The Naal Badi - the preparation of which in the hills is no less than a festival as there is a certain kind of energy that prevails in the air when kids run and play and the womenfolk are busy making Naal Badis amidst much laughter and chatter, singing folk songs. Different duties are assigned to different groups . One group of women are engaged in cleaning the hollow stem of the Taro plant, another group ties the stems to a sutli ( jute string ) and then there's another group which coats the stem with a fluffy batter of spiced Urad dal which is ground on sil battas usually by strong young Daughter -in-laws , under the eagle eyed supervision of elderly experts. The Naal Badi is then left to bake in the sun for a day. The next day it is chopped into small circular pieces and left to dry in the sun for a few more days .When it is completely dry it is stored in tins , to be cooked and eaten specially during the harsh winter months when not much is available in the hills .
It is usually prepared as a jhol ( stew ) with or without potatoes and eaten with rice . Every part of the Pindalu (Taro root ) plant is eaten by the the hill people but the most delicious is the Naal Baadi.
We prepared a curry and it was delicious and authentic in taste.