Traditional tanii cuisines and delicacies would be unpalatable without use of fermented bamboo shoots. As varieties of bamboo species are found in the vicinity of Apatani plateau and neighborhood, bamboo shoots are widely use in raw or in form of fermented.Bamboo shoots are harvested seasonally (mostly during Apr-Jun), thus the best way to preserve seasonal& perishable bamboo shoots are done by fermenting processes.
In tanii cuisines and delicacies, the fermented bamboo shoots are available in three popular forms- namely HIKHU (finely chopped and wet), HIYI (dried HIKHU) and HIRIN (wholesome). Well preserved fermented bamboo shoots can be use throughout the year until next harvesting is done. It is only possible due to natural fermentation processes, there is no rocket science involved,moreover no preservative agent is required. Following steps are involved in fermentation of bamboo shoots:
|Fresh Bamboo shoots|
|Wet finely chopped fermented bamboo shoot (HIKHU)|
|Fermented Whole Bamboo shoot (HIRIN)|
|Dry fermented bamboo shoot (HIYI)|
DOs and DON'Ts in fermentation process:
- Select fresh bamboo shoots only
- Wash properly to remove all dirt
- Chop using hygienic chopper
- Add green chilies before storing (optional)
- Select airtight glass/plastic jars with lids
- Store in dry place
- Don't open the lids of jar frequently during fermentation process
- Don't allow direct exposure to the heat and sunlight
- Don't add salt during fermentation, this may result in dehydration and the process would be effected
- Don't use wet spoon/hand during checking, this may spoil entire fermentation process
- Don't keep fermenting/fermented bamboo shoot along the fermenting rice beer, strong sour-acidic taste HIKHU/HIRIN/HIYI may be affected and spoiled later
- In olden days, hikhu/hirin/hiyi were stored in the containers made of bamboo tube and those were tight capped using special type of wild leaves available in the vicinity.
- Entire fermentation process was done organically.
- Strong pungent smell of fermented bamboo shoot may put many people off :)
- Apatani bamboo (Phylostachhys Bambusoides) are never used for making HIKHU/HIRIN/HIYI , reason may be- its economical importance in our daily life.
- The packaged fermented bamboo shoots are available in market.