Sunday, May 10, 2009

Tanii "vegetables" (haman)

"Haman" (or Hamang) is a generic word most often translated as "vegetable". Such a translation is rough however, as under this designation one finds both cultivated and wild species. Also, not all cultivated plants fall into the category "haman". In fact, under the label "haman" the Taniis include a wide range of species whose leaves can be eaten, either raw or more often boiled. Other plants whose tubers, seeds, stems, shoots or fruits are eaten by humans belong to other plant categories.

How many are there ? While at Ziro I made a quick list with a couple of Tanii friends, and tried my best to identify them later. But no doubt that it is uncomplete and needs some correction. Your comments are welcome regarding their taste, culinary use, medicinal properties, etc. I sorted them simply by alphabetical order here:

1. aji padii haman
: Cardamine hirsuta.

aji padii haman
2. genda haman : Redflower Ragleaf; fireweed (Crassocephalum crepidioides). Also called halyan haman.

genda haman
3. giyan haman: Cabbage Leaf Mustard (Brassica juncea var. rugosa), Lai Pata in Assamese.

giyan haman
4. hiigu haman: Japanese parsley (Oenanthe javanica).

hiigu haman
5. hiika haman: surely not a "vegetable" in the strict sense, but a wild edible fern, of the Pteris genus.

hiika haman
6. hiipe haman : Elatostema platyphyllum, a green leafy vegetable collected from the forests. This one seems a bit doubtful. Are the leaves shown below really eaten by Taniis ?

hiipe haman
7. hiiro haman : I know almost nothing about this species.

8. khuyi haman
: Creeping Woodsorrel (Oxalis corniculata, literally "sour vegetable"). Alternate names for this species : o haman; akho haman. The leaves which are eaten have a tangy taste.

khuyi haman (o haman; akho haman)
9. kochi haman : Dandelion (Taraxacum sp.). Literally 'bitter vegetable". The leaves are eaten and, as the name indicates, have a bitter taste.

kochi haman
10. kukulyu haman (in Hija) or kuku lyolye haman (in Bulla): a yet unidentified species that is not only eaten, but also used as a natural pesticide. Especially it is put into paro piiha (basket for carrying chickens) as a prevention against pests affecting poultry.

kukulyu haman/ kuku lyolye haman

11. luli haman: Nepalese smartweed (Persicaria nepalensis).

luli haman

12. mepi haman
Greater plantain (Plantago major), a common weed.

mepi haman

13. ngiilyan khiiko haman: Indian Pennywort (Centella asiatica). The leaves are either boiled or eaten raw with pila. This plant is said to be a good remedy for stomach disorders.

ngiilyan khiiko haman
14. pachu koyu haman. I know nothing about this species.

15. pakhu harbu haman.
I know nothing about this species.

16. pato haman.
The leaf has a bitter taste and can be used to garnish pike (a typical dish using ash filtered water). I know nothing else about this species.

17. nyihi tami haman
. I know nothing about this species.

18. raru haman
, commonly known in India as pahari peepal, its botanical name is
Piper mellusae or P. brachystachyum.

raru haman

19. riri haman (or riri tami ?): Mile-a-minute or Chinese creeper (Mikania micrantha), a perennial creeping climber, also a very invasive weed. I'm not sure this plant falls into the category "haman", though that name "riri haman" was given to me at Ziro. It may be simply a weed, "tami", as suggested by tdtara. Are the leaves eaten by humans ?

riri haman
20. siya haman: Chameleon Pant (Hottuniya cordata). It has a strong acid taste when eaten.

siya haman
21. tabu choka haman: The name would literally mean 'snake spit vegetable'. I have no further information regarding this species.

tape haman is the name for the tropical pumpkin (Cucurbita moschata), the leaves of which are also eaten. Tape is in usage in Hari, Bulla and Hong. It is called epe in Hija, whereas in Bamin-Michi the preferred designation seems to be ayo tape.

tape haman (ayo tape, epe)

23. tayi haman is a generic name for several Amaranth species (Amaranthus spp.).

24. lanchan tayi haman: Joseph's coat (Amaranthus tricolor). It is named "red" (lanchan) variety because of the red color which is especially apparent on young leaves.

lanchan tayi haman
25. pulu tayi haman: Spiny Amaranth (Amaranthus spinosus). It is accurately named "white" (pulu) variety, as it bears tiny white flowers in bunches.

26. yorkhun haman: toothache plant; paracress (Acmella oleracea), a flowering herb whose small leaves are eaten.

yorkhun haman

Other cultivated species, which are usually considered as "vegetables" in other languages, are not listed here, as Tanii do not regard them as "haman".



tdtara said...

Very nice post Again.
let me have some correction on your post:

1.your photo of giyan haman seems photo of Horyo(asamese word)-but am not sure.

2.kuku lyolye haman : Its Kukulyu hamang not kuku lyolye hamang.

3.riri haman : It is Ririe Tami(creeper) not Hamang(vegetable).

4.pulu tayi haman : There are two variety of TAYI HAMANG(one reddish and another light green)- I forgot the exact name,it was something like-tarlang tayi hamang for reddish tayi hamang and Tarbu tayi hamang for light green- have to confirm. As per i remember,word LANCHANG(red) and PULU(White) is not use for Tayi hamang.

5.For picture of Giyang hamang, hiiro hamang, pachu koyu hamang, pakhu harbu hamang, patho hamang, nyihi tami hamang(its not tami), siya hamang,tayi hamang(light green one),mepi hamang(urs pic of mepi hamang may be correct, mine was pic taken from Naharlagun)......

Hoping other visitor will help us in identifying these vegetables.

taj said...

Hi PB,

Superb post and effort. I never knew scientific name of anyone of them. As tdtara I too am doubtful about, "giyang hamang", its picture seems not the same one we are used to seeing. For the rest of scientific names of hamangs many will owe you.

PB said...

@ tdtara and Taj,
Thanks for your kind words. Both of you were right regarding giyan haman. I have corrected it after checking. Kindly inform me in case it still needs further correction.

dani sulu said...

Splendid work. Keep it up.

I am also trying to infuse new life to my blog. Visit here as and when you get time ....

PB said...

Thanks Sulu. I enjoyed visiting your blog (which I knew earlier).

wiian said...

no tapey hamang in the list

i think giyan and tapey (pumpkin green.. giving it a good sounding name ;) deservedly ) are the two leaves cooked on a regular basis.

PB said...

Hi Wiian,
Thanks for the info. I've added your "pumpkin green" (tape) to the list.

Millo Tago said...

Good work. What about 'inge akho haman' and 'ui tanyi haman'? Please do more. Do something on species of 'alyee lyido' too. Try to find out 'tasse' and 'tabey'.


taj said...

Hi PB,

I've some hamang's for you, check it out at

taj said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bhaskar Bora said...

Wonderful efforts.I am really fascinated.
Bhaskar Bora
My Blog :

Logan said...

Show romanization
Are not the kinds of plants, but I would like to buy some, but I also buy viagra and once for not having to go after.

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