6 Monsoon Recipes To Make With Indigenous Seasonal Vegetables

The unique nutritional profile of indigenous vegetables are adapted to local environmental conditions. Consuming them in season ensures that you not only get the maximum benefit because since they are harvested at their peak ripeness, but also supports local agriculture and reduces the carbon footprint associated with transportation and storage. The monsoons across the Indian subcontinent make way for wild and indigenous produce to fortify its consumers against ailments as well as provide variety to diets. Unlike common knowledge that advises against the consumption of leafy vegetables during the season, greens like radish and colocasia leaves, shevla bhaji, phodshi bhaji, Malabar spinach, stinging nettle, tubers such as arbi and yam are said to be beneficial as well as fresh and local during this time.

Safed Mulshi

Also known as phodshi bhaji, karli, peva or mushli – the wild, uncultivated green is consumed in states like Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. Often used in stir-fries, added to batters, parathas and gravies, its prominent vegetal flavour is enjoyed during the early monsoon months of June-July. Sauté a bunch of the leafy vegetable after discarding the white base along with some onions, garlic, mustard seeds and coconut – to enjoy with rotis or dal-rice.


The thakara – or sickle senna leaves are an excellent plant-based protein replacement for meat; and when combined with colocasia leaves, grated coconut, onions, ginger and turmeric make for a Keralan dry preparation called the pathila thoran. The delicacy also utilises 10 locally-sourced medicinal herbs from which it derives its name. Eaten during a period called Karkidaka, community tradition involves practicing spiritual and wellness activities.

Arbi Ka Patta

Relatively more popular than its monsoon leafy counterparts, arbi or colocasia leaves are consumed widely in the form of delicious preparations such as patra, curries and more. Smear a gram flour based paste of jaggery, spices, tamarind paste and seasoning on to clean arbi leaves and roll before slicing into roundels. Steam and toss in a tempering of mustard seeds, asafoetida and green chillies.

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Anne Soppu

Erupting as a wild, peripheral green alongside the fields in Karnataka, leaves of the water spinach or kalmua saag are consumed along with its hollow stems. Added to stir-fries, lentil-based preparations, or a curry known as bassaru – the uncultivated green is consumed specifically during this season with ragi balls or mudde. Add chopped and sauteed anne soppu leaves and stems to a mixture of cooked toor dal, onions, garlic, curry leaves and beans, simmer for a few minutes for the flavours to combine and serve hot.


Image Credits: Pavi Foods

Roselle leaves or gongura are well-known for their nutritional properties and tart flavour that it imparts to condiments like pickles and pachadi in Andhra cuisine. On the other hand, the North Eastern preparation sougri kangsoi utilises the greens to juxtapose the sweet flavours of cooked shrimp. To make a pachadi, saute onions, garlic, curd chillies, mustard seeds and cumin seeds with the leaves until wilted, before grinding to a fine paste that can be enjoyed with ghee rice.


Hog plums – as ambade are commonly known, are a late monsoon specialty produce in Mangalorean communities. A type of vegetable that grows in the backyards of most homes within the state of Karnataka, this mouth-puckeringly sour ingredient forms the basis of pickles, a coconut-based curry known as sasam or even alwati – a monsoon-special preparation of hog plums and colocasia leaves cooked with coconut and peanuts.