So if you guys have been following us on @pranacafegoa you’ve most likely seen some of the posts we made about how the monsoon brings about an array of incredibly delicious produce. The abundance of rain means that wild vegetables grow rampant in the hilly-hinterlands.
There are several wild vegetables that grow during the monsoon months, here we’ll talk about three of the ones that caught our Chef’s eye.
Taikulo is a wild leafy vegetable that is plucked from the land - most people eat the bottom tender shoots of the plant.
It is said to have numerous health benefits. From an Ayurvedic stand-point the leaves and seeds of this plant are said to contain acrid, laxative, anthelmintic, ophthalmic, liver tonic, cardio tonic and expectorant properties.
These tender bamboo shoots (known as ‘kom’ or ‘kil’l’) are found in the hilly areas around places like Aguada, Baga, Bicholim, Sattari and Canacona. These shoots are a delicious monsoon delicacy. They can be made in a variety of different ways from using them in a stir-fry, boiling them or have them as an appetizer. We’ve been searching the markets, waiting for them to make an appearance.
Monsoon brings these organic mushrooms to life...
For about two weeks at the beginning of August every year, clusters of villagers take to the Goan roadside hawking handpicked mushrooms known in Konkani as ‘olmi’. These edible mushrooms grow in the wild near termite mounds in the forested hills of rural Goa. Also called Termitomyces, with a high protein content and rich flavour they often replace chicken in the famous Goan xacuti.
Now these mushrooms don’t come cheap, after all it is an extensive process to source them. Expect them to set you back about 300-700 rupees for a handful, depending on the size. You’ll also have to fight off the devotees that line up to buy these special shrooms. If you don’t feel like competing with the masses some of the restaurants in North Goa might just have them on the menu so there’s no harm in asking. Mushroom chilli fry anyone?
We’re always on the lookout for more indigenous vegetables that grow during the monsoons, so drop us a comment if you know any that we should check out!