The month of Shravan is almost on its way out, which means fish and meats can make a comeback in our diets and some of the best vegetables and fruits will return to the market. As the rain retreats, our metabolism improves, and prepares the body for the festive season ahead.
Here is our list of seasonal produce that’s at its freshest best in August and what you can do with it:
- Custard apple: The stone fruit we gorged on in July is now bidding us a temporary adieu and making way for the sweet custard apple. Look for fruit that has large “eyes” on the outside—that indicates a small seed and more flesh—the ones that yield ever so lightly when pressed are ripe. Eat chilled or at room temperature, or add to smoothies and kheers.
- Pomello: The Pomello is considered Ganpati’s favorite fruit—it is an excellent source of Vitamin C (great for the colds that the monsoon leaves behind) and are diabetic-friendly. Eat them freshly segmented or sprinkle some chaat masala on them. They also work superbly in a salad of spring onions and other seasonal greens with a basic vinaigrette.
- White corn: If you look a little closer, you will still find the desi white corn or bhutta that we ate growing up. This variety is starchier, more flavorful, and less sweet. Stir fry the kernels in a little butter and fresh herbs or use it to make creamed corn. Cut the cobs into 4 inch pieces and add them to a coconut-based curry or simply steam them and finish them with some lime butter!
- Kantola: A little like a baby karela to look at, the Kantola is a monsoon vegetable that only appears in the market for a few months every year. It’s much less bitter as compared to its perennial cousin, and works brilliantly baked as chips (just salt them and add a drizzle of oil and bake at a low temperature until crisp) or in stir-fries.
- Sweet Potato: Young sweet potatoes, in all their purple skinned glory, adorn carts in a corner of the vegetable market, and because we associate it with fasting foods (read starchy, deep fried, forbidden), we tend to give it the cold shoulder. However, sweet potato is known to be high in dietary fiber and Vitamin A, and when eaten in small amounts and cooked in a more conscious way, it can bring more benefit than harm. Try steaming of boiling cubes of sweet potato and tossing them in fragrant tadkas (try herbs like lemongrass with chilli) or make them the primary carb component of your meal alongside a vegetable curry.