Bamboo Shoots

IMG_20170817_184056-1Fermented 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.

20170725_103556-1Photo 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.

  1. Wash and dry the bamboo shoot.
  2. Keep two clean and dry bottles ready to preserve the bamboo shoot.
  3. Remove the outer layers of the bamboo shoot one by one till you reach the tender white inner portion of the shoot.
  4. Slice or grate the shoot and bottle them in clean and dry bottles.
  5. 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.
  6. During the fermenting process a liquid comes out from the bamboo shoots and becomes sour.
  7. If you do not like your dishes sour, squeeze out the liquid to remove some of the sourness before cooking.

2017-07-27 10.20.49Fermentation process clockwise from top left. Photo Credit: Indira Kakati.

How to make dry fermented bamboo shoot

  1. 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.
  2. When it is completely dry bottle it in a clean and dry bottle.
  3. The dried bamboo shoots is used in cooking and also used as medicine for some ailments.

IMG_20170817_184340-1Dried bamboo shoots. Photo Credit:Karmae Basar.

Note:

There are several ways of preserving bamboo shoots

You can

  1. Use brine to preserve bamboo shoot.
  2. Use turmeric and oil.
  3. Use thekera or Kokum to induce the sourness.
  4. Ferment the shoots as shown above.

The recipes will follow soon!

Come Walk with Me- Sacred Grove, Mawphlang

by Lita Hazarika.

Photo Credit: Sankar Hazarika

It was a cold breezy November morning when we decided to go to Mawphlang and visit the Sacred Grove. Mawphlang is the one of the sites of the Sacred Groves of Meghalaya, which are fragments of forests that are protected by the local communities for religious purposes. These places are very rich in plants, birds and mammals as well as spiritual centers for the people of Meghalaya.

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Mysteries of Meghalaya- Cherrapunji (part 2)

Cherrapunji is locally known as Sohra, which was mispronounced by the British as “Churra”. This brought about the current name Cherrapunji or the ‘land of oranges’. The drive to Cherrapunji is quite scenic. It is easy to forget that one is in India while driving amid the rolling hills and picturesque grasslands that the journey has to offer. It is no wonder that Shillong and the Khasi hills were referred to as the ‘Scotland of the east’ by the British. The panoramic views along the way are indeed a spectacle to behold.

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Sohbandang Chutney (Tree Tomato Chutney)

Cooking from Meghalaya.

We bought the tomatoes on our way to Cherrapunjee and took the recipe from the young girl who was sold them to us. In Khasi these tomatoes are called ‘sohba’. They grow on trees therefore they are known as “tree tomatoes”.

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Come Walk With Me- The Rhododendron Trek

by Lita Hazarika.

IMG_9383Photo Credit: Sankar Hazarika.

Meghalaya offers some of the most scenic trekking routes in India. The Rhododendron Trek is a 6 km walk that starts at Upper Shillong and ends at Ka Madan Sangmeiñ. This is an old horse route that was used by the British to travel to Sangmeiñ from Upper Shillong. The walk is open until sunset on Sundays, Saturdays and Wednesdays from October till April.

We started from Guwahati at 7.30 am and halted at Barapani for a cuppa in a small teashop by the side of ‘Breeze’ with ‘Jingbam and Puri’ written on the signboard. Jingbam in Khasi means ‘snacks’. Incidentally, nothing can beat a cup of steaming tea poured out of shiny aluminum kettles in these cozy little shops. While sipping our tea a gutsy wind started blowing and this continued till our starting point, which compelled us to pull out our jackets. The wind was strong, cold and dusty.

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