01 November, 2016

Wild Passionfruit (Passiflora foetida) and some fun Foraging with Kids.



On the outskirts of the city, where things tend to grow wild, there is a creeper with very pretty, attractive flowers and rather 'ho-hum'-looking fruit encased in softly spiny bracts.





There's nothing ho-hum about their taste, though.

An exotic, delicate flavour to match those flowers, packed into the tiny morsel-sized pulp that is as much loved by birds, too.


It is difficult to find a whole ripe fruit, since the birds invariably get to them just at the right time. and always long before any human might even notice.



Though I never missed seeing the flowers, I would have missed this delicious, edible surprise altogether, if not for a chance conversation with Y2.

Apparently one of the popular past-times with him and his friends, when boredom strikes, is to make a "sandwich" using this.

Occasionally there is some barter or trading involved. At one point there was even a restaurant with this, among other notables, on the menu.
Currency is wide-ranging (from sticks, stones, leaves, even "shramdaan" (donated labour) to an ongoing "construction" work (tent with sticks and leaves). Neighbouring traders might get a free exchange for "goods".

Once I was offered a taste of this sandwich (much like a "paan") and was amazed to discover that it's actually quite delicious! I even asked for a second!

Then he whizzed me along on a foraging trip, explaining the ingredients, and how to identify and source them.
I managed to take some quick, blurry pictures to document the process -
Leaves and seeds of wild basil, tender green leaves of tamarind, all plucked, washed and squeezed dry.
So I tried to duplicate it at home with slightly clearer pictures and documented their recipe.

Pictured from left to right: Wild Basil Leaves, Tender Tamarind Leaves, Wild Basil Seeds, Wild Passionfruit.

Ingredients all assembled. (That blob is the pulp of the passionfruit - has to be eaten to be believed!)

And here's the pièce de résistance -

Zingy, Fresh Mouthful, anyone? Naturally vegan, gluten-free, delicious, fresh and healthy.

These days I'm always on the lookout for the ripe ones.

I even manage to beat the birds to it once or twice!

Have you ever had a favorite thing as a kid, eaten straight off a tree or plant growing wild?

4 comments:

  1. Fab pictures! Glad to find a food blog for NaBloPoMo :)

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Shalini! Me, likewise :) Here's to a month of madness, Cheers!

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  2. Replies
    1. thank you Jansdoodlesv3 Looking forward to more from you, too, (very poignant thought about food waste) during nablopomo....

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