Wild Mustard (Jakhiya)
A less known wild edible plant of Indian Himlayan Region – Jakhiya or Cleome viscosa. An essential spice in Garhwali cuisine and can leave an exotic feel on the taste buds. Jakhiya is also known as wild mustard or dog mustard. The plant is used for treating fever, inflammations, liver ailments, bronchitis and diarrhoea. The oil extracted from jakhiya seeds has medicinal properties. Fresh oil of crushed seeds is used for treating infantile convulsions and mental disorders. Several published studies have shown that leaves of Cleome viscosa are useful in healing wounds and ulcers.
Because of its sharp pungent smell and crunchy taste, most Garhwalis prefer jakhiya over cumin and mustard seed for tempering. It is used in tempering of harasaags, vegetables, curries, pulses—almost everything that needs to be tempered before or after cooking. Jakhiya is found in tropics throughout the world and is used in traditional medicine in many parts of India and outside. Almost all the parts of the plant are used for treating diseases. Leaves of jakhiya are also eaten as substitute for green vegetables in villages.