The best nourishing vegetables to try this spring
Celebrate spring with these seasonal vegetables and fruits on your plate
Chefs, farmers and educators today are working towards reviving native plants and enhancing their usage in new-age recipes. Chefs, especially, are going to great lengths to showcase the vast and diverse produce India enjoys. They believe that vegetables can be wholesome and delicious main dishes and not just act as mere accompaniments in the form of side dishes.
“We have to learn to appreciate what we have, and realise that this too is gourmet.” says independent Chef and Gastronomic Curator Chef Shagun Mehra. “Not just truffles from Italy, but baingan, bajra and ponkh and even our lauki is gourmet!” she adds.
What’s more, there is also a growing interest in seeking ingredients from local, trusted sources and supporting local sellers. “Buying good quality ingredients directly from producers in the place of origin is a win-win for everyone – the product changes fewer hands, giving the producer better returns, and the consumer an assurance of authenticity,” says Chef Kunal Kapur, celebrity chef and TV show host.
This spring, let’s take a look at some dishes you can prepare with seasonal vegetables and fruits this season:
Also known as kovakkai fry in Tamil, this dish made with tindora, or ivy gourd is a great accompaniment with roti or even some warm curd rice. The sliced tindora are sautéed in oil with a host of spices such as hing, haldi, chilli powder, fennel powder, cumin, and coriander powder, creating a lip-smacking dish. You can also add sautéed onions and crushed peanuts for an extra crunch!
That’s right, apart from a cooling beverage, this refreshing fruit can also be fashioned into a comforting curry. Puréed watermelon is sautéed with spices such as cumin seeds, haldi, chilli powder and coriander powder, along with some chopped garlic. The main ingredient, the watermelon cubes, are then added to the curry which is served with warm rice!
Lauki ki yakhni
A Kashmiri dish, lauki ki yakhni is perfect on a warm summer afternoon as it combines lauki or gourd with the coolness of yoghurt! Cut pieces of lauki are sautéed in some Godrej Veg Oils, after which they are added to a simmering pot of water, along with spices such as hing, fennel powder and carom seeds. Finally, yoghurt is added to the pot, which lends a thickness to the curry. Serve this comforting curry with some warm rice and papad!
Methi ka Kapa
Another dish from the mountains, methi ka kappa is made with the fresh and nutritious leaves of methi and palak. Chopped methi and spinach leaves are added to a pan along with some Godrej Mustard Oil, followed by spices such as haldi, chilli powder and sugar. You can add Kashmiri chillis too. Once done, you will have a dense curry which goes perfectly with some naan or even some steamed rice!
What’s a meal without a dessert? Round up your meal with a delicious strawberry phirni. Take some Godrej Jersey Full Cream Milk, and add some rice to it in the form of a fine paste. Stir the mixture until it is thick, and then add the strawberry pureed. You can choose to add sugar or skip it if the strawberry is sweet enough. Garnish your phirni with some sliced almonds and serve chilled!
Consuming seasonal vegetables and fruits is associated with varied health benefits. So catch hold of any of the above seasonal veggies or fruits and make yourself the perfect nourishing and delicious meal!
Do you know some other recipes one can make using seasonal vegetables? Let us know in the comments section below