Issue Date: Mar 15, 2013
It is an unassuming weed that grows in profusion along the roads and along the southern stretch of the Ganga. Its berries are black and lacklustre. One wouldn’t think phutka, as the plant is referred to in Bhagalpur, Bihar, could amount to anything much. So I was surprised to find sabjiwalis collecting it from my kitchen garden in Bhagalpur. The tender twigs earn them Rs 10-15 a kilogram in the market, they told me.
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