A Guide To Indigenous Monsoon Ingredients In India
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As we continue to reel in our attention from the kale, roquette and arugula, back to the indigenous greens that grow in forests and marshlands around India, there is a vast variety we fail to celebrate. Due to the lack of accessibility or knowledge of the existence of such nutritious and mostly uncultivated greens, our palettes and plates miss out on the experience of enjoying a wider number of leafy greens that are exclusive to the season. Here is a curated list of indigenous monsoon greens which are hyperlocal to specific geographies and can be used as a replacement for commonly known leafy greens in Indian cooking.

Phodshi Bhaji

The edible green, also known as safed mulsi, usually makes an appearance in vegetable markets during the onset of the monsoon season in Maharashtra. Similar in appearance to greens from the allium family, the phodshi bhaji has a distinct vegetal flavour – which works perfectly in recipes like pakoras, stir frys and even with seafood.


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Also known as sorrel leaves or gongurra, the ambadi bhaji grows in subtropical regions of India and is found vastly in the states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. These leaves are best eaten when they are tender. With its sharp sour taste, the leaves of the plant is used for various culinary purposes like soups, salads, sabzis, chutneys and stews. It also tastes great with poultry and seafood, along with being extremely nutritional and considered to be a superfood.


An uncultivated wild vegetable that grows in the forests and hilly regions of Maharashtra, the shevla is a wild yam that resembles a thin stem-like vegetable. With an earthy flavour similar to turnips or elephant yams, the shevla is best enjoyed with a mild-flavoured seafood like prawns or eating simply by sautéing with aromatics and basic spices.

Arbi Ke Patte

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The fan-like Colocasia leaves, best known for its use in the Gujrati patra, are dark green, wild greens that can also be used to make stir fries and sabzis with. Also known as alu, these wild greens can be found in marshy patches of land across West Bengal, interior Maharashtra and Gujarat. Rich in collagen and other ingredients, these leaves are best consumed when steamed and tempered with basic spices.

Also Read:

Monsoon Special Gharbandi: An Edible Green From The Sahyadris


Typically spotted in the Konkan region around the month of August, during the time of narali poornima, the morond is a tender green sprout that grows out of a coconut, with a bulb housed inside the shell. This bulb-like ingredient is spongy but firm in texture as well as high on fibre. With its rich Omega 3 content, the morond can be used in salads, soups, chutneys and gravies for its amazing nutritional benefits.


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Also known as ghodka or ghaduli, the bibayo is a germinated cashew cotyledon mostly found in Goa. Added to curries and stews to give them a nutty flavour and bite, the germinated cashews are extremely nutritious and crop up in local markets after the first showers. They provide good fat value to food and bulk up the protein content, making it ideal for those who are looking to lose weight or on a diet.

Takla Bhaji

Takla, aka cassia tora, is a leafy monsoon green that grows around parts of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Available during the months of July-August, the takla can be used in the same cooking applications similar to spinach. They can also be added to dal, pakodas, stir fry and even eaten as a dry preparation with rotis, once the leaves have been soaked for a few minutes before cooking.