Kooka bendi (Chinese potato spicy side-dish)

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Ready to serve Kooka bendi

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 3-4

Chinese Potato is the lesser known but healthier cousin of the ubiquitous potato. It is less acidic than potato and is commonly recommended for convalescing patients and lactating mothers as well. It is usually available only for 2-3 months in the year and is known as kooka in Konkani and sambrani in Kannada. Kooka bendi is spicy and can be eaten with rotis or as a side-dish with rice and dal, and I’m adding it to a growing list of Chinese potato based recipes –  Chinese potato upkari and kooka tikki.

Fresh Chinese Potato/Kooka

What you need to have:

1.Fresh Chinese potato/ Kooka – 25-30

Ingredients of Wet Masala:

1. Fresh grated coconut – 4 Tablespoons

2. Red chillies – 8-10

3. Tamarind or Bilimbi – 4-5

4. Coriander seeds – 2 Teaspoons

5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 Teaspoon

6. Salt – As per taste

Steamed and peeled Chinese potato

What you do with what you have:

1. Wash and cook Chinese potato in the cooker with a little water for about 20 minutes. Once the pressure is released, peel it and keep aside as shown in image-2.  Cut into bite size pieces / cubes.

2. In a spatula with 1 Teaspoon of cooking oil kept on medium flame, warm up the red chillies. Grind the ingredients of wet masala in the mixer adding water in steps to a medium fine consistency. Transfer the chillies and wet masala to a skillet.

Wet Masala being heated

3. When the masala is cooked (boiling), add peeled Chinese potato from step-1 and just mash a few of the cooked pieces to thicken the gravy and help release the flavour of the potatoes. Check for salt and bring it to boil.                                                                                  Cooked Chinese potato pieces being added to the wet masala

Ingredients of Garnishing.

1. Asafoetida solution – 1/2 Teaspoon

2. Coconut oil – 1 Teaspoon

4. Once the dish comes to boil switch off and add 1 Teaspoon of coconut oil.  Dissolve Asafoetida (soft) in water and add this also to the dish. One can even season it with fried Garlic pods. Enjoy with either rice and dal or even with chapati and roti                                                                       Ready to serve Kooka bendi

How long it takes: 45 minutes

Number of servings: 3-4

Good to remember:

1. Use fresh Kooka for the dish. Else peeling will be tough, and it’ll take longer to cook too.

2. One can even use garlic seasoning instead of Asafoetida.

3. This dish can be either side dish for roti or a lunch side dish as well.


4 thoughts on “Kooka bendi (Chinese potato spicy side-dish)

    Raji said:
    January 25, 2012 at 9:28 am

    I have never had chinese potatoes before…have to look out for these. And this is one spicy potato dish which I would love to have with my parathas.

      prathibalrao responded:
      January 27, 2012 at 9:51 pm

      Hi Raji,

      This is a seasonal veggie available in Mangalore stores if you are living in Bangalore or Bombay.

    Priya said:
    January 25, 2012 at 10:03 pm

    Never seen this potatoes before too,super delicious dish.

      prathibalrao responded:
      January 27, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Priya,

      As usual thanx a lot for visiting my blog as always.

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