Mangal had told me, sometime in mid-July that he had sown some seeds of Karanda.
Karanda! And I had forgotten about it. I had not given much thought to it. I didn’t pursue hoping once it fruits I would see it. Last Sunday when he picked the fruits from the climber spread all over, and even jumping to reach the branches of a neighbouring teak and handing me some I was in for a surprise. This was my first encounter with this monsoon growing vegetable which was indigenous to the Konkan belt.
Wanting to know if others were aware of it I posted a picture of the same on the Facebook. Most thought it looked like a chocolate. It was Konkan-hailing UK who identified it as Karanda. Later I googled ‘karanda’ and hardly got any results. Instead, I was prompted to try ‘karaonda’.
How does one cook it?
‘Cut four pieces, boil it for 10-15 minutes, peel it and eat it like a potato adding some salt,’ said Mangal.
Ratnagiri born Govind cautioned me: ‘Some karonda are slightly bitter. Before putting it into your mouth, be sure it’s not bitter.’
Do mail me if you have come across karonda in your place.