remove this thin layer.
  2. Chop the rest of the pendaro into medium size pieces.
  3. Steam these for about 25-30 mins.
  4. Mash them with a potato masher.
  5. Roughly grind green chilies and salt and mix it with the mashed pendaro.
  6. When cooled, add curds to it and mix well.
  7. Finally heat a small pan. Add oil, and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start spluttering, lower the flame. Then add curry leaves and asafetida. Switch off the gas and pour the contents on to the curd and                                                the mashed pendaro mixture.Mix well and serve.

Steamed Pendaro pieces
Serves: 2

  • You can pressure cooker the pendaros. It should not take more than 12-15 mins.
  • I used the steamer as I had to steam other vegetable too during that time.
  • Can be served as a side dish. 

Pendaro Phodi  (Sliced pendaros being shallow fried)

I also made Pendaro phodi. It tasted fantastic too.  Any phodis for that matter tastes wonderful and this phodi is no exception !

Pendaro Upkari (Dry curry)

Pendaro Upkari was made with garlic and dry red chilies as seasoning in oil. This is a regular konkani upkari. Its taste was similar to that of raw banana upkari.


    1. wow this is very interesting n looks so yum

    2. most interesting indeed, nice pics as well.

      Look what I found about your pendaro :
      Other name - in kannada - Adaka Baare which (also called pendaro in konkani)


    3. Just mouthwatering....looks so easy to prepare and delicious!

    4. I think it might be a green tamarillo, or even a quava. Looks delish.

    5. interesting vegetable and to me..first time here, u have a lovely space, glad to follow drop at my space as time permits..

    6. Thanks Rohini for taking the touble and finding out the kannada word for this wild vegetable.

    7. Good work on this native vegetable.
      Getting standard recipes is OK.
      But getting to know these type is like preserving our culinary heritage.

    8. V.interesting & attractive post,Shobha.Wish I knew the botanical name.

    9. My favorite ! The botanical name is xeromphis uliginosa!