Sunday, February 3, 2013

Green Leafy Vegetables - साग-पात हरु - (Part 2)

Green Leafy Vegetables - Hariyo Saag-Paat Haru (साग-पात हरु) - (Part 2 of 4)
A Visual Guide to Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal 

This is the continuation of photo guide of leafy vegetables of Nepal. Here I have added the following green vegetables:

 Phaapar ko Saag - (फापर को साग) - Buck Wheat Greens
Sishnu or Sisnu ko Saag - (सिस्नु को साग) - Nettle Greens - (Lekali Sisnu, Thulo Sisnu, Bhangre Sisnu)
Karkalo ko Paat -  (कर्कलो को पात) - Taro Leaves - Karkalo-Gaava-Pidhaalu - (कर्कलो-गाभा-पिँडालु)
Hariyo Dhania ko Paat or Saag -  (धनियाँको साग) - Fresh Coriander or Cilantro
Lasun ko Saag - (लसुन को साग) - Green Garlic
Chhayapi ko Saag  - (छायापी को साग) - Scallions Greens
Tori ko Saag - (तोरी को साग) - Indian Rape

Phaapar ko Saag - फापर को साग  (Buck Wheat Greens) - Bot name: Fagopyrun esculentum Moench
Freshly picked Buckwheat  leaves straight from the farm  - the tender leaves are cooked just like any leafy green vegetable and taste similar to spinach.  It is quite popular in the hilly regions of Nepal and considered very delicious.  Buckwheat has heart-shaped leaves with white flowers, which is a source of nectar for honeybees.  The buckwheat  honey has a stronger flavor and darker color compared to clover, mustard, mixed fruit honey or chiuri honey चिउरी को मह (butter tree).
Buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum) is a plant cultivated for its grain-like seeds, and also used as a cover crop. Despite the name, buckwheat is not related to wheat, as it is not a cereal/grass (family Poaceae); instead, buckwheat is related to sorrel, knotweed, and rhubarb. The cultivation of buckwheat grain declined sharply in the 20th century with the adoption of nitrogen fertilizer that increased the productivity of other staples. A related species, Fagopyrum tataricum (Tartary buckwheat) is also cultivated as a grain in the Himalayas...........continue reading.....
Sishnu ko Saag - सिस्नु को साग - Nettle Greens - Com. name: Stinging Nettle, Urtica dioca L. Family: Urticaceae
A street vender selling basketful of Nettle Greens next to JanaBaha area of Kathmandu - The Nettle Greens are picked, gathered and handled by using a metal tongs called chimta.  It is very important that bare hands do not touch the raw vegetable because the sting of this plant is not a pleasant one.
 Sishnu, Sisnu, Lekali Sisnu, Thulo Sisnu, Bhangre Sisnu is the Nepali name for edible stinging nettles which are popular in areas where there is a scarcity of vegetables. They are picked up from the moist woodlands, along rivers, forests and many shaded trails. The young tender leaves and shoots are cooked similarly to other leafy vegetables.  Nettles are known for their sting, but cooking eliminates their stinging effect. 
Stinging nettle or common nettle, Urtica dioica, is a herbaceous perennial flowering plant, native to Europe, Asia, northern Africa, and North America, and is the best-known member of the nettle genus Urtica. The plant has many hollow stinging hairs called trichomes on its leaves and stems, which act like hypodermic needles, injecting histamine and other chemicals that produce a stinging sensation when contacted by humans and other animals.The plant has a long history of use as a medicine and as a food can read the article on this site.
Nettles growing like a wild weed in many waste lands, walls, hedges and all over the central hill of Nepal and has been a food source for many years.  This unique vegetable is worth trying if you can get a hold of nettle greens!  Here are some useful links that you may want to check it out.  I enjoyed watching "Stinging Nettle Soup-8th century cooking series,"  and a very useful blog, "Eat Your Wild Greens: "The Delectable Nettle" by Lara Katherine Mountain Colley
Karkalo ko Paat -  कर्कलो को पात - Taro Leaves -  Common name: Colocasia, Taro Leaf, Dasheen, Arbi Patta
Botanical name: Colocasia antiquorum
Origin: SE Asia and India
Karkalo is the Nepali name for the taro plant, which comes from the tuberous root. Nepalese use all three parts of the plant including the leaves (karkalo ko paat), the young stalks (gaaba or gaava), and the taro tubers or corms (pidhaalu) to prepare various dishes. The tender stalks (stems) and young leaves (karkalo-gaava) are cooked together just like spinach or mustard greens, producing a delicate flavor akin to "spinach with silky texture." The taro tubers are used as a root vegetable, steamed, fried or cooked with lentils in the preparation of some daal dishes.  Taro is never eaten raw because it cause an itchy, stinging, and very irritating sensation to the throat, known as kokyaoone in Nepali.  Once cooked, the irritating aspect is destroyed and lemon juice helps to further reduce irritability.
Taro Leaves - Karkalo ko Paat - Please check my previous blog "Karkalo-Gaava-Pidhaalu - Taro (कर्कलो-गाभा-पिँडालु)" - more details about growing, picking, preparation and cooking.  Please click here.
Fresh Coriander or Cilantro - Hariyo Dhania ko Paat, Dhaniyaa ko Saag -
 (धनियाँको साग) in the doko for sale.
  Com. name: Coriander, Bot. name: Coriandrum Sativum L., Family: umbelliferae 
In the above picture, freshly picked Coriander is sold neatly tied in bunches with stems and roots still attached. - Dhania is also called fresh Coriander, Chinese parsley or Cilantro is the fresh leaves and stems of the coriander plant.  The coriander seeds and leaves have completely different flavors and aromas and cannot be substituted for one another.  Fresh coriander has distinct and sharp flavor, whereas the seeds are much milder. It is one of the most widely used herb in Nepali cooking and both delicate lacy leaves and stems are used. 
Scallions Greens - Chhayapi ko Saag - छायापी को साग - Fresh scallions tied into bundles - They are used extensively in Nepali cooking, used raw, cooked, sauteed, stir-fried, or mixed with other ingredients (meat, vegetables) or used as a garnish in cold or hot preparations.

