foraging indian style…

Foraging Indian style…well it started off as a walk. Sometimes i stay in Butterfly Hill, a second, more remote orphanage buried deep in the Andrha Pradesh countryside. Every day i stay there, i take 6 or 7 kids along with me for a long walk into the forest or the surrounding countryside. The kids know a lot about edible and useful plants that grow there…and i KNOW about the dangers of irresponsible foraging but the kids eat this stuff all the time, we are in some fairly remote countryside here and for once there is almost no pollution…here are some things they taught me…


Find a suitable branch of a neem tree, strip the bark back…gnaw the inside till it begins to fray and then use to clean teeth…It works really well…it tastes bitter, antiseptic and kind of refreshing…

The kids really love these berries, in Telegu they are called parikaylu and i can’t find anything about them online anywhere. They taste sweet and sour with a large seed in the middle and apparently they are packed with vitamin C.

Tamarind…the “fruits” hang from the tree looking a little like broad bean pods but you eat the whole thing…It tastes really good…crunchy, intense, sour, tangy, fresh…like tamarind!. You can’t eat too much though as it does crazy things to your mouth and it’s especially good if you dip it in a little salt…

This is called mogali rekulu around here, i thought it was aloe vera but apparently it’s not. They use the sap here to help heal cuts and grazes and also they strip the fibres to make threads…

We meet 2 women we know along the way and everyone wants a picture…

not at all edible but very beautiful and all over the place, a dathura or datura flower…

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