Wild plants have exercised the culinary imagination of people in Manipur since yore. The state abounds in various species of Colacasia, wild peas, bamboo plants and Langenaria cineria. These plants are rich in nutrition and their shoots, fruits, leaves and corms are ingredients for a variety of Manipuri recipes.
Amongst them is ootti, a traditional delicacy thats a must on the Manipuri platter during festive occasions such as makam-chakouba (marriage feast), Sajibu-cheraoba (the Manipuri new year), kang (chariot festival) and other social and religious rituals. Various wild plants such as Colacasia esculenta, Langenaria cineria and bamboo plants are used to prepare the dish.
H Birkumar Singh and Alka Jain are with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research's Regional Laboratory Substation at Imphal, Manipur