 Scallions, also known as green onions, spring onions, salad onions, table onions, green shallots, onion sticks, long onions, baby onions, precious onions, yard onions, gibbons, or syboes are the edible plants of various Allium species, all of which are "onion-like", having hollow green leaves and lacking a fully developed root bulb.  Harvested for their taste, they are milder than most onions. They may be cooked or used raw as a part of salads, salsas, or Asian recipes. Diced scallions are used in soup, noodle and seafood dishes, as well as sandwiches, curries or as part of a stir fry. You can read the full article on these site
Green Garlic -  Lasun ko Saag - लसुन को साग - Allium sativum L -  Lasun ko saag is the green leaves from the garlic plant.  The tender delicate leaves have a delicious garlic flavor and resemble scallion greens. These make a very tasty vegetable dish cooked mixed with potatoes and tomatoes and savored by many Nepalese. Green garlic is a flavor enhancer to many chicken and meat dishes.  Sometimes a small amount of chopped fresh greens are  sprinkled on nearly every Nepali dish as a garnish and to add extra flavor.

 Green garlic is also called spring garlic or baby garlic - may be a rarity at grocery stores, but has gained popularity among the farm-to-table cognoscenti. It is a young garlic harvested before the cloves have begun to mature. What results is a vegetable that resembles a scallion, with a deep green stalk and a pale white bulb - yet the flavor is like mild garlic. Come spring, keep an eye out at your local farmers market. Once you discover green garlic, you'll probably be inclined to grow this veggie at home - relatively easy to do.......continue reading more on how to buy and store green garlic, how to cook, and more on the health benefits.
A friendly chat with a vegetable vender, Sukha Bahadur,  - I asked him, "Where did you bring your green vegetables from?"  He replies with a smile in his face, "These were picked up from our farm during the early hours of this morning.  I pull out the greens gently, then trim away yellowing and damaged leaves, wash them thoroughly in clean water to remove sand and dirt first.  Then the entire vegetables (leaves, stems and roots) are  tied up into bundles with the help of rice straws (paral).  Then I arrange them in my two wicker basket in my kharpan, making sure that the tender leaves are in the center and the root ends are outside . I pack the bundled vegetables lightly and loosely on top of each other.  I have just arrived here carrying my kharpan"....
A local vegetable vendor is busy rearranging freshly brought greens and offering her goods for sale.
Tori ko Saag - तोरी को साग - (Indian Rape) Brassica Campestris L. is the Nepali name of Indian Rape or Oil Seed Rape.  It is grown as an annual crop and widely cultivated for the sake of oil.  The mustard seeds are pressed to obtain oil so it is commonly known as oil seed crop.  They are also grown for green vegetable.  The tender leaves and shoots are harvested when they are young and eaten fresh as a cooked greens.
Tori ko Saag is also utilized to prepare gundruk, which is a fermented and dried preserved greens.  Gundruk is extensively used in the form of vegetable when fresh greens are not available.  Tori ko gundruk is regarded as the best of all dried vegetable in the flavor, taste and texture.
 Another warm and welcoming vegetable vender in the corner - I was her first customer in the early hour of this morning.  Not only she sold me green vegetables in a lower price, but also gave me 2 extra pieces of fresh lime, she says, "katti garo cha aaj-kaal, aaja beehan ko bouni bhayo," - translation -  life is tough these days, you brought me good luck for the whole days sale.  Thank you..thank you!  

Please turn to the next chapter (3 of 4) to take another visual guide to leafy vegetables of Nepal ..

A Visual Guide to Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal - (Part 1 of 4)
A Visual Guide to Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal - (Part 2 of 4)
A Visual Guide to Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal - (Part 3 of 4)
A Visual Guide to Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal - (Part 4 of 4)

Index of Green Leafy Vegetables of Nepal