Ever since I got involved in farming my visits to our neighbourhood sabziwallah or the mall has led me to new discoveries. I have come across vegetables and fruits which I never saw before. The recent being the “Bangalore Baingan”. Though it looks like a green, crumpled baingan its no closer to that vegetable. In fact, calling it a baingan is a misnomer.
Known as Chayote or Sayote (Chie-oh-tee). Kannadigas call it Seeme Badanekaye (Desi Brinjal). A vegetable, now available in Mumbai marts, it belongs to the Cucurbitaceae familly, as do melons, cucumbers and squash. It is also referred to as a “vegetable pear” or chcocho. The flesh is quite crisp reminds you of water chestnut. The chayote is seen in two forms, smooth and prickly.
Chayote can be stored in a fridge for several days but it is best to use fresh. The fruits are pear shaped with thin green wrinkly skin and white flesh. The root, stem, seeds, and leaves of the plant are all edible. The fruit is bland and can be eaten raw, cooked, mashed, baked, boiled, fried, or even pickled. Chayote is rich in amino acids and vitamin C.
Tea made of the leaves is reported to dissolve kidney stones as well as a treatment for arteriosclerosis and hypertension. The leaves and fruit have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties.
Grown mostly in high lands it needs a lot of water to survive, hence absorbs more iodine from soil than any other plants. It is not only nutritious but it also serves as a survival food.
Having come across Bangalore Baingan, I asked my wife whether she was aware of it.
“Yes, why not? I have had it many time…my azzi has prepared it for me,” said my Kannada speaking wife, picking up a kilo of Chayote.
How does it taste?
I shall keep you posted once I have them today for lunch.