A couple of weeks ago, I finally got round to inviting botanist Kamal Acharya and his wife Sharmila Phuyal to see my garden!! They were amazed to see so many plants that they were familiar with from home and I blogged about this here:
Nepalese meet their onion in Malvik
They asked (begged?) couldn’t we come and make you a Nepalese meal with plants from your garden! I just had to find time for this and I’m very glad I did as it was a fantstic meal. Yes, I’m a very lucky man!!
Britt-Arnhild Wigum Lindland who took a few of the pictures!
Sharmila about to prepare fresh Jimmu for the very first time. Living in the lowlands, they can only get it dried…
Sharmila gets acquainted with the Nepalese onion in Malvik…still a bit in disbelief that this is really happening!
Another plant my new friends recognised was taro (karkalo) or Colocasia esculenta. I’ve grown this as a pot plant for several years for a couple of tubers a year, inside in winter and outside for most of the summer. Even in our cold climate it grows outside in summer! However, I’d never used the leaves as I thought one had to use special low-oxalate varieties (oxalate in the leaves can scratch your throat). They assured me I could eat it!
Sharmila can’t get karkalo leaf in Trondheim and , so it was amazing for them to meet someone up in the north actually growing it! They will now grow it themselves!
Meanwhile, Britt-Arnhild and helper made the salad (NB! Salads aren’t very common in Nepal, perhaps cooking to sterilise).
What a lucky man I am!!!
Britt-Arnild’s picture from the kitchen
A quick fry of the Jimmu (Allium wallichii) before adding to the black lentils/dal..
The karkalo leaf stems were first split lengthwise
The taro leaf was rolled up before cooking…Sharmila and Kamal had different ways of doing this from their different villages.
A Nepalese spice colelction including cumin and fenugreek
Cutting the taro leaf
The next generation of edimental salad makers! She decorated it herself!!
“We use the broad bean pods too” Kamal told me!!! What? Really? Isn’t it very fibrous?
Preparing the broad beans for cooking
The red coloured variety is Karmazyn
The Nepalese pressure cooker was frequently used!
Ghee (clarified butter) is important in Nepalese cooking as it is in India. They sometimes make their own, but this was bought..
Kamal showing one of the spices used…Zanthoxylum armatum, a new species for my life list!!
Cooking the taro leaf
WOW, are you jealous? The Allium wallichii flowers was a last minute finishing touch…I sacrificed my only dark flowered Jimmu for this picture! The broad beans were a bit fibrous but very tasty…. I will certainly be using the pods of broad beans in future. As Kamal said ” what’s a bit of fibre…it’s good for us!”
Nepal in Malvik edimentalised with the flowers of two varieties of Allium wallichii from high elevations in Nepal, but feeling quite at home in the lowlands of Malvik! The cooked taro was delicious and I will have to start growing more pots of taro as it makes an excellent winter house plant green! I couldn’t sense any silicates in my throat either!