I had posted an article about 2 weeks ago titled UNSEEN. UNHEARD. UNKNOWN. ( do check it out please)

The picture that follows in this article  had the Caption What is this? 

Am happy to have the answer today . Sheila, who hails from Assam  has cracked the mystery today.

It is the favoured  fruit of Elephants. they simply love them.

what is this ?
                                                           what is this ?

The Chalta  owtenga (  Bengali/Assamese), Elephant Apple ( English) ,Dillenia indica

( scientific name) . is eaten primarily  in the eastern part of India.

It is used in many preparations exclusively  in Bengal, Assam and Orissa .

Ayurveda ( Ancient Indian system of medicine based on the use of Plants)  prescribes it as an  antioxidant to battle many ailments including leukemia.

Chalta teunga
Chalta teunga

Since we are talking about food for the gentle giants, I introduce another unusual vegetable/fruit  loved by Elephants. 

Food for the Giants
                                                                 Food for the Giants

The Flowers of the Banana Tree are consumed as vegetables in most cuisines of South Asia .

The  purple flowers of the banana resemble artichokes. I christen them as THE ROYAL ARTICHOKES.

Green bananas ( also eaten as vegetables and often cooked with the skin)  are visible at the top of the picture.

banana Flowers
                                                             Banana Flowers

Is it not incredible that the flowers  of the Banana ( Musa  balbisiana is native to South Asia)  are unknown to other cuisines of the world.

Central and South America have vast commercial farms of the fruit  Banana , but the flower is absent from the cuisine of the Americas.

The flowers
                                                                       Royal Artichokes ?

I leave the Pachyderms to enjoy their fruits, both their apples and the bananas .


Published by

mukul chand

51 year old entrepreneur who has traveled extensively around the world for work and pleasure , is based in New Delhi, India. A passionate traveler born with a love for flora and fauna, is an active naturalist and amateur photographer. Here he shares his unique insight into Incredible India revealing its mysterious and exotic treasures. Writing from his heart he shares his experiences as he crisscrosses this vast and amazing land.


  1. Thank you for your visit to my Gemstone pages.
    I follow few. Might book mark your places.
    Interesting post.
    Might be interesting if you had some info on ‘About Pages’ for your spaces.

    Your comment ended up in spam. But I have investigated your blogs.
    And they do seem interesting. Maybe even poetically inspirational?


    1. This is what I love of India. Each area has unique specialities. Honestly i had never hear or seen the Chalta before I took my camera to the vegetable market. A lady from Assam identified them. Not one of my active 2000 + wild life friends from Facebook identified it. Now I go every week to the vegetable market.Banana Flowers have seen, but on trees. I have never eaten them.


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