Dhekia Xaak Bhaji (Fried edible fern)This edible fern, called Dhekia (vegetable fern) has been a favourite of the Assamese. Can be eaten in many ways. Be it a curry or cooked dry, Dhekia tastes delicious.
Dhekia is generally not planted or grown in gardens. They grow wild by the banks of streams, roadsides or any unused plots of lands. This is probably the most common edible fern found all over Asia. The scientific name is Diplazium esculentum.
The name Dhekiakhowa Bor Namghor of Jorhat came from this very fern.
Here is a very simple and most common Assamese Dhekia recipe :Ingredients :
3 small bunches of Dhekia
2 eggs (preferably duck egg)
1 fresh green Chilly
1 pod of Garlic (optional)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp Mustard Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric (optional)
Clean, wash, chop Dhekia. Only the very tender stems can be eaten, the hard ones must be cut off. Heat oil, crush the pod of garlic and fry. Add the chilly and Dhekia. Keep stirring, add salt and turmeric. Cook covered in low heat till Dhekia is cooked.
Keep stirring. Remove as soon as the egg is well blended.
Serve with a plate of steamed rice.