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Bibayo: The cashew nut you’ve by no means had

If there’s one factor the lockdown has helped us realise, it’s the vary of our native meals and assets. As pantries acquired lean early on, we turned to seasonal meals, generally even rising our personal.

In Goa, foraging has at all times been a part of the meals tradition — from wild greens like taikilo (cassia tora) and bamboo shoots to snails from the paddy fields. For the time being, it’s the season for a well-liked condiment that sprouts solely through the early days of the monsoon. Neither a fruit nor a vegetable, the ghodka or bibayo are germinated cashew nut cotyledons (the embryonic first leaves of a seedling), and are normally added to curries to present them a nutty flavour and chew.

I found this ingredient six years in the past, once I visited my native village of Mashem in Canacona. I’d accompany my husband’s household after they went to cashew orchards after the rains subsided to gather them. “Fallen cashew nuts that aren’t picked up throughout summer time present free meals through the monsoons,” says Miguel Braganza, an agriculture professional and former secretary of the Botanical Society of Goa. Curiously, these seedlings had been eaten even earlier than individuals found methods to extract the nut as a result of “it didn’t require one to cope with the corrosive chemical substances within the seed coat”.

Bibayo: The cashew nut you’ve never had

Deal with for a wet day

Bibayo isn’t the principle ingredient, however used as a complement in dishes like tonak (curried beans with coconut and spices) or simply sautéed with onions and grated coconut. Hansel Vaz of Cazulo Feni, and the person behind the state’s first Feni cellar, Beco das Garrafões, remembers consuming them uncooked as a snack throughout his childhood. Nevertheless, he says harvesting them isn’t a cost-effective choice. “The worth of cashew nuts is nice, so it turns into uneconomical to forage bibayo,” he says, explaining how harvesting them kills saplings. And in a state the place over 56,000 hectares of cashew is cultivated yearly — to feed the feni and cashew nut industries — that may be a sensitive subject.

However others argue that it’s a great way to make use of up further saplings that won’t develop underneath the shade of older bushes. “These are at all times extra seeds within the orchards, gardens and yard which are sprouting now. They’re hyper-local, not many individuals learn about them, and so they aren’t offered in markets,” says Assavri Kulkarni, photographer and creator of the photograph guide, Markets of Goa. She suggests consuming them uncooked (like a cashew nut), to retain the vitamins (excessive in protein and zinc), or so as to add them to coconut and spice-based curry or pulao.

Bibayo: The cashew nut you’ve never had

Seed to range

For a lot of like Marius Fernandes, who’s concerned in reviving Goa’s conventional lifestyle, it’s also about re-connecting with the previous. “Again within the 1970s, we used to go looking within the hills and cashew groves. Now, most of them have been fenced, so it’s getting uncommon,” he says. As an alternative, over the past 5 years, he’s taken issues into his personal arms. He collects seeds in Might and vegetation them in his yard and waits for the rains. “They begin germinating by the third week of June. I exploit some for cooking, some for rising, and a few I reward to my pals,” he says.

Due to social media, and consciousness about native elements, bibayo is getting seen now and extra city dwellers are beginning to experiment with it. However Kulkarni believes the restricted amount out there is a part of the enjoyable. “It isn’t one thing which you can develop like a seasonal vegetable. So one ought to get pleasure from what one will get, to maintain up dietary ranges and for some heat through the rains.”

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