Friday, October 21, 2016

367. A wild spice: Jummana /Kavunte kāyi

Jummina (or Jummana) is a wild thorny tree common to rainy areas of Malnād and Karāvali  It is known as Zanthoxylum rhetsa in botanical circles.. The thorny tree with moderately large leaves bears pungent tasting bunch of berries known as Jummina kāyi in Uttara Kannada.  
Jummana  (Kavunte) with berries
In coastal cuisine the dried outer skin of the Jummina (Kavunte) berries are used as spices for imparting a special taste to fish curries, especially Bangude. People consider that the wild spice has anti-flatulant characteristics to ward of possible ill effects of indigestion especially associated with fishes like BangudeThe Indian tree is considered to be a cousin of Szechuan pepper (Zanthoxylum piperitum) a popular spice in Chinese and Thai cooking.
In the villages of Tulunadu, the berries of the tree are commonly known as Kavunte kāyi or Petala kāyikāyi = berry of the plant), which is used by rural children for playing as toy bullets.  The children while playing make piston like structures in the form of tubular structures from selected plant stalks, inside which rod like plant parts, are used to drive out the berry bullets forcibly such that berries explode with a thud sound.
 The “Jummina” term might have been adopted because of the stunning “jumm” kind of pungent feeling you get while tasting the outer cover of the berry. Our Konkani and Marathi friends call the tree by the name of   Teppal or Tirphal.
The tree bears fat thorns on the stem that are used by children to make rubber stamps. The thorns of Jummina tree are also used in the Yakshagana costumes, especially for designing the thorn like shoulder ornaments (known as “bhujakeerti”).


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Books for Reference

  • A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects By Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya. Govinda Pai Reserach Centre, UDupi. 1994
  • Koti Chennaya: Janapadiya Adhyayana. By Dr. Vamana Nandavar. Hemanshu Prakashana ,Mangalore.2001.
  • Male kudiyaru. Dr B. A.Viveka Rai and D.Yadupathi Gowda, Mangalore University,1996.
  • Mogaveera Samskriti By Venkataraja Punimchattaya. Karnataka Sahitya Academy.1993.
  • Mugeraru:Jananga Janapada Adhyayana. By Dr Abhaya Kumar Kaukradi.Kannada & Culture Directorate,Bangalore & Karnataka Tulu Academy, Mangalore,1997.
  • Puttubalakeya Pad-danagalu. Ed: Dr B.A.Viveka Rai,Yadupati Gowda and Rajashri, Sri Dharmasthala Manjunatheswara Tulu Peeta. Mangalore University.2004
  • Se'erige. Ed:Dr K.Chinnapa Gowda.Madipu Prakashana,Mangalagangotri,2000.
  • Studies in Tuluva History and Dr P Gururaja Bhat (1975).Milagres College,Kallinapur,Udupi.
  • Taulava Sanskriti by Dr.B.A.Viveka Rai, Sahyadri Prakashana,Mysore 1977
  • TuLu naaDu-nuDi By Dr.PalthaDi Ramakrishna Achar, Puttur.
  • TuLu NighanTu. (Editor in Chief: Dr U.P.Upadhyaya, Govinda Pai Research Centre,Udupi. Six volumes. 1988 to 1997
  • Tulu Patero-A Philology & Grammar of Tulu Language by Budhananda Shivalli.2004.Mandira Prakashana Mangalore. p.317. (The book is in Tulu Language using Kannada script)
  • TuLunadina ShasanagaLa Sanskritika Adhyayana. By Shaila T. Verma (2002) Jnanodaya Prakashana,Bangalore, p.304.(Kannada)
  • Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999

A Coastal estuary

A Coastal estuary
Holegadde near Honavar,Uttara Kannada dist, Karnataka

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