Bundi, Rajasthan, India
Our product range comtains a wide range of garden pea, Ginger, ladys finger, Potato and Spinach
The exceptionally exotic taste of the Garden Pea is the most relished characteristic that makes it uniquely popular amongst all beans. Though botanically it is a fruit however we relish its taste as a delicate vegetable. The moment it blends with any other vegetable, its sweet taste reigns the delicacy of any dish and every chef realizes what wonders it can create. A cool season crop, Garden Pea is the most treasured possession of any ideal garden. Botanically Garden Peas are included in a vast family of legumes and are distinctively classified as Pisum sativum var. sativum. Physical Attributes Garden Pea is an annual herb though its growth factor is largely dependent on the climate and temperature. A green colored pod shaped fruit, Garden Pea is majorly grown as a cold season vegetable. Garden pea can hardly tolerate the bright rays of sun and is extremely delicate towards harsh summers. It is advisable to grow peas in slightly acidic and well drained soil as they blossom to their fullest in such conditions. There are a number of varieties of Peas, which can be classified as short peas and vine peas. The vine peas have characteristic thin tendrils from leaves that coil with any available support to reach a maximum height of about 2meters. Generally stems from other plants and their dry branches are used to provide support to these tender green Pea plants. Garden Pea is self pollinating plant therefore it doesn’t require to be pollinated by any other plant. These are some of the prominent features which have made the Garden Pea a favorites among scientists and that’s the reason why renowned genetic scientist Gregor Mendel experimented genetics on the Pea plant. Two major varieties of Garden Pea Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon which is commonly known as snow pea. Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon ser. cv. is called sugar or snap pea or mange-tout in the common language. Following are the major diseases which hamper the growth of Garden Peas: Bacterial diseases: bacterial blight, brown spot, etc. Fungal diseases : Anthracnose, Black leaf, Downy mildew, Near wilt, and many more Nematodes, parasitic diseases: Cyst nematode, Root-knot nematode Viral diseases: Pea leaf roll, Pea stunt, Pea streak, etc. Uses of Garden Pea Garden Pea has been ruling our kitchens for ages now. In Indus Valley Civilization Peas were prominently pre soaked and stored for their future usage. However today almost all forms of cooking have been experimented on this tender and fruity vegetable. Boiling and steaming is the easiest method of cooking the peas and this enhances the sweet taste of the peas along with making it more nutritious and easy to be digested. The popularity of Peas reached worldwide and therefore cultivation of Peas saw great increase. Along with various preservation techniques whooping in, Peas became available year-round and not in merely spring. Green and tender Peas can be boiled and flavored with butter or anything according to taste and be served as a proper delicacy. Little sprinkled salt and pepper adds to the sweet and raw taste of the peas. Garden Peas are also used in various stir-fried dishes and are an integral part of American and Chinese cuisines and their taste can be reinvented at any time of the year by soaking in the water for a few hours. Garden peas can be preserved by canning, drying or freezing. Fresh peas can also be used in pot pies, salads and casseroles. Delicious Recipes Aloo Matar Rasdaar(Indian) When the seeds begin to splutter, add the onion paste and saute till fat separates. Now add the tomatoes or puree, turmeric, salt, garam masala, red pepper and the coriander powder, and stir-fry till fat separates. After this add the peas, potatoes and the green chillies and saute over high heat till the vegetables look glossy. Finally add 2 cups of water; bring to a boil and simmer, for 10-15 minutes.Serve hot, garnished with the coriander leaves. And get ready for a shower of compliments. Matar Paneer(Indian) Make a paste by grinding together half the onions, the garlic and coriander seeds. Heat the ghee in a frying pan and cut the paneer into 2.5-cm/1-inch cubes. Fry the paneer to a light brown and remove to drain on a plate. Add the remaining onion and the ginger to the ghee / oil in a pan and add the bay leaves and fry until the onion is golden brown. Add the turmeric and the paste mixture and fry until the ghee starts to separate. Now throw in the paneer and mutter (peas) along with the yogurt, chili, tomato and salt. Stir for 5-6 minutes over low heat. Pour in the water and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Ready to serve hot. Carrot and Green Peas Soup Wash the unpeeled carrot well. Chop it into 2 cm cubes. Add green peas, onion and ginger slices. Wash the mint sprigs. Separate the leaves from stems. Tie the stems in a bunch with a thread. Place carrot and peas mixture in a pressure cooker. Add 2 cups of water and pressure cook for 10 minutes. Cool till it is just warm. Discard the mint stems and blend the vegetable mixture. Add milk, salt and pepper. If the soup is too thick, add some more milk or water. Heat thoroughly and serve garnished with chopped mint leaves.
