Being a Pahadi/Himachali resident for more than 25 years of time, I have explored many good, Vitamin rich, seasonal and easy to find vegetables for free. These vegetables can be found in forests, near crop fields etc. Some of these vegetables are only available at landslide like areas for example Tardi, Jimi Kand etc. Most of these vegetables can only be found in rural and Pahadi areas such as Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Uttarakhand, States in north-east of India etc.
In this blog, I’ll tell you everything I know about these veggies along with areas where these can be found and their local names as well.
Free Pahadi Vegetable are listed below:
- 1. Turdi(तरड़ी की सब्जी )
- 2. Lashade(Lush-yade/लसैड़े)
- 3. Bhrooni(Dhoodhe Ka Saag/भ्रूणी)
- 4. Vasant Phool (Amaltas Flowers/वसंत)
- 5. Lungdu(Lingda/लुंगड़ू)
- 6. Braahn Phool (Braahn Flowers)
- 7. Ambua(Unripe Mango)
- 8. Tatt-Mor(Tamtor or Junglee Mushroom)
- 9. Badi Nali (Nari Saag)
- 10. Choo/Chooyi Nali (छू-नली दी भुजी)
- 11. Karali (Karali/Kachnar Flowers)
- 12. Kooku (Banana Tree’s Flower)
- 13. Maanu(Child Bamboo Tree)
- 14. Khukhni
- 15. Tirmira
- 16. Ellu/Sesame Seeds
- 17. Ran-baani(Pahadi Cactus Flower) & Gangu Choo (Pinkish Fruit in Cactus)
- 18. Kachaalu/Arbi
1. Turdi(तरड़ी की सब्जी )
It’s a one-of-a-kind vegetable we get in Kangra(कांगडा़) District of Himachal Pradesh in the form of a root inside the soil. You just have to dig deeper after finding a plant of it or find a well grown plant of it at steep/inclined places where it is easier to dig soil to find root of Tardi plant. You can recognize its leafy plant by having a look at its leaf (See image attached below). This plant can only be found in season of Winters only.
Its roots are the real vegetable (See attached images below) you need to dig deeper than 2 feet usually. This leafy plant can be found in forests.
This is one of the most common season vegetables people used to make in district Kangra of Himachal Pradesh. There are more than 1 way to make the dish out of these small pieces like marbles but, the most famous one is chatpata chutney kind of taste with amazing kind of texture in it. It can be found on trees known for it and these trees are only common in rural areas or in forests/jungle kind of areas too in the district. Back in lockdown, we found some of its trees in some Punjabi urban areas too.
3. Bhrooni(Dhoodhe Ka Saag/भ्रूणी)
It is known as one of the most famous Saag in Kangra district for this seasonal vegetable. This is totally natural and cannot be found in agricultural places to buy plants of it. Winter season comes with many vegetables like Bhrooni, Lashyade etc. It is one of the best Saag I’ve eaten till date and the Saag is known for its Dhooni technique which is nothing but a technique to give it a different flavor through Coal. Its naturally grown are very common to see in Kangra and other districts of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
4. Vasant Phool (Amaltas Flowers/वसंत)
Vasant flowers or Amaltas flowers are seasonal and can only be seen in naturally grown 3-6 feet high plants in Spring season. These flowers are tasty enough to use as main element to make Pakoda’s or Katlu(Local dish; Flat Pakodas). People collect these flowers and make bhajiyas out of them. Flowers are easy to collect as this grow on small plants in high numbers. The taste of these pakodas cannot be compared with others in the same category. There are more recepies to make drinks, curries from these seasonal flowers.
Lungdu is well known but rare to find in most of the areas as Lungdu usually grows in permanent watery places like rivers, canals, kulhs(Local name of small canals made for crops) etc. But you can find Lungdu’s in all local vegetable markets and shops in the season of Winter.
In Himachal, there are 2 types of areas/soil
Changar areas are known for their dry soil and hills while Palam areas are known for their moisture and watery areas and soil.
Lungdu’s are usually found in Palam areas while Bhrooni, Turdi, Vasant Phool and Lashyade are more common to find in Changar areas.
6. Braahn Phool (Braahn Flowers)
These are also flowers and these flowers only grow in mountains like Dhauladhar Parvat etc. You can find them in Rainy, summer as well as in Winter season for making drinks, chutneys and pakoras etc. These flowers have great benefits lined up in a row for humans as well as for pets like Cow, Bufalos etc. You can buy these flowers in vegetable markets only.
