Bamboo shoot in Nepali kitchen
Bamboo shoot, locally known as Tama, is one of the most popular food items in Nepal. It could not only be cooked as vegetable but one could also make pickle out of it. It is a seasonal food which could also be bottled as use throughout the year. There are fewer Nepalese who would not love the taste of Tama. During the season, the markets are adorned with the sellers bringing baskets of Tamas for selling. The raw Tama is white in color and is quite like bamboo. It is kept in water to maintain its freshness.
The raw Tama is boiled first and then cut into small pieces, in the way you want to cook. However, the plain raw bamboo shoot could only be fried while getting it ready for making curry is a lengthy process. The raw Tama is boiled and cut into small pieces (like we do when we cut French fries but for this purpose it should be shorter and thinner) and then fried in the circular pan, karai.
For making curry, the raw Tama could not be used. It is first boiled and cut into small chips like pieces. Then, it is mixed with hardi and kept in a bottle. The bottled Tama is ready to use in few days after it develops a sour and tangy taste as well as smell. The bottled Tama is fried and later mixed with the potato curry or potato and bean (bodi) curry. It tastes great with the rice, however, if one is suffering from cough and cold, then it is better to avoid the curry as it is sour and causes more problems. And also avoiding it during the winter and in the dinner is suggested while the fried Tama has no such restrictions. It is one of the most popular foods in Nepali kitchen as could not only be used as vegetable but also as a pickle.