The North-Eastern States of India is a reservoir of biodiversity. If you explore rural life of these states, you will unearth many herbs and vegetables that form part of their culinary culture, but little known to the outside world. Today, we will discuss about one such vine – Paederia foetida
Paederia foetida is a climbing vine that can grow upto 30 feet in length. It climbs up on trees or crawl along the ground. It is mostly found in Assam, Sikkim, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, and some parts of West Bengal.
Paederia foetida exudes strong sulphurous odour when its leaves are crushed. It is used for culinary purpose in traditional cooking in North Eastern and Eastern India. After cooking it’s odour vanishes.
Paederia foetida is known to have many medicinal benefits, mostly related to gastronomy. It is believed to give remedy to diarrhea, dysentery, stomach swelling, gastritis, loose motion, indigestion, abdominal pain etc. The leaf also acts as an anti ulcer agent.
Botanical Name – Paederia foetida
Assamese Name: Bhedai Lota, Bhebeli Lota, Paduri Lota
Bengali Name – Gandhabhaduliya, Gandhabhadule
Sanskrit Name – Gandhapatra, Prasirini
Hindi Name – Gandha Prasarani, Prasaran, Prasarani
Marathi Name – Hiranvel
Teelgu Name – Saviraela Chettu, Savirela
Here is a simple recipe made out of skunk vine.
Potato curry with skunk vine - Bhedai lota aru aloo
- 1 Bunch of Skunk Vine (Bhebeli Lota)
- 2 Medium Size Potatoes Cut into cubes
- 3-4 Cloves Garlic Make a paste
- 1 Medium Size Onion Make a paste
- 3 Green Chillies Sliced in the middle
- 1/2 tbsp Kala Jeera
- 1/4 tbsp Turmeric (Haldhi) Powder
- 1 tbsp Mustard Oil
- Salt To Taste
- Rinse skunk vine leaves in water for cleaning.Add the leaves in a blender and blend to a smooth paste.Use a strainer to filter the juice of skunk vine.
- In a pan, heat oil, fry the potatoes with salt and turmeric. Keep the potatoes aside.
- In the same pan, add more oil. When hot, saute some kala jeera. Add onion paste and fry for 1-2 minutes.
- Now add garlic paste, turmeric powder and salt. Fry till the raw smell of garlic goes away.
- Add skunk vine juice along with green chillies. Let it boil.
- Add the potatoes.
- Add some more water.
- Let the gravy boil till it becomes thick. Remove from fire.
- Relish with plain rice.