Family:   Fabaceae

Synonyms; Adipera arsenei. Adipera bicolor, Cassia corymbosa, Cassia floribunda.Cassia grandiflora,.Cassia herbertiana, Cassia hybrida  Chamaefistula floribunda. Chamaefistula herbertiana.

Local name: Allon (अललों)

Allon is a free flowering, evergreen, large sized shrub or small tree of Western Himalaya.It is frequently seen growing along roadsides, hills, grassland, wooded grassland, river-banks, papyrus-swamps, upland dry evergreen forest, in hedges, in disturbed or waste ground and other well drained moist habitat upto an altitude of 1000 m in western Himalaya.

A plant of allon in natural habitat

Allon is with large heads of yellow flowers resembling butterflies. Plant is in flowering for many months from summer end to autumn season of the year, so many people grow it as an ornamental plant for its multifarious uses.

Young pods of this plant are edible and eaten as vegetable. Seeds are roasted, ground and made into delicious chutney.

 Allon is harvested from natural  habitat as a source of food, fuel and medicine for local personal use. It is also grown as live fence along front yard to demarcate boundaries and  an ornamental plant in garden.

Allon plant in flowering and fruiting

Allon Plant:

Allon erect, branched shrubs, up to 2.5 cm high.

Leaflets 3-4 pairs, ovate- oblong or ovate- lanceolate, 4.5- 11 cm long, acuminate, glabrous; rachis bearing a gland between each pair of leaflets, except the terminal one.

Flowers yellow, in axillary or terminal racemes. Petals 1-2 cm, broadly ovate, orbicular to broader than long. Stamens 7; staminodes 3.

Pods cylindric, 8- 10 cm long, glabrous.

Allon plant is in flower and fruiting from June to October, so edible pods are available for cooking from August to October. Sustainable harvesting is needed while collecting pods for cooking and seeds for pickle making.

Edible Uses:

Allon pods collected for cooking

Young shoots and green pods are cooked or added in soups. Dried seeds can be roasted and made into chutney.

Vegetable:

Ingredients:

Chopped allon pods for cooking

Chopped pods and young leaves, 1 kg; medium sized potatoes, 1-2; mustard oil, 3-4 tablespoons; coriander powder, 1 tablespoon; fenugreek powder, ½ tablespoon; cumin seeds, 1 tea spoon; turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon; red chillies, 2-3; chopped medium sized onions, 2-4; garlic, 4-5 cloves; ginger paste, ½ tablespoon; chopped medium sized tomato, 1-2; garam masala powder, 1 teaspoon; salt, according to taste.

Method:

Ready to eat allon vegetable

Sauté chopped pods and young shoot exclusively or along with chopped potato in hot mustard oil with spices listed above in the same sequence. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes till pods and potatoes become soft. Add garam masala and mix thoroughly. Serve with chapatis.

A girl enjoying allon vegetable

Allon ki chutney:

Ingredients:

Dry allon seeds, 1 kg; galgal (hill lemon) juice, 500 ml; jaggery, 250 gm; dates, 150 gm; mustard oil, 3-4 tablespoons; fenugreek seeds, 3 tablespoons; cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon; turmeric powder, 1 tablespoon; red chillies, 10-12 and salt, according to taste.

Method:

Dried seeds are roasted and ground into a powder. This powder is sautéed in hot mustard oil for 2 minutes along with turmeric powder. Then boiled with galgal juice, jaggery and dates for 20 to 30 minutes. Salt is added next. It is then kept aside to cool. Spices like fenugreek seeds, cumin seed and red chillies are roasted in a hot pan and ground into powder. This powder is added to the allon seed mixture and mixed well. It is kept aside for two weeks after which the chutney gets ready. This chutney has a long shelf life of 2-3 years. 

Medicinal Uses:

Local people considered allon seeds medicinal and believed that its chutney is helpful in curing piles.

Other Uses:

Allon is used as fuel, fodder and an ornamental plant locally. It is also grown as a live fence around home for its multipurpose uses.Being a member of Fabaceae, it shows symbiotic association with soil bacteria and enhance soil fertility.

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