Horned cucumber. Horned melon. Kiwano. A strange-looking egg-shaped fruit. The mouthfuls of cool cucumbery seeds are enclosed in a spiky, warty, green or reddish-yellow skin. It is eaten by halving it and scooping out the seeds.
Fat edible caterpillars or mopani worms. In rural areas they are collected from trees but in town they have to be bought. They are soaked in water and then salted and boiled before being fried until crisp. The mopane worm is a large caterpillar that feeds on the mopane tree, Colophospermum mopane. The adult stage is a large and attractive Emperor moth (Family Saturnidae). The worm is an important source of protein and income to many people. However, the trade is threatened by over-harvesting, and mopane worms are now rare or extinct in some areas where they were once common.
A bottle gourd or calabash cucumber which is pale green on the outside, creamy, yellowish-white inside and looks like a cucumber with a bulge at one end. Only the very young gourds are used for cooking. When older they are most commonly known as calabash and develop a hard, woody shell which may be used for making bowls and musical instruments.
Maize grains dried, pounded to a coarse flour consistency, with some kernels still left whole, and then boiled to make a thick porridge.
Millet. Pearl millet. After rice and wheat this is the most important grain crop of India. It is used to make flour which is often used in the making of poppadums. Two types of millet are available, bulrush or bajra bajra (pearl millet - Pennisetum typhoideum) and finger millet (Eleusine coracana).
Amaranth. This covers many varieties of a sweetish green leafy vegetable known by many different names, including callalloo, elephant’s ear, African/Chinese/Ceylon/Indian spinach, Surinam amaranth, basella etc. Most commonly it is a tropical climbing plant that can grow as high as 2 meters (6 ft), the leaves being harvested as the plant grows and cooked in the same way as spinach. In India the most common is Basella alba or Indian Spinach.