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 Now some of those things have been replaced by environmentally-hostile plastics.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.


Deden said...

Kata Nenek, "Leunca" has something effect related with reproduction organ. at the sense of the fertility.. ;p

Egi Arvian F said...

Glad to know someone posted this article for the sake of cultural assets preservation. I am Sundanese and it's been quite a few time not to hear those terms as you said in the writing. I know Leunca and most of my families are sometimes "stoked" to eat it, I never ate it though. But if it's proven nutritious I'll consider to start consuming it, hopefully I'll like it.

Kindly thanks :)

Leif Hagen said...

Looks like some delicious, fresh vegetables yesterday and today!

Photo Cache said...

the same veggies i grew up seeing in our market. thanks for the nostalgia.

Call me "MOOD", Mahmud. said...

In Bintulu, where I'm at the moment, the Melanaus here similarly call"nyiru" also as " nyiruk". Nyiruk is used here to 'wind' the paddy, drying the 'belacan' or salted fish.

peppermint said...

Always love seeing picture of traditional market. So fresh and original. I love leunca soo much. Unfortunately its hard to find it in Jakarta.

Catherine said...

That makes a nice colored picture !
It would be interesting to know if here in Europe Leunca is sold or considered as harmful, too. We get some specialised shop selling what we call "exotic food". But this vegetable is, maybe, too particular and too localized to find it so far from its production.

jeannette stgermain said...

Interesting info about the nyriu - I don't know that vegetable, but it probably has a different name here. thanks for sharing, Eki. Does Indonesia celebrate Valentine's Day?

luna said...


Your camera caught the beauty of these vegetables.

Makes me want to increase my veg intake.

Anton said...

Leunca is one of my favourite Indonesian vegetables, and I first had it at a restaurant on the outskirts of Bandung. I wish I could find it here in the USA! (It’s a member of the eggplant family, but I’ve never seen it locally.)