|The dark green leaves, the tender stalks, and the fruit|
One of our region's popular vegetables is the Alpinia nigra. From the family Zingiberaceae it grows to a height of about 3 feet. The leaves look somewhat like those of the turmeric. The plant has a faint gingery smell very much like galangal. The stalk and the fruit are widely consumed. Known as dera in Dimasa, this vegetable is usually cooked in a khari that is thickened with rice flour. It is also made into chutney with the addition of hot chillies, fermented fish, alkali, chopped onions and salt. The fruit (derathai) resembles miniature banana flowers. Only the harder outer skin is removed while preparing the vegetable. The innards are pretty much tender so they can be lightly steamed and boiled and mashed into chutney.
|The tender stalks and a dish made from the same|
|The pretty blooms of the Alpinia nigra|