By Bhiva P Parab | NT
With monsoon arriving, wild vegetables like taikilo (cassia tora), tere or tero, kudduk etc have grown mainly in rural areas and are in great demand as prices of local vegetables as well as vegetables from other states have gone up.
Wild vegetables grow near houses, roadsides, in fields and forested areas. The vegetables are also sold in markets across the state and have a good demand.
Prices of local vegetables as well as the vegetables imported from neighbouring states have gone up and there is also a shortage in the markets. Also, hardly any local varieties of vegetables are available in the markets and so several people especially in the villages are going in for wild vegetables.
“Wild vegetables like taikilo (cassia tora), tere or tero, kudduk etc which grow in the monsoon are tasty and also good for health besides being free of pesticides. We have been eating these vegetables for generations. They have made their way into the markets in recent years,” said a woman Manjiri.
A vegetable vendor from Mapusa said that the wild vegetables that are available in various markets have a good demand adding, “The rates vary as per the demand-supply gap. We need to make some profit so naturally when we incur higher cost at source, the rate will be higher. These days the rates of vegetables coming from outside the state and also those grown locally are high, however they will not remain high forever.”
“Wild vegetables are very good for health as they grow naturally without use of any chemical. People in the state especially in rural areas are consuming these vegetables for generations. However, with growth in population, land is getting scarce and there has been decline in growth of wild vegetables. In years gone by, during the monsoon season, our demand for vegetables was met by wild as well as local vegetables. Vegetables from outside Goa have been coming to markets in the state only in the recent years,” said an elderly woman.
One variety of wild vegetable commonly eaten by Goans for generations is Taikilo which is a leafy vegetable. Its fresh tender shoots are edible and they are plucked the same way tea leaves are plucked. According to Ayurveda, the leaves and seeds of this plant are acrid, laxative, anti-periodic, anthelmintic, ophthalmic, liver tonic, cardio tonic and expectorant, said sources.