Ginger, or zingiber officinale, is a perennial plant having thick branching aromatic rhizomes and leafy reedlike stems. For centuries, ginger has been widely used as a spice throughout the world, especially in Asian countries. A native to China and India, this plant is widely cultivated in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and the Caribbean. It needs a minimum annual rainfall of 150cm, temperatures of 30°C or over, a short dry season and a deep fertile soil. Known for its slightly biting and hot flavour, this spice is widely used in preparing gingerbread, ginger ale, gingersnaps and Asian dishes. It adds delicacy to the dish by its rich, sweet, warm and woody aroma.Ginger paste in combination with garlic and onion is widely used in preparing almost every meat dish by the Indians and the Pakistanis. It is also used as a flavouring agent to add more warmth in tea. It takes its name from the Sanskrit word stringa-vera, which means “with a body like a horn”, as in antlers. The pungency in ginger is due to the presence of a volatile oil. The dried rhizome contains approximately 1—3% volatile oil which is the source of ginger’s characteristic aroma; an oleoresin contains the pungent properties. Historical Importance of Ginger Ginger has been used as a medicine since innumerable. Especially in the Chinese Medicinal System, it possess greater importance and ginger is mentioned in the writings of Confucius. The name of ginger is also quoted in the Koran, the sacred book of the Muslims, indicating it was known in Arab countries as far back as 650 A.D. The Hindu epic Mahabharata written around the 4th century B.C. describes a meal where meat is stewed with ginger and other spices. It was also an important plant in the traditional Indian medicine system–Ayurveda.It was one of the earliest spices known in Western Europe, used since the ninth century. Ginger was one of the important trading items and was exported from India to the Roman empire 2000 years ago where it was valued more for its medicinal properties than as an ingredient in cookery. Together with black pepper, ginger was one of the most commonly traded spices during the 13th and 14th centuries. In Europe, it as so popular that it was included in every table setting, like salt and pepper. Spice Description Often termed as “ginger root”, ginger is actually a rhizome. It is available in the following forms: Fresh Ginger: The whole raw roots are referred to as fresh ginger. It has a pale yellow interior and a skin varying in colour from brown to off-white. It can be grated, chopped, or julienned for use Dried Ginger: This form is usually found in whole fingers and also in slices. It is usually soaked in recipe liquid before using Pickled Ginger: It has the root sliced paper-thin and pickled in a vinegar solution. Also referred as gari or beni shoga in Japan, this form often accompanies sushi, and is served to refresh the palate between courses Preserved Ginger: Preserved or ‘stem’ ginger is made from fresh young roots, peeled and sliced, then cooked in a heavy sugar syrup. This form of ginger is generally used as a confection or added to desserts, and it is especially good with melons. It is soft and pulpy, but extremely hot and spicy Crystallized Ginger: Also referred as candied ginger, this ginger form cooked in sugar syrup, then air dried and rolled in sugar. It is commonly used in desserts and can easily be made at home Ground Ginger: Also referred to as powdered, this form of ginger is quite different than fresh, and is widely used in sweets and curry mixes. Culinary Uses Ginger is undoubtedly an essential ingredient to Asian and oriental cookery. It is used in pickles, chutneys and curry pastes and the ground dried root is a constituent of many curry powders. It is also used as an flavouring agent in preparing sweet dishes, cakes, cookies, breads, and beverages. Sometimes the roots will produce green sprouts which can be finely chopped and added to a green salad. Pickled ginger is a delicious accompaniment to satays and a colourful garnish to many Chinese dishes. In the West, the dried ginger is mainly used in preparing confectionery items like biscuits and cakes. It is also used in puddings, jams, preserves and in some drinks like ginger , ginger and tea. In Myanmar, ginger is used in a salad dish called ‘Gyin-Tho’, which consists of shredded ginger preserved in oil, and a variety of nuts and seeds. In traditional Korean Kimchi, ginger is minced finely and added into the ingredients of the spicy paste just before the fermenting process. Medicinal Properties Besides being used as a spice, ginger also contains natural healing properties. It has long been ascribed aphrodisiac powers, taken either internally or externally. It is highly effective in treating nausea, motion sickness, morning sickness and general stomach upset. Its anti-inflammatory properties help relieve pain and reduce inflammation associated with arthritis, rheumatism and muscle spasms.Ginger root consists of gingerols, zingibain, bisabolenel, oleoresins, starch, essential oil (zingiberene, zingiberole, camphene, cineol, borneol), mucilage, and protein. It contains many therapeutic properties and is highly effective in stimulating the blood circulation, removing toxins from the body, cleansing the bowels and kidneys, and nourishing the skin. Other uses for Ginger Root include the treatment of asthma, bronchitis and other respiratory problems by loosening and expelling phlegm from the lungs. This aromatic spice is also mentioned in the Karma Sutra, and in the Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific it is employed ‘to gain the affection of a woman’. Ginger is on the FDA’s ‘generally recognized as safe’ list, though it does interact with some medications, including warfarin. Some studies show ginger may also help prevent certain forms of cancer. Other Facts related to Ginger In India, ginger is applied as a paste to the temples to relieve headache and consumed when suffering from a cold, people use ginger for making tea, in food etc. In Burma, ginger and a local sweetener made from palm tree juice (Htan nyat) are boiled together and taken to prevent the flu In China, a drink made with sliced ginger cooked in sweetened water or a cola is used as a folk medicine for common cold In Indonesia, a type of ginger known as Jahe is used as a herbal preparation to reduce fatigue, reducing “winds” in the blood, prevent and cure rheumatism and controlling poor dietary habits In Democratic Republic of the Congo, ginger is crushed and mixed with mango-tree sap to make Tangawisi juice, which is considered as a universal panacea In the Philippines a traditional health drink called “salabat” is made for consumption with breakfast by boiling chopped ginger and adding sugar.