7. Ambua(Unripe Mango)
I hope some of you already know about dishes Himachali people make from ripe and unripe Mangoes. Mangoes are very common to find, pick and also can be bought at shops and stores. But the dishes we make out of mangoes is still only limited to villages and Pahadi regions. Ambua is most loved in this list of vegetables/dishes as mangoes are easy to find and are affordable in India. Ambua is a gravy based mixture of spicy, juicy and salty sweet dish which people used to make and eat in rainy and pre-winter seasons.
8. Tatt-Mor(Tamtor or Junglee Mushroom)
You may have seen many types of artificially made mushrooms in your vegetable markets but there are some other types of mushrooms which cannot be really found in any of these places or markets, known as Tamtor/Tatt-Mor. Tatt-Mors are edible kind of natural grown fungi/mushrooms which are non-toxic and have many minerals and vitamins within them. Tatt-Mors can only be found in crop fields in the rainy season. These Tatt-Mors grow to 1-2 maximum in number at a time. There are many naturally grown mushrooms which can be eaten and are useful for humans too such as Bhatmori/भतमोरियां(Grow in 100s of numbers and are smaller than Tatt-mors), Tatalan/टटालां, Khumb/खुंमब etc. We’ll cover all these in our upcoming blogs.
9. Badi Nali (Nari Saag)
Badi Nali saag is very rare to find but grows in watery places like near rivers and canals etc. In Himachal, people used to have small artificial canals in between their crop fields to water their plants. It grows naturally and only a few people recognize it as Badi Nali. This is one of the most tasties dry saag vegetable but you can only find this in the Palam areas.
10. Choo/Chooyi Nali (छू-नली दी भुजी)
This Saag also comes in the same category as Badi Nali but the main difference is Choo Nali can be eaten as dry as well as gravy like saag. Both Choo Nali and Badi Nali grow in watery places like rivers and Baodi’s(ground water storage for drinking).
11. Karali (Karali/Kachnar Flowers)
This is the most used yet multipurpose vegetable we Pahadi people get from Kachnar trees. Sometimes, it is used as saag like a dish, on the other hand its flowers are also used as main ingredient to make pakodas. Pahadi pakodas are different in shape from Halwai pakodas. These pakodas we used to make are flat shaped and made in vessels where we used to make our rotis. This vegetable can only be found in trees in Pre-holi season which is also known as Winter to pre-summer season.
12. Kooku (Banana Tree’s Flower)
Kooku is a flower grown in Banana trees and is rare enough in banana trees. This is used to make dishes like mix-veg and tastes just like Cabbage dishes. This vegetable cannot be found in markets but is easy to find in villages. This vegetable grows in Rainy and Winter season mostly.
13. Maanu(Child Bamboo Tree)
Maanu is an edible yet unique kind of vegetable and can only be found in between Bamboo trees in Rainy season. Whenever you see a tiny size child bamboo covered with small covers of layers, it is Maanu. You can make a mixed-veg like dish out of it. This is a protein and water rich dish you’ll ever eat. By the eay, almost every rainy season’s vegetable grown naturally is water rich in content.
Khukhni just looks like Choo nali but grows in Wheat crop fields. This is very common even in urban areas and can be used to make dry saag out of it. There are some other non-toxic saags you can find in urban areas just like Khukhni i.e. Bathu, Bhrooni etc.
Tirmira is one of the rare in 2022 to find but is very minty flavored. naturally grown leafed used to make chutney/sauce. Tirmira cannot be found in markets but is rich in minerals and vitamins. When you eat its leaf, it gives you sweet mint behavior on your tongue. It grows in trees and can be found in any season.
16. Ellu/Sesame Seeds
Ellus are used to make chutney for winter and summer seasons and these can be found near rivers only. Ellus are seeds of naturally grown, small plants near watery areas. There are many chutneys people used to make from these seasonal seeds.
17. Ran-baani(Pahadi Cactus Flower) & Gangu Choo (Pinkish Fruit in Cactus)
This is most rare to find among these unique vegetables but is good enough to be consumed in rural areas if you find the right flower/middle sticks of Ran-Bani cactuses. It can be seen only in Winters. Unfortunately, we haven’t found any image of the original Ran Bani Cactus but we managed to find Gangu Choo photographs, see below attached.
Gangu Choo is a fruit that comes from junglee cactus having pinkish color. These fruits have tiny natural needles which can make your thoughts suffer a lot. So, clean or cut them before eating and always wash them carefully.
It’s a root just like Turdi and grown artificially by people in villages. These can be found in markets as well as in villages. People used to make Patrode(Kachalu Pakoda), Saag, Arbi dish etc. using this vegetable. Kachalu mainly means big enough leafs converted into Patrodas/Patodas etc.
Thanks for reading this blog. Like this blog, leave your comments to improve our content and to appreciate our work at www.naveenbhatia.com. Subscribe to this blog support our efforts on this blog and share your comments below!