Wild Vegetables of India (Monsoon Special)

Wild Vegetables of India (Monsoon Special)

Vegetables that grow naturally without any cultivation or care are called wild vegetables. These plants mainly grow in forests, wilderness, edges of farmlands, and barren fields. In the early days of the monsoon season, these vegetables are available for consumption. Along with being vegetables, a majority of them are also medicinal plants.
Most of the popular vegetables that we know of are recent introductions in our kitchens. Indians have been eating wild vegetables for thousands of years, but unfortunately, we lost the track somewhere at the dawn of modern times. Tribals and rural Indians still value these wild vegetables. An interesting fact is that some wild vegetables have a dedicated cult following in urban areas & big cities where they are sold in special markets.

Following are some of the monsoon season wild vegetables in India, that you may want to look up in your local veggie market:


1. Bharangi (Rotheca serrata)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender leaves.
Indian vegetable Rotheca serrata

2. Dinda (Leea indica)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender Shoots.
wild edible Leea indica

3. Safed Musli (Chlorophytum tuberosum)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Leaves.
Chlorophytum tuberosum

4. Takla (Cassia tora)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender leaves
Cassia tora edible plant

5. Kurdu (Celosia argentea)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Teder leaves
Celosia argentea

6. Bamboo (Dendrocalamus strictus)


Plant part cooked as vegetable or pickled: Tender bamboo shoots.
Dendrocalamus strictus edible plant

7. Shevala (Amorphophallus commutatus)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Inflorescence (tender flowering stalks).
This short-lived vegetable is considered as a delicacy in Thane & Palghar districts of Maharashtra.
Amorphophallus commutatus

8. Kartoli (Momordica dioica)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Young green fruits
Momordica dioica

9. Kawla (Smithia hirsuta)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender leaves
Smithia hirsuta

10. Korla (Bauhinia malabarica)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender leaves
Bauhinia malabarica

11. Kuda (Holarrhena pubescens)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Tender fruits (pods)
Holarrhena pubescens edible plant

12. Wild arvi/ Raan Aalu (Colocasia esculenta)


Plant part cooked as a vegetable: Leaves
Colocasia esculenta
Apart from these, there are are hundreds of more wild vegetables with different common names, cherished all over India by locals. All of these vegetables are cooked in desi style by using local spices and ingredients.
You may want to read more about perennial vegetables in India.
Picture courtesy: Seema Hardikar, FERN.
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