Soy­bean ex­pres­sions

The culi­nary adap­ta­tion of soy­beans has pro­duced some de­lec­ta­ble and nu­tri­tional recipes

Down to Earth - - FOOD - SANGEETA KHANNA

Iby sur­prise when Lata Bharti, WAS TAKEN whose fam­ily runs a pop­u­lar home­s­tay in Goshaini vil­lage in Hi­machal Pradesh, told me she was go­ing to use soy­bean as a stuff­ing for the whole wheat bha­tooras to be served for break­fast. I joined her in the kitchen cu­ri­ously only to be served an­other sur­prise. The soy­bean was green in colour un­like the com­monly found beige and black soy­bean. Lata had soaked the beans overnight and quickly pre­pared a coarse paste in a grinder along with some gin­ger, cumin, co­rian­der and chilies. The green soy­bean paste was stuffed into fer­mented whole wheat dough, flat­tened and deep fried for the plea­sure of hun­gry guests who had re­turned from an early morn­ing moun­tain trek.

Con­ver­sa­tions with lo­cal farm­ers and shop­keep­ers re­vealed that this soy­bean va­ri­ety has been grow­ing in the Lesser Hi­malayas for ages. Soy­bean orig­i­nated in north­east China (Manchuria) and is said to have reached the In­dian part of Lesser Hi­malayas through trade routes. Now it is cul­ti­vated in many parts of the coun­try, in­clud­ing in Hi­machal Pradesh.

A green soy­bean va­ri­ety,Himso 1563,is used ex­ten­sively by farm­ers as it is im­mune to diseases like bac­te­rial pus­tules, brown spot, bac­te­rial blight, frog eye leaf spot and pod blight. This va­ri­ety is also re­sis­tant to pod shat­ter­ing while ripen­ing and dry­ing in situ. The crop is not grown across In­dia due to lack of knowl­edge about ways of us­ing it. Stuffed bha­toora is just one of the ways com­mu­ni­ties use the seed and is a pop­u­lar item in wed­ding cer­e­monies.

Green soy­bean-stuffed

is a pop­u­lar dish in wed­ding cer­e­monies

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