Usoi Ooti is not a new recipe to bamboo shoot lovers. The young tender shoot of Bamboo has been eaten all around the world. There are several value addition products of Bamboo shoots.
When to harvest Usoi/Bamboo shoots?
Some prepared the Soibum (fermented bamboo shoot),some made cookie biscuit and pickles. The Manipuri Usoi Ooti which is very popular during June/July months is the best recipe of Bamboo shoots.
During the month from June to August, bamboo shoots starts to grow from the main mother plant. In Manipur we have around 10-15 different varieties of Bamboo or Wa in local language. We can eat every Usoi of Bamboo, but common Usoi Ooti is prepared from Saneibi Wa.
This type of Bamboo gives ample Usoi or Bamboo shoots. However, most tastiest and very delicious Ooti can be prepared from Utang Wa. The soft texture of this Utang Was is mouth watering. Compared to other Ooti, the recipe prepared from Utang Wa gives a soft and tender texture. It seems there is not a single fibre, though Usoi or Bamboo shoots is mainly composed of fibre.
A little bit of precaution is required while handling Usoi. The prickly thorn or hair on on the outer cover of the Usoi need to be checked, less it will stick to our skin.
How to prepare Usoi for cooking?
We must remove the outer cover or layer of the Usoi. This is the first step. Remove the covering which are hard and sturdy. Then make a slice, rather a thin slice like we are cutting potatoes for chips.
Soaked the sliced Bamboo shoots for few minutes in a clean water. Clean it twice or thrice. Our Bamboo shoot is now ready to be cooked.
What are the main recipe for Usoi Ooti?
To make Ooti, we need dry peas (Hawai mangal in local language), baking soda (Sodium bi carbonate), Turmeric leaves (Yaingang mana), ginger (sing), salt, dry chilies, Cooking oil, preferably mustard oil, Onion etc.
Main ingredients of Ooti is Usoi and Mangal. Normally Ooti made with dry peas is called Mangal Ooti, but when Usoi is mixed in the dry peas, we called it Usoi Ooti.
What is the health benefits of Usoi Ooti?
Usoi have a number of health benefits like improving appetite and digestion, weight loss, and curing cardiovascular diseases and cancer. The Usoi are reported to have anticancer, antibacterial, and antiviral activity.
Usoi is now a common ingredient in breakfast cereals, fruit juices, bakery and meat products, sauces, shredded cheese, cookies, pastas, snacks, frozen desserts, and many other value added food products.
Usoi is rich in nutrient components, mainly proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and fiber and are low in fat and sugars. Besides, they contain phytosterols and a high amount of fiber that can be labeled as nutraceuticals or natural medicines.
Naorem Mohen is a natural farmer, full-time blogger, and entrepreneur dedicated to promoting Manipur’s black rice Chakhao, local beverages, and edible mushrooms.