Thursday, October 6, 2016

Edible red berries in Uttarkashi

Many years back one of my colleagues from army background told me that the army students were given various trainings to survive in the hardest conditions. If during war or in any other situation by chance they were left alone in a forest without food and water, in such a difficult situation what they would eat to survive. And the situation worsened if they were in a forest where the vegetation was unknown to them and they couldn’t differentiate between the edible and non edible fruits and berries. Then, in such a condition they were told to eat green colour berries as the chances of their being poisonous were very less as compared to yellow colored berries. And the red colored berries should be avoided as the chances of their being poisonous were very high as compared to yellow berries.

On seeing a tree full of red berries which was growing close to ashram in Uttarkashi, I recalled this incidence. The red berries were very attractive and tempting. I was looking at the tree admiring the beautiful berries.
Suddenly a tree pie came from nowhere, sat on the top branch and started eating berries. It appeared that the bird loved the taste of those berries.
As it flew away, I gathered my courage to eat unknown berries whose chances of being non edible were very high but my mind said bird was relishing them so at least they were non-poisonous.
I plucked some and ate. I loved the taste which was slightly sour to slightly sweet. Thank God, I didn’t die after that! ;)

Later on from a local villager I came to know that they were used to prepare chutney in which til (sesame) was added. The chutney tasted delicious.

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