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chutney 1Salad or Marchadeng (meaning – Chilli, veggies, etc ,.with fermented fish paste )  is always a delicious  accompaniment to the usual traditional rice and curry in Manipur.

The basic ingredients of Marchadeng: Chilli (dry or fresh), garlic, salt and fermented fish. When raw vegetables and herbs are added it can be taken like a salad .Vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, fenugreek, eggplant, etc are commonly used. Even raw papaya is used.

chutney 2

I made Marchadeng using a not so common vegetable or plant as you may like to call. It’s known as Jongtâh in the local language. Its scientific name is Parkia speciosa (bitter bean, twisted cluster bean or stink bean). It has edible beans with bright green seeds the size and shape of plump almonds and a rather peculiar smell.

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We get this only in winters and it is a delicacy.  Trees that bear these seeds take about eight to ten years to grow and apparently, there are fewer trees now. It is possible that they might become extinct too in the near future.

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Why not try? After all, salads are healthy!