An Introduction Okra, also termed as lady’s finger, is a flowering plant in the mallow family. This plant is known for its edible green fruits, or long green pods. It’s scientific name is “abelmoschus esculentus” and also “hibiscus esculentus”. For centuries, this green vegetable has been widely grown across the entire African region. The species apparently originated in the Ethiopian Highlands, though the manner of distribution from there is undocumented. African slaves brought it to USA. It is cultivated in the entire warm temperate and tropical regions of the world for its fibrous fruits or pods containing round, white seeds. The fruits are harvested when immature and eaten as a vegetable. The plant prefers warm climate and tolerates poor soils with heavy clay and intermittent moisture. It is in the same plant family as hibiscus and cotton. Okra/lady’s finger is one of the most common vegetables of the South-Asian countries. It is used in preparing many yummy and delicious dishes. When cut, it releases a sticky material with thickening properties, often used in soups and stews. Gumbos, Brunswick stew, and pilaus are some well-known dishes which frequently use okra. Etymology The word “okra” is derived from a word “ọ́kụ̀rụ̀” in Igbo, a language spoken in Nigeria. In various Bantu languages, okra is called “kingombo” or a variant thereof, and this is the origin of its name in Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French. The Arabic “bāmyah” is the basis of the names in the Middle East, the Balkans, Turkey, Greece, North Africa and Russia. In Southern Asia, its name is usually a variant of “bhindi” or “vendi.” In the different regions of the world, Lady’s Finger is known by different names such as: Okra Ochro Okoro Quimgombo / Quingumbo Gombo Kopi Arab Kacang Bendi Bhindi Bendi Bamia/Bamya/Bamieh Gumbo. Brief History in a Nutshell The Egyptians were the first to cultivate it in the basin of the Nile in the 12′th century BC It was propagated then through North Africa to the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and India It arrived then in the Americas at Brazil (1658), Dutch Guinea and at New Orleans before extending in the United States and going up to Philadelphia in 1781 Nutritional Value The following chart itself explains the nutritional value of the Lady’s finger or Okra: It is low in Sodium, Saturated Fat and Cholesterol, thus, an ideal diet for human consumption High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Manganese, Protein, Riboflavin, Niacin, Iron, Zinc and Copper. Recipes Pretty common in the Asian and African countries, lady’s finger dishes are also popular in American and western countries. Following is a few detail of widely known and discussed recipes of this green pod: Bhindi Masala Bhindi Raita Brunswick Stew Eggless Tiramisu Indian Okra Kadhai Bhindi Microwave Bhindi Rajasthani Bhindi Stuffed Bhindi Tiramisu Vathal Kolambu Vendakkai Mandi Vendakkai More kulambu
An Introduction to Potato? Often termed as the king of all vegetables, potato is a starchy, tuberous crop vegetable of the solanaceae family. It is one of the few vegetables that mixes well with other vegetables and is known for adding a delicacy to any dish. Potato is one of the most widely used vegetables in Western temperate climates and the world’s most widely grown tuber crop as well. This starchy crop is also the fourth largest food crop of the world in terms of fresh produce after rice, wheat, and maize. Domesticated for over 10, 000 years, this plant is probably native to the Andes, where it was cultivated by the Incas. There are more than one thousand known varieties, but only a fraction of this number are cultivated commercially. This delicious vegetable is also a good source of nutrients, minerals and vitamins. A rich source of Vitamin C, potatoes are naturally fat-free and carry very low amount of calories. An average potato consist of about 80 percent water and 20 percent solid matter; whereas starch makes up about 85 percent of this solid mass and the rest is protein. It also contains a considerable amount of vitamins including niacin, riboflavin and thiamine Etymology The word potato originates from the Spanish word patata (the name used for potato in Spain). In many countries and cultures, it is known by different names. In France it is termed as pomme de terre; whereas aardappel is the name for potato in Dutch. In Hindi and several other Indian languages and Nepali, the potato is called alu or aloo, while in Gujarati the potato is called bataka or batata. Potato Plant This bushy and dark green plant with compound leaves, is somewhat similar to the tomato plant. It can grow up to 3 feet tall. The leaves of potato are slightly wider at the base of the leaflet and has a darker green color. The plant bears yellow to silver flowers with yellow stamens. It has a thick, uneven shaped plant stem (tuber) that grows underground. This eatable tuber is also called a potato. Nutritional Value As a powerhouse of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, potatoes are the perfect base for a balanced diet. They are rich in Vitamin C, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. Besides this, it also contains many minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. A medium sized potato (5.3 oz.) contains: 110 calories No fat or cholesterol More protein than most of the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables – 3 grams per medium potato 2 grams of fiber (with skin on), which may aid in weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels and decrease risk of heart disease 45% Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin C, or as much as you will find in a tomato 18% DV of potassium, more than the 20 most frequently consumed raw fruits and vegetables. Health Benefits in a Nutshell As a rich source of carbohydrate, potatoes provides innumerable health benefits. Following are a few health benefits of a potato: The starch present in it provides protection against colon cancer It improves glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity It lowers plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations. Recipes: Potato, one of the few vegetables which is popular at all the corners of the globe. Whether baked, roasted, boiled, and stewed, potatoes are always a favourite. Its tantalizing flavor and aroma adds a delicacy to every dish. Potato chips are quite favourite among all age groups; whereas other products like French fries and potato cakes are popular in many parts of the world. Following are the main recipes of a potato: Indian Recipes: Aachar Aloo, Dam Aaloo, Baigan Aaloo, Aloo Bonda, Aloo Capsicum, Aloo Chaat, Aloo Chana Chat, Aloo Ki Puri, Aloo Ki Sabzi, Aloo Ki Tikki, Aloo Methi, Aloo Mutter, Aloo Pakora, Aloo Paratha, Aloo Posto, Aloo Potol, Aloo Raita, Aloo Tikki Burger, and many more Western Dishes: Potato Stroganoff, and Potato Tamale Casserole, Cheeseburger and French Fry Casserole, Tuscan Potatoes and Vegetables, Southwest Potatoes and Chicken, Santa Fe Chicken and Potato Soup, Salt-Grilled Potatoes, Potato Vegetable Bake On The Grill, Potato Lasagna, Potato and Vegetable Stacks, Parmesan Potatoes, Microwave Soup and Potatoes, Microwave-Roasted Potatoes, etc.
