Dry Saute / Sabji, Plant Based Dishes, Sides

Gabbya Upkari (Konkani style Banana stem stir fry)

What is Gabbye Upkari / Gabbe Upkari?

Upkarri refers to a stir fry, mostly sans onion-garlic. Gabbya Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem. Served with steamed rice + a local curry

Konkani cuisine and it’s beauty…

The vibrancy of Indian Cuisine is celebratory. Every 50-75 kms or so, the cuisine and the eating patterns changes, and that is mostly dependant on the locally sourced ingredients. Even among the Konkan coast, the common denominators are coconut and rice (of course apart from sea food), but the dishes along the Konkan coast – kerala, Mangalore, Goa , Maharashtra – are so similar yet different. 

Konkani cuisine uses all these star ingredients – rice, coconut ,banana & jackfruit in abundance and are known to have a variety of dishes using veg peels (think Kalingana Polo or watermelon dosa) and is a cuisine which is known for 100% zero wastage food preps.  This Upkari is a typical stir fry made with a multitude of vegetables, all lending their own unique taste. Needless to say, Coconut oil tempering is a highlight in all these Upkari.

Gabbya Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem. Served with steamed rice + curryPin

My guide for Konkani cuisine !

My initiation to Konkani (esp GSB cuisine) came through this wonderful cookbook I have been referring to for ages – The Konkani Saraswat Cookbook by Asha Philar (Image below) . It offers such a wonderful insight into their cooking, along with home remedies using locally available ingredients!

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Benefits of Gabbye / Gabbe / Banana Stem

Banana stem (called Vazhai Thandu in Tamil, BaLe Dhindu in Kannada) is a versatile source of fibre and offers much succour as a medicinal food to many ailments including helping maintain low sugar levels for diabetics.Keeping in the simple deliciousness profile of Konkani Food, this Upkari celebrates the banana stem in all its glory – allowing the flavours to shine through

Other Dishes we make using Banana Stem / Banana Pith

Vazhai Thandu Mor kootu | Banana Stem in Spiced Yoghurt Gravy
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.
Check out this recipe
Vazhai Thandu Mor Kootu is a spiced curry made with yoghurt and tender banana stem. This is usually served with Sambhar and steamed rice.
Vazhai Thandu Usli
Vazhai Thandu Usli or Banana Stem dry Curry is a healthy vegan, GF dish made with Chopped Banana pith and lentils. Served as an accompaniment to Rasam or Sambhar.
Check out this recipe
Vazhai Thandu Usli or Banana Stem dry Curry is a healthy vegan, GF dish made with Chopped Banana pith and lentils. Served as a accompaniment to Rasam or Sambhar.

FAQs to make Gabbya Upkari

What can this Upkari be served with? Steamed Rice + Dalitoy (Konkani dal) / Kolombo (Konkani style sambhar)

What other veggies can be used in place of Gabbya (or Banana stem)? Colocasia leaves is a speciality, while the other native veggies including jackfruit, beans, shawl (long yard beans) are also favoured. 

Is Coconut used in this? Grated / Ground Coconut is a highlight to this Upkari, and all upkaris (and Konkani dishes in general). 

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Prep time – 15 mins, Cook time – 15 mins, Serves – 4 

  • 1 Banana Pith (Gabbya / Gabbe, de-stemmed)
  • 1/4 cup Coconut
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 red chillies, broken

PIN FOR LATER

Gabbya Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem. Served with steamed rice + curryPin

How to make Gabbye Upkari

  1. De stem the gabbye, cut into really tiny cubes, and soak in buttermilk mixed water (add 2 tsp curd to 500 ml water and mix well)
  2. Meanwhile grind the coconut with the chillies and cumin to a coarse paste without adding more than 1 tsp water. 
  3. Steam the veggies (pressure cook in a colander for 2 whistles). Drain
  4. The veggies need to be cooked through yet have a bite to them. 
  5. In a non stick pan, add the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, broken red chillies and curry leaves
  6. Add the cooked banana pith and the ground paste and saute for 3-4 till mixture turns dry.
  7. Garnish with 1 tsp of fresh or frozen grated coconut and serve with any Konkani curry + steamed rice for a satisfying meal
Gabbya Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem. Served with steamed rice + curryPin

Gabbya Upkari (Konkani style Banana stem stir fry)

Kalyani
Gabbye Upkari or Gabbe Upkari is a Konkani style stir fry made with Banana Stem.Served with steamed rice + curry, it is a vegan + Gluten Free Curry and contains no onion or garlic too!  
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Dry Saute, Side Dish
Cuisine Karnataka Cuisine, Konkani, South Indian
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Banana Stem Gabbya / Gabbe, de-stemmed – approx 600 g
  • 1/4 cup Grated coconut fresh or frozen
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds jeera
  • 2 Green Chillies
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp Coconut oil
  • 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  • 1 sprig Curry Leaves
  • 2 Dry Red Chillies broken

Instructions
 

  • De stem the gabbya, cut into really tiny cubes, and soak in buttermilk mixed water (add 2 tsp curd to 500 ml water and mix well)
  • Meanwhile grind the coconut with the chillies and cumin to a coarse paste without adding more than 1 tsp water.
  • Steam the veggies (pressure cook in a colander for 2 whistles). Drain
  • The veggies need to be cooked through yet have a bite to them.
  • In a non stick pan, add the oil, splutter the mustard seeds, broken red chillies and curry leaves
  • Add the cooked banana pith and the ground paste and saute for 3-4 till mixture turns dry.
  • Garnish with 1 tsp of fresh or frozen grated coconut and serve with any Konkani curry + steamed rice for a satisfying meal
Keyword Banana Stem, Gabbe Upkari, Gabbya Upkari, Konkani Upkari, Upkari
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10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Gabbye upkari is so much similar to the vazhauthandu karamedhu amma used to make . She would make it the same way by grinding coconut green chilli and jeera and add it alongwith the cooked baale thindu .never knew it belonged to the Konkani cuisine .kindled fond memories of amma’s samayal . Love the way you have cut the vazhai thandu ..podi podiya ..

  2. 5 stars
    You brought back memories of my Konkani neighbour. She was lovely, but I was a finicky eater, still she managed to feed me when mum was out of town. This was one she made often. Now, I love it.

  3. Chef Mireille

    5 stars
    What a delicious recipe. I’m always on the lookout for new ways to utilize the banana stem, whenever I find them.

  4. Jayashree T.Rao

    5 stars
    I have heard about that cook book, a good one. The mild flavour of coconut with spices lends a nice taste to the stir fry.

  5. Shobha Keshwani

    5 stars
    This is really a healthy side dish to have in the thali meals. I love it. Takes bit of an effort to cut but the result is worth it

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