Fermented bamboo shoots. Photo Credit: Karmae Basar.
If you happen to be in Northeast India during summer, you will see women by the road side selling varieties bamboo shoots along with other home grown vegetables.
The foot hills of Himalayan mountain ranges host a large belt of bamboo forests. All the countries that share these forests, invariably use bamboo shoots in their cuisines.
Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.
The new bamboo shoots that come out of the ground are edible. They are consumed either fresh or fermented and have an intense aroma. Many interesting delicacies use bamboo shoots and the shoots that are fermented can be used throughout the year.
Bamboo shoots are known by different names in the seven states of the Northeast.
In Assam fermented bamboo shoot is called Khorisa or Gaj.
In Manipur it is called Soibum.
In Arunachal fermented shoots are called Eeku and dried bamboo shoots are called Eep.
In Meghalaya it is called Lungsiej.
In Mizoram it is called Rawtuai
In Nagaland it is called Etsuj.
In Tripura it is called Muya.
How to ferment bamboo shoot at your home.
- Wash and dry the bamboo shoot.
- Keep two clean and dry bottles ready to preserve the bamboo shoot.
- Remove the outer layers of the bamboo shoot one by one till you reach the tender white inner portion of the shoot.
- Slice or grate the shoot and bottle them in clean and dry bottles.
- If you keep the bottles out in a strong sun shine the bamboo shoots will ferment in 3 to 4 days time. Otherwise, it may take about a month to ferment.
- During the fermenting process a liquid comes out from the bamboo shoots and becomes sour.
- If you do not like your dishes sour, squeeze out the liquid to remove some of the sourness before cooking.
Fermentation process clockwise from top left. Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.
How to make dry fermented bamboo shoot
- Squeeze out the liquid from the fermented bamboo shoots and dry it out in the sun for few days or microwave for few seconds at interval.
- When it is completely dry bottle it in a clean and dry bottle.
- The dried bamboo shoots is used in cooking and also used as medicine for some ailments.
Dried bamboo shoots. Photo Credit:Karmae Basar.
There are several ways of preserving bamboo shoots
- Use brine to preserve bamboo shoot.
- Use turmeric and oil.
- Use thekera or Kokum to induce the sourness.
- Ferment the shoots as shown above.
The recipes will follow soon!