Wild Greens Of The Indian Monsoon Enjoyed Across States
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Monsoon is a sporadic phenomenon that is spread very randomly across different Indian states. Various states in India experience monsoons much earlier as compared to the rest. It depends on the geographical location of the states and also their proximity to the sea. In India, season change doesn't only mean a change in temperature and the clothes that one wears. 

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With the changing seasons, people also alter their diet, sleeping practices, beverages, and the type of nutrients they like to include in their food. Many communities in India welcome the monsoon season by praying to nature and indulging in various spiritual practices. It is also the time when people start making some monsoon special dishes from green vegetables.

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Kerala And Karnataka 

In Kerala, for example, people observe Karkidaka Masam which is the special festival observed in June and July by the Hindu community residing in that area. This is a two-month-long spiritual activity in which people like to consume the local medicinal plants and also make a special dish called pathila thoran. Pathila thoran is a dish that is mostly made with local green leafy vegetables like stinging nettle leaves, ash gourd leaves, pumpkin leaves, Mysore spinach leaves, cowpea leaves, and many more. All of these leaves are mashed with a seasoning of turmeric, green chillies, coconut oil, and some onions. A lot of people also like to add some moong dal to this mixture. Pathila is considered a defence against the allergic infections one might get during monsoon due to lack of sunlight. It is also believed among the native community that consumption of this dish is going to fulfil one's nutritional intake and also keep the gut healthy.

In the northern part of Kerala, there is another monsoon special dish called Kozhi marunnu which is an amalgamation of 30 different medicinal plants. All of these green medicinal plants are mixed with ingredients like ginger, turmeric, coriander, carom seeds, cinnamon, black pepper, and much more. The dish is believed to build the immunity of people, especially young children who might get affected due to seasonal changes. Water spinach is another green vegetable that starts blossoming in various parts of Karnataka just after the onset of the first rain. Locally known as anne soppu, it is enjoyed after being mixed into a lentil curry and having it with balls made from ragi flour. 

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Northern India

In areas such as Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, and Manipur that have hilly terrain, different types of green vegetables started erupting during this time. In Uttarakhand, the fiddlehead fern is quite popular among the local community and in Himachal Pradesh and Assam, this green vegetable is consumed in the form of stir fries, curries, and pickles.

In Uttar Pradesh, monsoon simply means taro leaves. Also called arbi ka patta, these green leaves of taro are widely consumed in various parts of Uttar Pradesh. One of the most common ways of eating these leaves is in the form of deep-fried snacks. In the local language, it is called patoday and bears a very striking resemblance with patra from Gujarat. Patoday is a traditional delicacy from Uttar Pradesh that also is found in areas such as Bihar and northern parts of India such as Haryana and Delhi. A lot of people like to have patoday in dry form whereas some people also like to make a curry out of it.

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In Maharashtra, one would see an abundance of shewla and phodshi during the monsoon season. The thing about these wild green leafy vegetables is that they grow for a very small amount of time which is why their popularity during monsoon is quite high. Shewla is a very attractive green vegetable that is generally chopped into very small pieces to make a bhaji. Many people also like to add it to their prawn curry to make a thick and flavourful main course dish. 

Even though there is a common misconception among people to avoid green, especially leafy vegetables during summer, the monsoon food trail of India tails otherwise. One doesn't have to worry about any kind of germ infestation as long as one makes sure that the vegetable is sourced from the right vendor. Also, before making anything during monsoon, one must inspect the ingredients properly as all the ingredients are equally vulnerable to getting infected by worms during monsoon. It is safe to say that with the amount of nutrients that green vegetables offer to the body, there is no incorrect time to have them. It's just that one has to be a little bit careful and conscious.