What is Spinach? Botanically termed as ‘spinacia oleracea’, spinach is a flowering plant in the family of Amaranthaceae. This annual plant is one of the most popular green leafy vegetables of Southeast Asian Countries. It can grow upto the height of 30 cm. For centuries, this dark green vegetable has been widely used as a source of food in Asia, and it had reached Europe by the eighth century CE. It gains recognition when a celebrated cartoon character of ‘Popye’ uses this green vegetable as its power boosting tonic. Spinach is used in variety of ways and is extremely popular in many parts of the world. A native to Southeast Asia, this green is available round the year, and it can also be found in canned and frozen form. Acknowledged for its versatility and nutrition, spinach can be eaten raw or cooked. A rich source of vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients, this dark green leafy vegetable is regarded as one of the healthiest foods among all vegetables. In India and other South-Asian countries, spinach is prepared in combination with other vegetables like potato, etc. Palak-paneer (a combination of spinach and cheese) is quite popular in all parts of India. Plant Description Spinach plants are grown for their edible green leaves. This plant needs temperate climate and may survive over winter in temperate regions. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to triangular-based, very variable in size from about 2-30 cm long and 1-15 cm broad, with larger leaves at the base of the plant and small leaves higher on the flowering stem. The flowers are inconspicuous, yellow-green, 3-4 mm diameter, maturing into a small hard dry lumpy fruit cluster 5-10 mm across containing several seeds. When allowed to grow unharvested, this annual plant will go to seed in the late summer, allowing the leaves to die off. Spinach & Nutrition Spinach is one of the most nutritious and healthy greens among all vegetables. Though low in calories, it contains higher concentrations of minerals, vitamins and other phytonutrients (natural plant chemicals with human nutritional value). Spinach also has a high calcium content. Recommended by many noted nutritionists and dietitians, this food contains lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fats. It is also a good source of Niacin and Zinc, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese Types of Spinach There are several varieties of spinach are cultivated in various parts of the globe. They are basically categorized as older and modern varieties. Older varieties tend to bolt too early in warm conditions. Newer varieties tend to grow more rapidly but have less of an inclination to run up to seed. Generally there are 3 basic types of Spinach: Savoy has dark green, crinkly and curly leaves. It is the type sold in fresh bunches in most supermarkets. Flat/smooth leaf spinach has broad smooth leaves that are easier to clean than savoy Semi-savoy is a hybrid variety with slightly crinkled leaves. It has the same texture as savoy, but it is not as difficult to clean. Recipes Following are the popular spinach recipes of the world: Western Recipes: Baked Creamed Spinach, Bay Scallops with Spinach, Cheese Spinach Bake, Chicken and Spinach Soup, Cold Spinach Soup, Creamed Spinach, Creamy Spinach Salad, Easy Hot Spinach Dip, Lamb Roast with Spinach Stuffing, Spinach and Basil Butter, etc. Indian Recipes: Spinach Tikkas, Spinach Soup, Spinach Enchiladas, Spinach Scramble, Spinach Pkhali, Crispy Spinach, Spinach Roti, Spinach Dal, Spinach Idli, Dal Palak, Spinach Raita, Spinach Kootu, etc
An Introduction to Asparagus Botanically termed as ‘asparagus officinalis’, asparagus is a flowering plant of the lily family. A native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia, it is now widely grown in both hemispheres and throughout temperate and tropical regions. The exact origin of this vegetable is not known because many wild types can be found throughout Europe and Asia. However, the most likely location is around the Mediterranean Sea where cultivation has been practiced for over 2000 years, first by the Greeks and then by the Romans (around 200 B.C.). Asparagus as a Vegetable Asparagus is one of the most delicious vegetables of the world. Whether roasted, steamed, grilled or eaten raw, this is a versatile vegetable. This yummy vegetable is widely prepared during special occasions in many parts of the globe. Moreover, this appetizing and fabulous vegetable is low on fat and calorie content, thus allowing every guest to enjoy the evening with the full zeal. The method of preparing asparagus cuisines differ from region to region. In Asian countries, it is often stir-fried. In the United States, it is often served stir-fried with chicken, shrimp, also wrapped in bacon. This universally popular vegetable is quite popular among European and other Western countries. Europeans prefer white asparagus (particularly the famous French asparagus of Argenteuil), which is grown underground to prevent it from becoming green. Asparagus tastes best when cooked soon after purchase. Popular Asparagus Recipes