Stem or Not to

If someone offered me a katori full of something called Baledindoo as one of the two subzis for my lunch meal, I would surely refuse it. But if it’s my dear wife who is the one offering it, can I say no.

The episode began as I readied to leave for my Sunday activity—spending the day in my farm.

Ask Mangal not to to throw it as he did last time. Bring it home. We need to send it to Pune. Ravi likes it and so does his wife, Neha, addressed my wife.

She was referring to the insides of a banana stem–ivory in colour with a hint of pink. Plantain is the most useful plant. Its leaves, its flowers and its fruit are all useful to humans.

We know it as Thor, in Bangla.

My ma-in-law who had overheard the conversation added: No it’s pronounced as  Baleydindoo.

B-A-L-E-D-I-N-D-U. That’s what it’s called in Kannada. Rhymes with Timbaktu.

By the time I had reached my farm, some two hours later I might have rolled my tongue on the edge of my palate umpteen times to get the  pronunciation right. Try as I might it would either come out as Baletindoo or Baletintoo. My eldest daughter, who picks up languages as she picks up nail shades during her occasional visits to the mall, got the pronunciation right at the first instant and teased me.

Evening, when I reached home with over 2kgs of banana stems, the family was busy watching a reality show.

Here comes Baledindo, I said, on my return home spreading the bag’s content on the kitchen table. It was the first time my daughters had seen something like this. The stems, a thicker version of unlit tube lights,

Morning when I was leaving home for my breadwinning activity I saw wifey struggling with the pieces of the stem. The knife put forth round pieces which were chopped into tiny cubes.

This is the first and last time I’m going to cook it, said wifey.

What is banana stem called in your language? Do share it. 


5 thoughts on “Stem or Not to

  1. Vishu

    Baledindu looks right.. My Dad always puts in a request when I go to my farm.. I will try to get the Tulu word for you

  2. I Malayalam it’s called vazha thund. ( zh as in pazham banana)
    Vazha means plantain
    Thund means trunk.

    We make a sabzi out of this … Finely chopped mildly cooked and served with a dash of lime. Excellent with chapatis.

    This part of the tree contains saps which if consumed helps ‘wash’ the GI track. Apparently the trees enzymes have such strong digestive property that it is said…. If a small stone is inserted into the trunck, the tree dissolves it in a few days.

    Worth an experiment!!


    Happy summmer to all!!

  3. karthik

    in tamil vala thandu, a delicious dish made by boiling the stem with gram and mildly fried with chilly onions. beware the stains made by the stem are the hard to wash 🙂

  4. jayant bhat

    it is called Gabbo in Konkani, if you eat this once or twice a month you will never have trouble with appendicitis, great roughage for help with the morning duties, if one suffers from stone in the kidney the juice of a 2″ square liquidised with a glassfull of water every morning on an empty stomach will breakdown any kidney stones (continue treatment daily till stone disapears). bon apetite

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