Local veggies gain demand as the soaring vegetable prices rattle family budget

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People have begun using local veggies like madanthayila, thakarayila, drumstick leaves, plantain stem, plantain blossom, papaya, mushrooms and Turkish beans more, due to price rise. Photo: Manorama/Sucharut Chounyoo/Shutterstock

Pathanamthitta: It is a fact that the soaring vegetable prices have completely toppled the family budget. Meanwhile, growing a small vegetable patch on our backyards seems to be the most practical method to beat the skyrocketing prices.

Moreover, the demand for locally grown vegetables has suddenly gone up. Besides jackfruit, people have begun using local veggies like madanthayila (yam leaves), thakarayila, drumstick leaves, plantain stem, plantain blossom, papaya, mushrooms, and Turkish beans.

People have realised the significance of locally grown organic vegetables instead of relying too much on imported veggies.

Madanthayila (yam leaves)
Madanta or yam leaves have begun growing in huge numbers in the paddy fields and backyards during the monsoon. This is the main item that is served in the iconic Aranmula valla sadya.

Earlier, yam leaf curry was consumed mostly during the Malayalam month of Karkidakam. However, lately, social media has been celebrating the amazing nutrient quality of these leaves. People have been frantically looking for madanthayila in paddy fields and on wayside farmlands.

The legend of Aranmula and a grand feast
Madanthayila is one of the main items on valla sadya menu. File Photo

The tip of the yam leaves is separated and these fresh leaves are rolled and boiled.

After straining, the leaves are cooked by adding pepper, turmeric powder, and coconut. You could also try new recipes that are available on the internet. Madanthayila and dried fish curry is a delicious side dish that is cooked in many parts of Kerala.

Known for its incredible medicinal properties, thakarayila was abundantly available in backyards and fields. In the olden days, thakarayila and Colocasia leaves were used in the regular diet. The seeds and roots of this plant too are consumed.

Plantain stem
All parts of the plantain are edible and are rich in nutrients. The juice of the inner stem is excellent for diabetic patients. The stem should be cut in thin slices; however, it is a bit difficult to cut the stem as it is fibrous.

The fibre should be removed using the index finger while slicing. Do not forget to wash them well in order to remove the stain. The inner stem of plantain and palayamkodan varieties are best for consumption.

Chundakka or Turkish beans have medicinal qualities and can be seen growing abundantly on the waysides and backyards. These are also known as anachunda, putharichunda or green peas chunda in many parts. Among them, anachunda is the most common variety.

Freshly plucked vegetables should be crushed on a traditional stone grinder. Then it should be soaked in water to remove the seeds. Delicious dishes could be prepared using chundakka by adding coconut and other spices. 

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