Beautiful scenery, fresh air, simplicity and a a serene life…these are the things we remember when we think of a village life. Whenever we visited my mom in law we would get to eat a different meal altogether.She lived in a village in Kerala. And I grew up in cities.
Though I was shocked to see the difference in culture there were some things that fascinated me. They would use every part of the Banana plant, the jackfruit tree, the coconut tree ,the Drumstick tree, Colocasia plant etc in their daily life.
I would wonder whether they had researched and explored in detail because they like to use everything to the optimum and not waste anything
The banana fruit is eaten as a daily routine as its a good antacid .The leaves are not eaten but used for steaming and serving food and some of the polyphenols are imparted to the food. The flower of the banana is delicious and cooked as a nutritious vegetable.The white inner stem is not thrown away but has medicinal properties and also eaten as a vegetable.
This goes for the jackfruit too.The leaves are used as spoons in Kerala,and there is a flavour to the food eaten with this.The wood is used as logs to cross a canal and the fruit when it’s raw ,every part of it is cooked and eaten.The white band of fibres in which the fruit is embedded , the seeds inside ,the inner part of the thorny surface are all delicacies and I would be awestruck to see the number of dishes that rolls out of one fruit.
They would even make a delicious vegetable dish out of raw pineapple and to chop it so finely with an ordinary knife was an art. One needed tolerance and a lot of time went into this one delicacy.
Today Inspite of so many different varieties of vegetables always available everywhere I miss the delicious curry made with Colocasia leaves ,the dish made out of the jackfruit fibre ,the raw Pineapple thoran ,the blood red leafy vegetable which cannot be compared with any vegetable that money can buy. Probably it made me fall in love with nature and their bonding with their neighbours.