Winter is fading and the sun is out a little more. Vasant or the Indian spring is on the way, and the produce in the markets is reflecting that change, too! Here is our list of the best eats this season:
Sunshine yellow and sweet perfumed pineapples are now in the market. Rich in Vitamin C, they will help you keep seasonal sniffles at bay, and also aid in bone health. When choosing a pineapple, take a sniff at the bottom; if it smells sweet and floral, it is ready to eat. You can serve it with a sprinkling of salt and pepper, or add it to salads and smoothies, but do also try using it in cooking—make a Thai-style rice with pineapple and basil or a Kannadiga-style Gojju to go with dosas.
White and red radish are both in abundance and not at their sharp spiciest at the moment, so don’t forget to get a couple on your next market trip. These are particularly useful in protecting our red blood corpuscles (RBCs) so go ahead and use them in salads or just eat them raw. Stir fry the leaves in a little garlic and sesame oil to make a simple side for an Asian-inspired meal. Or, slice them up and add them to Saambaar or Daal—they add a new dimension to the dish!
Winters are the time when palm jaggery is made. This form of sweetener, although still concentrated, has a relatively lower glycemic index as compared to processed sugar. Try adding this to your coffee for a change or make a good old traditional dessert! (Link to old Sondesh recipe?)
Foraged only once a year from the Haritaki and Jamun trees, this unusual honey has a bitter-sweet flavour, and a host of health benefits. As the season moves from winter to spring, use this immunity-building honey to sweeten your tea or drizzle over the kids’ pancakes. If you’re down with an allergic cold, you might also find relief in a Harde Honey and turmeric mixture to lick a spoonful of, every now and then.