Down on the Allotment

What's happening down on the allotment? An intimate account of a passionate veggie grower.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Try something new

I visited my favourite Asian supermarket yesterday. I live in West London and the suburb of Southall has been the home of people from the Indian sub continent.  I decided to look into some of the fresh veggies that I see on sale there. This is what I found.
 You must know about Scotch Bonnet peppers. Very hot, colourful and used widely.
 Many of the fresh ingredients are seasonal, these are Chana - or fresh chick peas.
 Little pea pods containing just two peas. These look like fun!
 Yellow limes are known by many names in different places. Also known as Mexican Lime, Persian Limes, West Indian Lime, Bartenders Lime and Key Lime.  Smaller than other limes and about the size of a golf ball. Make them into delicious Key Lime pie!
 So how about some Dudhi - Indian melon. Widely grown around Asia, when bigger they become a Calabash or bottle gourd.  Peel, de-seed and cook as a vegetable.

 
 Karela are known as the Bitter meon. Widely grown around Asia, but not bitter when young and green. de-seed and cook.
 Papdi Val, known by many different names, Surati beans, Lablab beans, or Hyacinth Beans. Seasonal fresh beans that look like pea pods. Some information suggests that the beans inside are not good to eat, and others give recipes for Surati beans.  These young green pods are cooked and eaten.
 These are Tindora cucumbers. Common in Indian cooking and widely used around Asia. The Ivy gourd is an invasive grower and a weed pest in many countries. Fast growing they climb up and choke the light from trees. Sometimes known as 'Gentlemans Toes!!'  They have a bland taste and are chopped and eaten with spices.
 These are Turia, or Ridge gourd when small, but you might know them as a Loofah! Yes that very same bathroom sponge for scratching your back!  Here they are picked and eaten young when small and green.
 This is fresh Haldi - or Turmeric. Related to the ginger family, but did you know you can get either yellow or white turmeric?
and finally Aubergines - they come in different colours but these white Aubergines will help you understand why they are also known as Eggplant!

6 Comments:

At 11:29 AM, Blogger RedSetter said...

Thank you for that tour, that was really interesting and informative. I love veggies but tend to stick to the well worn old favourites, but must give something new a try.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger Gardeningbren said...

Really enjoyed that. Thank you. And no, I didn't know tumeric can be white as well as yellow.

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Kelli said...

Wow, it all looks fantastic. It would be great to try some new varieties, especially since we are now looking at a recommended 7 a day instead of 5.

 
At 11:19 AM, Blogger Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Fantastic! You're so lucky to have all that available to you Matron.

 
At 12:30 PM, Blogger Carrie said...

Freakin' LOVED this post!!! Truly, that is my sort of day out. Hugs and love to you!

 
At 7:10 PM, Blogger Shaheen said...

Ab fab post, my sister in laws have come back home with a bag full of fresh chickpeas, they are so tiny - I don't envy them taking time to get out of the pods. I'm hoping to grow chickpeas for my mother this year, she loves them fresh!

 

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