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Chickpea-plantain stir fry (Chana-kele upkari)

Upkari is a Konkani stir fry. We make stir fry of many vegetables as well as beans. This is an ideal example of the mixture of both. Somehow the black chickpea – plantain combination is very popular among Konkanis. Another combination of these two is chana ghashi. We also make similar stir fry with only chickpeas or only plantains.

This recipe was sent to me by Gowri. I have tasted this dish many times but I had forgotten completely about it. When Gowri sent the recipe, I tried it again and it brought back many memories.

2 cups black chickpeas(kala chana)
1 raw plantain(kele)
1 tbl spn grated coconut(fresh or frozen)
3-4 green chilies
1-2 red chilies
A pinch of asafoetida
5-6 curry leaves
1/2 tea spn mustard seeds
1 tea spn oil

Soak kala chana overnight. Pressure cook them for 2-3 whistles(or till they are cooked completely).
Peel plantain and cut them into bite size pieces. Keep the pieces in water (to stop blackening of plantain).
Heat oil and add mustard seeds. When they start popping, add curry leaves, asafoetida, red and green chilies. Fry for sometime and add banana pieces(discard the water used to soak plantains). Sprinkle some water if required. When they are almost cooked, add cooked chana and salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Add coconut and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Serves : 3-4
Preparation time : 30mins

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{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Rajasi November 16, 2006, 1:39 pm

    I had forgotten about this one. I need to try this. We also make “Saar Upkari” with chana or whole masoor. Thanks

  • Lakshmi November 16, 2006, 4:38 pm

    Yes this curry tastes really good. I have tried it out with black beans. Will use chickpeas next time.

  • lakshmi November 16, 2006, 8:51 pm

    the new look of your site is cool. so neat and clear Shilpa.

  • Manju Bansal November 16, 2006, 11:16 pm

    Hi ! It’s a new recipe for me. Thanks

  • Nayan November 17, 2006, 4:49 am

    Even I had forgotten about this upkari or usli rather. Thanks for reminding. Will make it soon. And the new look and feel of your site is great.

  • Krithika November 17, 2006, 11:27 am

    This is a nice recipe. New template looks good.

  • gowri November 17, 2006, 1:14 pm

    Oh.. Wow.. Thanks for trying and posting this recipe. The new look of your site is neat and cool.
    As always Good Luck and Keep up the good work.

  • avita November 18, 2006, 12:01 am

    Dear Shilpa,
    hats off to u for all the efforts u take to bring out the simplest of recipes in a superb manner. Although i wanted to post a comment long back i must admit i was lazy. Years back i had been to my frends place who happens to be a GSB. Her mom literally forced me to have breakfast and i was keen too, but the moment she said poha i said wrong number i just dont like poha. But she said u’ll like the combination. Being a catholic we grew up eating more of idli,dosa, mutli,baakri and so on. And now the combination it was exactly what you posted but the simple variation was sweet potato instead of curry plantains. After years u made my memories fresh. My frends mom is no more but definetly u reminded me of her and since then i have poha but only with the above combination. God Bless for all the refreshing of sweet old memories.

  • Amanda November 22, 2006, 8:26 am

    Hi Shilpa,

    Just wanted to say thank you for doing such great work on this blog. I stumbled across it last week, and was really excited to see all the Konkani dishes and other familiar recipes–though I am not from India, my boyfriend is and grew up in Belgaum (and also went to engineering school there too!). He is always telling me about the amazing food he had growing up and we do our best to re-create some of the recipes here in Boston. When I showed him your site, he was really impressed, so last weekend we tried your thalipeth, one of your fish curries, the chickpea/plaintain curry, and the daali thoy. All were excellent and we can’t wait to try more! Thanks so much.


  • Shilpa November 22, 2006, 8:54 am

    Thanks to you all for your kind words. Its all your continuous support to Aayi’s recipes which encourages me to work more. I will try my best to improve this more in coming days.

  • Ananth Pai November 29, 2006, 11:16 pm

    HI Shilpa,

    Instaed of plantian. kook can be used during the season.


  • Shilpa November 30, 2006, 7:54 am

    Thanks Ananth. I am yet to find kook here. By any chance, do you know the English name of kook?

  • Ashwini Kamath April 19, 2007, 5:51 pm

    Kook is called ‘taro root’/Colacasia is English. I live in the US and I found the frozen variety of this vegetable. It read
    ‘Arvi’,Colocasia on the packet :)
    Colocasia is also used to refer ‘pathrode paan’.

  • Shilpa April 19, 2007, 6:11 pm

    Ashwini, as far as I know, kook and taro root are different. Taro root is the root of colocasia, also called as Arvi. But kooka is a kind of potato.

  • Ashwini April 20, 2007, 10:25 pm

    Shilpa, you are right. Taro root is colocasia root,known as ‘maddi’ in konkani.
    Sorry about the confusion and thanks for the clarification!
    Also..thank you for all the delicious ‘amchigele’ recipes! It also helps my mother back in India,whom I don’t have to call at odd hours for recipes :)

  • sony October 29, 2007, 4:07 am

    Hi Shilpa.

    It must be yam. What we call Sambrani in Kannada.

    Shilpa: Its not Yam Sony. Its raw cooking banana.

  • Bright_skull June 8, 2008, 9:57 pm

    Thanks for posting this recipe. Even though you claim this to be a Konkani dish; this is famous all over South Canara.

  • Jyosna Balgi December 4, 2008, 4:19 pm


    Regarding the english name for kook…Have you tried ‘Chinese Potatoes’ that we get in Indian stores….
    Probably looks something like this…. http://img75.imageshack.us/img75/3917/kooka27gl.jpg
    You can read this forum too :

    Let me know if that helped!

    Kind Regards,

  • Savitha S September 30, 2009, 8:12 am

    Kook is called as Chinese potato in US. you get them in some indian stores in Frozen section mainly if you have a malayalee store.


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