This vegetable is the base of many mouth watering recipes of the world. Since it is easy to prepare, many people across the world prefer this vegetable. Almost every culture has a different way of preparing an asparagus dish. Asparagus Swiss Quiche is one of the most widely prepared recipes of the western countries. How to prepare Asparagus Swiss Quiche This is one of the most famous recipes of Western countries. It is very easy to prepare and consume less time than other dishes. You just need to collect 10 bacon strips, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese. Other ingredients required to prepare this recipe is a tablespoon all-purpose flour, salt, teaspoon pepper and at least three eggs. After collecting all the materials, cook bacon in a pan on light heat. Add onion to it. In a saucepan, cook all of the asparagus in a small amount of boiling water until crisp-tender; drain. In a bowl, toss the bacon, onion, asparagus pieces, cheese, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into pastry shell. In a bowl, beat eggs and cream; pour over bacon mixture. Cook for almost ten minutes, the aroma is capable of arousing your senses. Other popular recipes are: Asparagus Milanese Asparagus with Lemon Viniagrette Asparagus with Sesame & Chive Blossoms, etc
An Introduction to Cabbage The word cabbage (botanically brassica oleracea, capitata group) refers to several leafy garden plants of the Mediterranean origin. These small plants have a short stem and a globular head of tightly overlapping green to purplish leaves. This cold seasoned crop is a member of the mustard family which also includes vegetables like collards, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and kale. All members of the family differ in shapes and colour. Some are flat or round, while some are conical. As far as their heads are concerned they are compact or loose. The word ‘cabbage’ originates from the French word caboche, a colloquial term for “head”. The Scots termed its stalk as castock, and the British call its head a loaf. It can be cooked in a variety of ways or eaten raw, as in slaw. As the cabbage plant grows, its leaves increase in number, forming a ball-shaped “head” at the center of the plant. This cruciferous vegetable contains higher concentrations of Vitamin C, minerals, and dietary fiber. Cabbage Plant Cabbage is one of the most widely cultivated vegetables of the temperate zone. This cold climate vegetable is known for its ball-shaped “head” which is eaten in both the raw and cooked form. Cabbage plants grow in a rosette near the ground or on a short stalk. As we discussed earlier, cabbages differ in their physical appearances. Their leaves can range from smooth to crinkled, green to red. Broadly speaking, cabbage varieties come in two groups, early and late. The early varieties mature in about 45 days; whereas the period of maturity is about 87 days for the late varieties. Nutritional Value Cabbage, the leafy vegetable is a rich source of vitamins, fiber and minerals. Dietitians regarded as a wholesome tonic for maintaining optimum health. Besides being an excellent source of the Vitamin C, it also contains rich proportion of glutamine, an amino acid, which has anti-inflammatory properties. It is a source of indol-3-carbinol, or I3C, a compound used as an adjuvent therapy for recurrent respiratory papillomatosis, a disease of the head and neck caused by human papillomavirus that causes growths in the airway that can lead to death. In the traditional medicinal system, cabbage paste has been used for treating the problem of acute inflammation. Some claim it is effective in relieving painfully engorged breasts in breastfeeding women. It also optimizes cells’ detoxification / cleansing ability. Cabbage is: Low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol High in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, Manganese, Vitamin A, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Iron and Magnesium. Uses of Cabbage It is the base vegetable of world’s most delicious dishes including soups and casseroles. Sauerkraut is the world fame fermented cabbage dish associated with Germany, Alsace, and the Netherlands. “Cabbage rolls” are quite popular at all corners of the globe. Cabbage soup is popular in central Europe and eastern Europe, and cabbage is an ingredient in some kinds of borscht. Boiling tenderizes the leaves and releases sugars, which leads to the characteristic “cabbage” aroma. Cabbage mixes well with other vegetables. It is also used in many popular dishes in India. In Western countries, it is used in preparing many meat dishes. Many succulent and pork dishes contain a little or considerable amount of cabbage. Some popular examples are & Cabbage Soup, Chicken Potstickers, Cabbage-Hamburger, etc. This leafy vegetable of the mustard family is one of the most vital elements of the salad. Raw cabbage is usually sliced into thin strips or shredded for use in salads, such as coleslaw. It can also replace iceberg lettuce in sandwiches. Cabbage is also used raw in Pico de gallo because of its naturally mild spicy flavor.
