When it’s pouring outside, our first thoughts usually go to pakoras and tea. But, guess what? India has some rare ingredients mostly available only in monsoons that make for some unique recipes. Here are eight of them.

Colocasia Leaves, Karnataka: Also known as arbi or taro leaves, they are layered and stuffed with a coarse paste made using rice, spices, tamarind, and jaggery, and steamed to make a dish called pathrode. The rolls are sometimes further sliced and fried to make fritters.

Rugda Mushroom, Jharkhand: Also known as putu, these mushrooms are sometimes used as an alternative to meat and come with high nutritional value. They are used as vegan alternatives to meat while making curries.

Bamboo Shoot, Northeast India: The shoots are primarily consumed in pickles, condiments, soups, side dishes, stir-fries, and salads. High in fibre and low in calories, they are crunchy and have a woody flavour.

Phodshi Bhaji, Maharashtra: Also known as safed musli, mulshi, or karli, it is a green leafy vegetable, which grows to around one foot tall. Dark green in colour with a white base, it is used to make sabzi, stir fry, and crispy pakoras, and has an earthy flavour.

Gavti Almi Mushrooms, Goa: Gavti almi or olmi is an edible wild mushroom available during the monsoons. They are available only for a few weeks and are always high in demand. Tonak, xacuti and alami chilly fry are some of the popular dishes made from them.

Singhara, North India:  Water chestnut is an aquatic vegetable which can be eaten as it is, or dried and ground to flour. They are crispy and crunchy in texture, free of fat, cholesterol, and gluten.

Dhingri, Himachal Pradesh & Uttarakhand:  Himalayan oyster mushrooms are seen in a wide range of colours like white, cream, grey, yellow, pink, or light brown. They are also extremely versatile in flavour and are usually cooked to make curry.

Lingdu/Dhekia Shaak, Himachal, Uttarakhand, Assam: Fiddlehead fern greens are used to make pickles in Himachal and eaten as a vegetable in other North Indian states. These ferns need to be cooked soon after being picked and have a delicate, grassy, and woodsy flavour.