Since it’s the season of growing grass peas in the terai, I’ll tell you about its wise use – how people cook it into a delicious dish and store it for future use.
Also the mango trees have started flowering in the terai. Within a month or two there will be plenty of green mangoes around and the parents will be asking their children not to consume too much green mangoes fearing the sore eyes. I’ll be talking about a home remedy to get rid of the sore eyes caused by eating green mangoes.
Called khesari locally, grass peas are considered largely inedible due to a toxic component in it which may cause paralysis if consumed in excessive amount.
However, it has been a staple diet for the people of southern plains in eastern Nepal. They are easy to grow and can be eaten as green leafy vegetables or can be wrapped as biriya and stored for future use or used as lentils or besan (lentil flour) to cook pakoda (fritter or tempura).
The farmers broadcast-seed the grass peas together with linseed in standing rice crops one or two weeks before the rice harvest. The grass peas and linseed then grow on their own. They neither need irrigation nor further weeding due to their tolerance to drought and capability to withstand extreme temperatures.
Khesari has a special place in the Tharu cuisine either as leaf curry or dried biriya. They cook it together with brinjal and it tastes amazing. Here’s how to cook it.
Grass peas on sale at a local market in the southern plains of Nepal. Though the Lathyrus sativus is grown as a forage in Europe, it's considered a poor man's pigeon pea (rahar ko dal) in the terai and there's a belief that its prolonged use can cause paralysis. Called #khesari, the green vegetable is delicious! Here's the recipe: Cut khesari leaves into fine pieces, cut cuboid pieces of brinjal, get your spices to start with. Heat few spoonfuls of mustard oil, fry finely cut garlic, onion, ginger and chilly pieces. As the onion turns brown, add the brinjal pieces and fry them for a while. Then slowly add the green peas and cook for a while. As you cook the curry, add the spices (turmeric, chilly, coriander and cumin powder) and water and cook in slow heat. Eat the curry with rice but I prefer eating it with puffed rice. It tastes amazing! -------- #grasspeas #lathyrussativus #legumes #lentil #terai #Nepal #foodgasm #food #picoftheday #photooftheday #recipeoftheday #instalike
While the whole world, Ayurveda in particular, consider Eclipta prostrata as a hair growth supporter, the Tharus in the Eastern Nepal use it for a totally different purpose.
|(c) Shankar Chaudhary|
Shankar Chaudhary from Sunsari writes, “When we were children and ate too many green mangoes during the months of Chaitra-Baishakh (March - April), it resulted into sore eyes just like conjunctivitis.”
“The old and learned men used to suggest us eating chhakarneri (Tharu name for Eclipta prostrata),” he adds. “In fact eating this herb cured the red eyes. A thick paste of this herb, applied to hair, thickens it, say the elders.”