Cauliflower (Brassica Oleracea) is a cool season vegetable that is considered a delicacy. It is an annual plant that is grown in fields. The head is eaten while the stalk and surrounding thick, green leaves are used in vegetable broth or discarded. Cauliflower originated over 2, 000 years ago in gardens of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean. It was consumed throughout western Europe around 16th century. China and India are the top producers of cauliflower and broccoli. About half of all cauliflower is raised in China and one fourth in India. In Europe and USA it is grown in Spain and California respectively. Varieties Traditional varieties include Snowball, Hybrid White, Super Snowball, Snow Crown, Mayflower, Candid Charm, Mormon, Agrahani, Poushi, Maghi, Snow White, Snow Grace. Self-blanching varieties are Self Blanche, Early Tuscan, Late Tuscan. Heirloom varieties include All the Year Round, Early Pearl, Early Snowball, Igloo, Violetta Italia and Walcheren Winter. Commercial varieties includue Fremont, Igloo and Snow Crown. A comprehensive list of varieties is maintained at North Carolina State University. Farming Requirements Soil: Cauliflower is grown on many different types of soil but does best in a rich, well drained soil with a high moisture-holding capacity. A high humus content in the soil will provide better aeration and water Planting: Plant on 8 to 10 inch ridged rows 36 to 38 inches apart and 15 to 20 inches between plants in the row. To insure proper contact of soil with the roots, water with 5 lb of soluble high phosphate fertilizer per 100 gal of water applied at one half pint to each transplant. For fall crops, cauliflower can be planted by seeding directly in the field and thinned to the desired in-row spacing when the plants have 3 to 4 true leaves. Precision seeders are very helpful in reducing seed usage and thinning labor. Approximately 1 to 2 lb per acre of seed are required when seeded directly in the field. Irrigation: One inch of water every 5 to 7 days, from rainfall or irrigation, is highly desirable to produce large yields of high quality heads. Cauliflower is quite sensitive to stress, thus, be sure to irrigate. Fertilizer: Cauliflower requires a rich soil. In absence of a soil test, a general recommendation would be 80 lbs of nitrogen, 80 lbs P2O2and 80 to 100 K2O plus 15 to 20 lb of borax per acre. Without boron, hollow stems with internal brown discoloration can result. This fertilizer should be broadcasted or mixed into the row. Sidedress 4 weeks after transplanting, with 30 lb of nitrogen. On sandy soil an additional sidedressing may be necessary following excess rain. Home gardeners should mix 2 level Tbsp of borax with 5 qt of fertilizer and apply this to 100 ft of row. Mix the fertilizer thoroughly with the soil. Cauliflower requires high magnesium levels and shows deficiency symptoms readily when soils are too acid or the element is in short supply. In sandy loams of the Coastal Plain, magnesium at the rate of 100 lb of MgO2 per acre may be beneficial. Molybdenum deficiency which produces “whiptailing” of the leaves is also prevalent on very acid soils. A Tasty Food Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. When cooking the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible but are most often discarded. The florets should be broken into similar-sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. After eight minutes of steaming, or five minutes of boiling, the florets should be soft but not mushy (depending on size). Stirring while cooking can break the florets into smaller, uneven pieces. Cauliflower is often served with a cheese sauce, as in the dish cauliflower cheese or with a meat gravy. Low carb dieters can use cauliflower as a reasonable substitute for potatoes for while they can produce a similar texture, or mouth feel, they lack the starch of potatoes; cauliflower is used to produce a potato substitute known as fauxtato Nutrition Value Cauliflower is low in fat and high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density, with several phytochemicals, which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate. Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the livers ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances. A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer. Energy 20 kcal 100 kJ Carbohydrates 5 g - Sugars 2.4 g - Dietary fiber 2.5 g Fat 0 g Protein 2 g Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.057 mg 4% Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.063 mg 4% Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.53 mg 4% Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.65 mg 13% Vitamin B6 0.22 mg 17% Folate (Vit. B9) 57 ?g 14% Vitamin C 46 mg 77% Calcium 22 mg 2% Iron 0.44 mg 4% Magnesium 15 mg 4% Phosphorus 44 mg 6% Potassium 300 mg 6% Zinc 0.28 mg 3%
A Brief Introduction Commonly known as brinjal or an aubergine, Eggplant is an edible purple-colored fruit of the family Solanaceae. This member of the nightshade family has a shiny skin typically dark purple, but occasionally white or yellow. This egg-shaped vegetable is regarded as a satisfying substitute for meat in many countries of the world. This member of the nightshade family is closely related to the tomato and potato. Eggplant is a warm-seasoned vegetable cultivated worldwide for its fleshy fruit. A native to India, they are quite common in almost every corner of the globe. Its Sanskrit name is vatinganah, the French and British know it as the aubergine, and the Hindi name, brinjal, is recognized in South Africa as well. When raw, the fruit is hard, with a bitter taste. On the contrary, once cooked the fruit bears a tender texture. Popular purple-fruited varieties (cultivars) are Black Beauty and a number of hybrid varieties. Since this plant is capable of enhancing the ambiance of a garden, it is also used for ornamental purposes. These ornamental plants bear white, brown, yellow, and green fruits and are widely used as a garden plant. China is the largest producer of eggplant in the world and contributes around 55% of the world’s output. Other major producers are India (28% of the world’s produce), Egypt, Turkey, and Japan. Plant Description Eggplant is a warm-seasoned crop which grows upto the height of 40 to 150 cm (16 to 57 inches). This plant of the nightshade family has large coarsely lobed leaves which are 10 to 20 cm (4-8 in) long and 5 to 10 cm (2-4 in) broad. It is a delicate perennial often cultivated as an annual. The flowers are white to purple, with a five-lobed corolla and yellow stamens. The large, glossy and egg-shaped fruit of the plant is fleshy, less than 3 cm in diameter on wild plants, but much larger in cultivated forms. Certain cultivars of eggplant bear larger fruits which are 2 to 12 inches in length. The fruit is botanically classified as a berry, and contains numerous small, Etymology The scientific name Solanum melongena is derived from a 16th century Arabic term for one kind of eggplant. Interestingly, the term ‘eggplant’ was developed in USA, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada because the fruits of some 18th century European cultivars were yellow or white and resembled goose or hen’s eggs. Brief History A native to India and Sri Lanka, Eggplants has been widely cultivated in all temperate regions of the world. They are known to southern and eastern Asian countries since immemorial. In the sixteenth century, Arabic traders has introduced this vegetable in the West. The first known written record of the eggplant is found in Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544 CE. Today, almost all continents of the world is aware with eggplant. On a commercial scale, China currently leads the world in eggplant production, followed by India, Japan, Turkey, and Egypt. Eggplants and Nutrition Since eggplants contain low calorie content, they are regarded as a healthy food by many dietitians. They are also good sources of Vitamin C, potassium and calcium. One hundred grams of a raw eggplant would contain around 24 calories, while one hundred grams of boiled eggplants contain roughly 35 calories. In one hundred grams of boiled eggplants you will also get 9 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, zero fat, zero cholesterol and 239 milligrams of sodium. Culinary Uses This versatile egg-shaped berry is featured in cuisines around the world. Eggplant may be stewed with tomatoes, grilled, roasted, battered and deep-fried, or stuffed and baked. As its flesh is quite bitter in taste with an unpleasant texture, it is not eaten raw. The thin skin is also edible, so that the eggplant need not be peeled. Eggplant is the vital element of many globally renowned dishes like the French ratatouille, the Italian melanzane alla parmigiana, and the Middle Eastern baba ghanuj. In Indian cuisines, it is used in variety of ways ranging from curries to chutneys. “Baigun Bhurta” is the most popular cuisine of India. It is used in preparing sambhar, a very popular dish of southern regions of India especially in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
