Wednesday, February 10, 2010
"Nyiru" and "Leunca"
Yes, I'm still at the traditional market where these vegies are sold.
You may be familiar with some of the things in the picture as they are quite universal: tomatoes, carrots, shallots, cauliflower, red chilly, and red beans are "world class" vegetables. But some of the things in the picture are local and may not be familiar to you.
Yes, the first one are those large bamboo trays. I think they may only be found in east or southeast Asia. We - Sundanese - call it "nyiru". Javanese and Indonesian would call it "tampah". There is no English translation for it, I don't think so.
Before the age of plastics, we had a lot of tools, baskets, containers, and vessels made of bamboo, which are availble in abundance here. Now some of those things have been replaced by environmentally-hostile plastics. Sigh.
Next are those green, bean-like vegetable in the front center "nyiru". Many of us love it and call it "leunca". Some reliable internet sources say that its Latin name is solanum nigrum L.
However, Solanum nigrum L is considered poisonous in North America and some other places. On the contrary, "leunca" is considered (and has been proven by some research at some Indonesian universities) to have some medicinal properties, including that of aphrodisiac.
Regardless of what science says, we have eaten it for ages. Not only is it delicious (if you know how to cook it like we do), but also good for our health.