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All about the lesser-known Karanda/Air Potato

Karanda/ Air Potato or yam is a true yam that belongs to the yam family. It grows as a bulbil on a perennial vine and hence is called a vine potato.

This plant is native to India.

Scientific name:

Dioscorea bulbifera

Other names:

Karanda/karande ( marathi), Air/vine potato or yam ( English )


It is almost round with warts on the surface and is the size of a medium potato that fits into the palm like a golf ball.


Karanda has a distinct earthy taste of its own. In simple terms, it is an acquired taste. At times it can be bitter which you may have to discard.


It is mainly available in monsoons in the local markets in Kokan and you can purchase them in weight.

Only a few specific vendors at specific places sell it in Mumbai Markets and you won’t find them sold online.

Air/ Aerial/vine Potatoes

Nutritional Facts & Medicinal Use:

Karanda has nutrients like protein, fat, crude fiber, and photochemical. time.

It is rich in sodium, saponin, and oxalate. To obtain the maximum nutritional benefits one needs to make sure that it is prepared properly.

Dioscorea bulbifera bulbils are used in treating tumors, wounds. It is used in treating hernia, hair lice, skin infections, and also in cases of piles, dysentery, ulcers, cough, diabetes, asthma, and cancer.

  • Wash the Karanda thoroughly and put it into the pressure cooker and pressure cook it.
  • Add a pinch of salt in case one intends to consume it just like that or in a savory dish.
Other Culinary Uses:
  • Bhajiya
  • Gravy/ dry vegetable
  • Pattice/cutlets
  • Desserts-kheer
  • Fasting foods like boiled karanda, karanda bhaji etc

* It can easily be used as a substitute for potatoes and even in many potato-based preparations.

Also, read more about other lesser-known vegetables like Takla, Phodshi, Dragon stalk yam, etc.



  1. Have been searching online to order them. Except in Maharashtra, I do not find them anywhere else. Just dont understand what to search it online as.

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