An Introduction Leeks refers to a sweet and moderately flavored vegetable which is closely associated with onions and garlic. Scientifically termed as allium ampeloprasum var. porrum (L.), they are a part of the Alliaceae family. Renowned for its delicate and sweeter flavor, leek adds a subtle touch to recipes without overpowering the other flavors that are present. Due to their mild flavour, many onion-haters love this ground vegetable. This sweet and mild flavoured vegetable is an inseparable element of many renowned dishes. Leeks are most commonly used in soups, most notably in vichyssoise, a lovely soup composed of potatoes and leeks and served cold — excellent for summer day lunching. Brief History For centuries, the leek has been widely used in preparing many delicious recipes all around the globe. A native to the Mediterranean countries, leeks are widely cultivated in temperate regions of the world. This root vegetable has been known as a food for over 4000 years in the Middle East. Researchers have discovered traces of leeks near Egyptian pyramids. In the traditional medicinal system, leeks were used for curing many diseases. Hippocrates, the father of medicine, prescribed the leek as a cure for nosebleeds. It was closely associated with Wales. Even today the leek is worn as the national flower of Wales on St. David’s day. Plant Description A member of the Alliaceae family, leeks have the appearance of over-sized green onions. They resemble large scallions, having a very small bulb and a long white cylindrical stalk of superimposed layers that flow into green, tightly wrapped, flat leaves. The leek plant can grow to a height of 10 – 15″. The edible part of the leek plant is sometimes called a stem, though technically it is a bundle of leaf sheaths. Leeks prefer cold climate and can withstand a considerable amount of exposure to temperatures Nutritional Value Like all members of the Alliaceae family, leeks are a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially vitamins C, B1, B2 and B6. The lower leaf portion and bulb of one cup of raw leeks would provide the body with 54 calories, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein and 18 milligrams of sodium. Raw leeks contain 30 percent of the RDA for vitamin A, 18 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, 10 percent of the RDA for iron and 5 percent of the RD for calcium. Culinary Uses Known for its mild taste and delicious aroma, leeks are widely used for culinary purposes. The white elongated bulb at the base of the leaves, makes a very tasty, fresh vegetable, either on its own or in stews or casseroles. In Europe, it is widely used in soups and stews and is cooked whole as a vegetable. The edible portions of the Leek are the white onion base and light green stalk. It is a vital component of many globally renowned dishes including cock-a-leekie, leek & potato soup and vichyssoise. Leeks can also be used raw in salads, doing especially well when they are the prime ingredient. The green leafy tops of leek is excellent for flavouring soups and stews.
An Introduction Nature has gifted incredible qualities in certain species. Bitter gourds or bitter melons are one of such species which contain innumerable health benefits and healing properties. Scientifically termed as momordica charantia, it is an edible fruit of tropical and subtropical vine of the family cucurbitaceae. The family also includes other trailing or climbing plants like pumpkin, squash, cucumber, etc. A native to tropical and sub-tropical regions, bitter gourds are widely grown in South and Southeast Asia, China, Africa, and the Caribbean. This bitter edible fruit has been used for innumerable purposes by many cultures of the world. It is one of the most popular vegetables in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, India and the Philippines. The plant is grown mainly for its bitter fruits although the young leaves and tips are edible too. They are widely believed to be among the first cultivated plants of the world. Plant Description Bitter gourds is a warm season plant and thrives in hot and humid climate. A well drained fertile soil, enriched with organic matter with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.7, is suitable for obtaining maximum production. It bears simple, alternate leaves 4-12 cm across, with 3-7 deeply separated lobes. Each plant bears separate yellow male and female flowers. The fruit has a distinct warty looking exterior and an oblong shape. Culinary Uses A bowl of nutrients, minerals and vitamins, bitter gourd possess innumerable health benefits and healing properties. In almost every portion of the world, this bitter vegetable is consumed in one form or another. In India, it is cooked in combination with other vegetables like potato, etc. When it is fried with onion and chili, the bitterness of gourd mixes with the sweetness of onion to give a distinctive taste and delicacy. In Chinese cooking, it is used for its bitter flavor, typically in stir-fries (often with pork and douchi), soups, and also as tea. Bitter gourd or bitter melon, occupies a prominent position in Indian cuisines. Everywhere, it is cooked in combination with other vegetable. Bitter melon is stuffed with spices and then fried in oil, which is very popular in Punjabi Cuisine. Bitter Gourds…..A Powerhouse of Nutrients For centuries, bitter gourd has been widely used as a natural remedy for many health complexions. Its properties are antidotal, antipyretic tonic, appetizing, stomachic, antibilious and laxative. It contains higher concentrations of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, iron, phosphorus and carbohydrates. This vegetable is a panacea medicine for the diabetes. The rich concentrations of Vitamin A, B1, B2, C and Iron provide relief in many health complexions including eye complications, neuritis, hypertension and defective metabolism of carbohydrates. It helps in purifying blood tissues as well as in enhancing digestive system. Bitter gourds provides relief in the following: Diabetes: Bitter gourds contains hypoglycaemic or insulin-like principle which is helpful in reducing the blood sugar level. The presence of this matter also helps in lowering the blood and urine sugar levels. Piles: The juice of fresh leaves of bitter gourd is valuable in piles. When its root paste is applied over piles, it shows impressive results. Blood Disorders: In various blood diseases like blood boils, scabies, itching, psoriasis, ring-worm and other fungal diseases, the juice of bitter gourd and lime quite beneficial. Its regular use in endemic regions of leprosy acts as a preventive medicine. Cholera: The consumption of bitter gourds leaves is also an effective medicine in early stages of cholera and other types of diarrhoea during summer. Alcoholism: The leaf juice is also beneficial in the treatment of alcoholism. Regular consumption of the bitter gourds strengthens the functioning of the lever.
