Curry made of areca nut palm shoot

So much has happened between my last post and now. I am dividing my time between our home in Guwahati  and our second home in Haflong. It’s always a joy to be there and when we were growing up it was one of those places where everyone knew everyone. But now the population has grown by leaps and bounds and I hardly know the younger lot. Unless you go back to another generation and I’m reminded of a parent or an aunt or a grandparent! My husband who retired from service two years ago is spending more time there as part of our house has been converted into a guest house. 

Our home in Haflong

Our property in Haflong has several trees. Most of them were planted under my late mother-in-law’s guidance. The first picture shows mango blossoms as seen from my kitchen window. What a sight it is to look out and see towering trees and our beloved blue ranges of the Barail in the distance.

One of the Bauhinia varieties is a prolific bloomer. And you should just see the pollinators around it. This is another addition to my ‘edible flower’ list as the blooms are usually fried and eaten. After the blooms are gone, the tender shoots make their appearance. These are also eaten. A simple recipe is adding them to alu sabzi in the same way you would add other greens.

A closer look at the bloom

A cloudy-day view from another window with areca nut palms (not ours)  in the distance.

Our town is prone to heavy rain and high winds. During one such night, the palm trees sway and bend so much that I fear each one might snap and fall. One did, recently. These are the betel nut palms or Areca catechu grown for the fruitAnd my husband had it cut and the tender shoot was brought here in Guwahati. Once the outer layers are removed, the inner portion is white and so tender that one barely needs any effort to cut the vegetable into pieces. The shoots are considered a delicacy and in one of my Facebook posts I had shared a photo of the pickle that my mother had made, That time a palm tree had broken after a storm in my aunt’s garden.
The vegetable is made into curry, khari, fried, or pickled.

A bowl of pickle made by my mother. The texture is somewhat like tender bamboo shoots. But there is a natural sweetness in these shoots.

I made a simple ‘khari’ using the shoots and fish heads. The dish was thickened with rice flour and garnished with chives. Turned out to be delicious!

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