Etshatshe Paste

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Etshatshe, made from a fruit also as known as soh risa or by its scientific name of Hodgsonia heteroclite, is an oil seed that grows wild in colder areas of Meghalaya and Nagaland in northeastern India. Each plant produces 40-60 fruits. The plant is a member of the gourd family, and resembles a small pumpkin when immature. It grows on a climbing vine and falls to the ground once mature. Then, the outer fleshy cover is removed and a stone-shaped seed is separated and dried in the sun or over a fireplace. Each fruit contains about six seeds. Once dried, the cover is removed and the seeds are roasted and then ground into a powder with a peanut-like taste. This powder is used to make a spicy paste mixed with chilies and small tomatoes. The etshatshe oil seeds are also used to make soups and stews.  

Etshashe spicy paste is still made locally in homes, and the production method has been passed on to younger generations. Neither the paste nor the etshatshe seeds are commonly found sold in shops or markets. It is worried that both the raw material and the paste may be lost in the future due to a trend of deforestation and the increase in livestock rearing in the area, which is negatively affecting many native edible wild fruits in the area, such as the etshathse oil seed plant.

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Territory

StateIndia
Region

Meghalaya

Nagaland

Other info

Categories

Spices, wild herbs and condiments

Vegetables and vegetable preserves

Indigenous community:Naga, Khasi