You might have thought of taking drugs or alcohol to forget your pain or to enjoy. Most of us rely on alcoholic beverages when it comes to drinks. But have you ever wondered what other uses alcohol has? Or, for that matter, any such item? Certainly not, but you would be amazed to see its benefits for one such drug. As the title suggests, Opium or Afeem is one such component beneficial for other things. Have a look at those “other things.”
Opium is a sedative drug which is used for relaxation and other pleasures. Banned in countries like Australia, opium has affected trade in India even before independence. Opium is produced in many European countries along with Asia. Opium production happens as a plant with flowers, but the origin is still unknown. It was in the 1850s when a large scale production of opium was seen, which became one of the most important crops later. It is believed that Alexander The Great introduced it to India around 300 B.C. Used for medicines and self-medication, opium has also been eaten as food, giving us major expectations. There are about 70 other species in the context of opium and hundreds of varieties.
From Mughal emperors to the British rule, India has a problematic history but is one of the 12 countries in the world to legally allow opium production and use it as a raw material for morphine which is very much used in hospitals and codeine which is the basic ingredient of cough syrups. Poppy (often known as) is just opium in its early stage, and then white, red or violet flowers come out, though violet flowers are assumed to be weak opium and generate less sales. Opium does not need any special soil and can even grow on the most unsuitable land.
Scientific name : Lachryma Papaveris
Opium or Afeem is seen only as a drug by the majority, but you will be amazed to see how delicious it becomes when cooked as a dish. In some parts of India, opium is enjoyed as a vegetable. When cooked at home, it becomes green in color and looks the same as spinach. A white substance is released from the opium plant which is kept to dry. The production is largely done in states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Cities like Ratlam, Mandsaur and Neemuch in the state of Madhya Pradesh use the leaves of the opium plant to make it a vegetable which comes mostly in winters, also called “Poppies.”
So, here’s the recipe for opium you can make at home
The opium leaves are not intoxicated, but are boiled, then washed with fresh water, and later cooked. Makka ki roti (bread of maize) and Afeem ki Sabzi is one of the famous items of Rajasthani cuisine. The recipe is provided below:
- Take three spoons of Opium leaves (after it is dried, washed and cut into small size).
- One bowl of horse gram to be boiled before two hours for later use.
- Two small spoons of maize flour, or gram flour.
- A small raw mango or green mango (peeled and cut) and a small spoon of cumin (Jeera).
- Three medium size chopped onions, five garlic slices cut in little pieces and green or red chilies cut in small size too.
- Half small spoon of turmeric, one small spoon of red chili powder and coriander powder, and salt as per your taste.
- Two big spoons of oil.
Put the opium leaves (cut beforehand) in a pan and boil it for five minutes. Switch the gas off and filter the vegetable. Wash it again two to three times and keep it in a bowl. Add gram flour or maize flour in the washed leaves and put all the spices in it. Mix everything well. Pour two spoon of oil in the pan and heat it, add cumin when heated.
Put garlic, onions and chilies in it, mix it with the flame on. When all this starts turning red, drop the vegetable inside and cook it altogether. After two minutes, add water with boiled horse gram and green mango. You can use tamarind in the absence of green mango. Use spices as per your taste. Cover the pan to let it boil for 3-4 minutes; just mix everything. Turn the gas off, and your dish is ready!
Note: You can choose not to add water in it, if you want to have it a little more dry.
Thus, your meal is all set to serve. The vegetable is also known as Amal Ki Bhaaji and eaten with Makka Ki Roti and is very beneficial for a good diet. Opium can be a high drug, used in smoke or medicines, but it is a tempting dish when it comes to food. You will surely enjoy experiencing it, even the recipe is very quick and easy to make.