An Introduction One of the oldest cultivated plants in the world, bottle gourd is a climbing plant which bears hard-shelled and bottle-shaped gourds as fruits. This delicious vegetable is also known by the names of bottle squash, calabash gourd, doodhi and lowki. A rich source of vitamins, iron and minerals, it is an excellent diet for people having digestive problems. Since it contains low calories, bottle gourd is an awesome foodstuff for shedding extra calories and maintaining optimum health. For centuries, a wide range of cultures throughout the world, have used this annual vine for different purposes. Researchers have discovered bottle gourd’s remains from Mexican caves dating from 7000 BCE. Traces of this gourd have also discovered near Egyptian tombs belonging to the 4th millennium BCE. Even today, its popularity graph is surging up and bottle gourds are widely used for preparing many delicious recipes. When dried, this variety of gourds are used as a bottle, utensil, or pipe by many people all across the globe. Botanical Description Bottle gourds is an annual vine (lagenaria siceraria) having white flowers and smooth, large, hard-shelled gourds. Grown most often in warmer climates, this squash grows from 6 to 36 inches long and 3 to 12 inches in diameter. Nutritional Value A rich source of minerals and vitamins, bottle gourds contains many healing and medicinal properties. The cooked vegetable is not only easy to digest but also contains cooling, calming (or sedative), diuretic properties. It contains low calories also has iron, Vitamin C and B complex. Regular consumption of this vegetable provides relief to people suffering with digestive problems, diabetics and convalescents. Culinary Uses Due to its delicate and nutty flavour, bottle gourds are widely used for preparing many delectable recipes. It serves greatly to hot curries as well as cooling yogurt dishes like Raita. As a vegetable, it is widely used in southern Chinese cuisine as either a stir-fry or in a soup. It can be used like squash but it has a firmer, crisper texture. Other Uses Dried and empty bottle gourds are used as a utensil in households across West Africa In some tribal areas of the world, dried bottle gourds are used for storing locally made liquors They are used to clean rice, carry water and also just as a food container In African nations, musicians use this vegetable in making musical instruments like the kora (a harp-lute), xalam (a lute), ngoni (a lute) and the goje (a traditional fiddle) In Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil, calabash gourds are dried and carved into mates, the traditional container for the popular caffeinated tealike drink (also called mate) brewed from the yerba mate plant.
An Introduction Sponge Gourd or Loofah/Lufah refers to any of several tropical annual climbers, cultivated for its edible young fruits. This member of the gourd family also grows as an ornamental plant in many parts of the world. The fruit of two main species viz. luffa acutangula and luffa aegyptiaca, is widely used as a vegetable in many Asian and African countries. It is one of the most popular vegetables of India. Matured sponge gourds are also used as a bath or kitchen sponge after being processed to remove everything but the network of xylem. Primarily cultivated in India and the Middle East, where the name originates, sponge gourd is also grown in other warm, dry regions. As a hot weather crop, this plant prefers warm, dry climates, and is very sensitive to frost. The plants need to be watered regularly, but should not be allowed to become waterlogged. Culinary Uses In many African and Asian countries, Sponge Gourd are a commonly used as vegetables. Almost all spices of this annual vine are edible, but they must be consumed before they mature, or they will be too woody and fibrous to eat. When cooked, it gives a sweet and delectable aroma. In India it is cooked in variety of ways. “Torai Bhurta” is quite popular among Indians and Pakistanis. In some menus, it is also described as “Chinese Okra.” Medicinal Properties Sponge gourd possess many healing and medicinal properties and is quite useful in asthma, skin diseases and splenic enlargement. Researchers discovered that its regular consumption is helpful for rheumatism, backache, internal hemorrhage, chest pains as well as hemorrhoids. As a Sponge It serves wonderfully when used as a kitchen and bathroom sponge. Its dried fibrous interior acts as a natural skin shiner. Like other sponges, loofah will collect bacteria if it is kept moist and warm, an environment common to bathrooms. As a dry brush, it will gently remove the surface layer of dead skin, leaving the skin smooth and conditioned. When used as a kitchen sponge, it makes a great abrasive sponge for removing stubborn food particles from dishes and counter tops. It is also gentle enough to use on delicate things like coated cookware which cannot withstand normal abrasives.