If you’d ask me to give you one dish from the Chitrapur Saraswat Brahmin Community that traces its roots back to Goa (which is where we were before we fled to Karnataka when the Portuguese landed there – read more here), it would be the Tendle-Bibbe Upkari due to its generous use of cashewnuts and coconut.
Tendle is Ivy Gourd from the cucumber family. It is small, juicy and has a sweet, fruity taste. It is extremely delicious and carries flavours well. Apart from its above average nutritive value, it is also known in Ayurveda for its anti-oxidants and is also good for tri-glycerides, which are common factors of cholesterol. Ivy Gourd also strengthens bones, balances blood sugar, improves immunity, amongst other benefits.
How to buy: The outer green part of the gourd should be light green. It should be firm and not soft. Usually, overripe gourds are sold in the market and these can burst and release red seeds. While there is nothing wrong with this, such ivy gourd takes much longer to cook.
Coming back to the Tendle-Bibbe Upkari. Upkari in Konkani refers to a stir-fry of any vegetable (usually green) and is quite a medley of sweet and savoury flavours. Tendle-Bibbe Upkari is a staple in any Amchi wedding – along with Dali Thoy and Bhajiyas and several other dishes. It goes beautifully with any spicy dal and rice.