Manipur's Favorite Delicacy ‘Yongchak’ Likely To Get Whole Year - Eastern Mirror
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Manipur’s favorite delicacy ‘Yongchak’ likely to get whole year

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By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Nov 03, 2023 10:57 pm

IMPHAL — Manipur is expected to get fresh and matured Yongchak (stink or bitter or tree bean) -a favorite delicacy in the state which grows and bears fruits mostly during winter season, almost round the year as a Yongchak species of Thailand origin has successfully grown in the state.

This came to light when a resident in Imphal successfully grew Parkia speciosa, a Thailand origin species, in the state after it was introduced by researchers of Imphal-based Kwaklei and Khonggunmelei Orchids Pvt Ltd (KKO) sometime in 2016.

“Unexpectedly Parkia speciosa, which germinated after our laboratory examination some years ago, is now successfully grown here,” says Rajkumar Kishor who is the chairman-cum-managing director of KKO, adding “We’ve already distributed the saplings to other interested farmers too.”

Parkia speciosa, which is known as ‘sator’ in Thailand, is a leguminous tree with rich protein value that has a different character unlike those Parkia roxburghii, which were grown abundantly in Manipur in winter. In Manipur, both flowers and beans of Yongchak (Parkia roxburghii) are consumed.

Parkia speciosa or Petai is a plant of the genus Parkia in the family Fabaceae, which grows and blooms in summer. Like Parkia roxburghii, matured beans of Parkia speciosa could be consumed.

It may be mentioned that one out of two saplings (Parkia speciosa) that planted in the backyard of Shamurailatpam Jashobanta (Gopal) Sharma at Sagolband Thangjam Leirak in Imphal West district sometime in 2016-17 grew well yielding mature tree beans in October 2023.

“The saplings were brought to my place and planted in the year 2016-17. The flowering started from April (2023) onwards and started to bear fruits or pods for the first time this October without any problem. The flavour of this Yongchak is also comparatively good,” says Jashobanta Sharma. Each bunch has 3 to 5 Yongchak pods, he informed.

Yongchak Eromba (a traditional Manipuri chutney) or Singju (a traditional Manipuri salad), prepared with fermented fish, is one of the most sought after dishes of Manipur during winters. It has significant economic value as vegetable, medicinal etc in the region. It is fast growing, easier to grow and hardy in nature.

Citing the impact of climate change and global warming on traditional Yongchak (Parkia roxburghii), which is currently facing frequent pest infestation resulting in low production every year, Kishor said, “I think with the success of Parkia speciosa cultivation, the state would help to increase production and availability of fresh and matured Yongchak throughout the year.”

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By Sobhapati Samom Updated: Nov 03, 2023 10:57:26 pm
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