It is an important staple food and the number one vegetable crop in the world. The potatoes are the swollen portion of the underground stem which is called a tuber and is designed to provide food for the green leafy portion of the plant. There are about 100 varieties of edible potatoes. They are often classified as either mature potatoes (the large potatoes that we are generally familiar with) or new potatoes (those that are harvested before maturity and are of a much smaller size). As potatoes have a neutral starchy flavour, they serve as a good complement to many meals.
Although tomatoes are now available year-round, the truly wonderful qualities of tomatoes are the best when they are in season from July through September. Tomatoes have fleshy internal segments filled with slippery seeds surrounded by a watery matrix. They can be red, yellow, orange, green, purple, or brown in colour. Although tomatoes are fruits in a botanical sense, they don’t have the dessert quality sweetness of other fruits. Instead they have a subtle sweetness that is complemented by a slightly bitter and acidic taste. Cooking tempers the acid and bitter qualities in tomatoes and brings out their warm, rich, sweetness.
It belongs to the gourd family- Cucurbitaceae and is a running or climbing vine. The fruit is harvested young and used as a vegetable. It has a light green smooth skin and a white inner flesh. Usually the round fruits are called Calabash gourd and the slender long fruits are called Bottle gourds.
The pea is a green, pod-shaped vegetable, widely grown as a cool-season vegetable crop. A pea is most commonly the small spherical seed or the seed-pod of the legume Pisum sativum. Each pod contains several peas. Although it is botanically a fruit it is treated as a vegetable in cooking. In early times, peas were grown mostly for their dry seeds. In modern times, however, peas are usually boiled or steamed, which breaks down the cell walls and makes the taste sweeter and the nutrients more bio-available.
Creamy or firm when cooked, yams have an earthy, hardy taste and usually a minimal amount of sweetness. There are approximately 200 different varieties of yams with flesh colors varying from white to ivory to yellow to purple while their thick skin comes in white, pink or brownish-black. . It is a hearty tuber that does not have the sweeter taste of a sweet potato, but instead may have flavors that range from bland to earthy, slightly smoky in taste, or nutty and only moderately sweet. The shape of the yam can be oblong, tapered or round with a thick outer skin that is dark brown and bark-like, ranging from smooth to shaggy in appearance. Their dense flesh can be an off-white color to pale yellow or slightly pinkish orange with a very starchy texture.?
Coconut belongs to the Palm family Arecaceae and is found growing around the world in lowland, tropical and subtropical habitats. Classed as a fruit, it is actually a one-seeded drupe. Coconut fruits are large and nearly round. The husk is hard, medium brown, and has a rough, hairy surface. Three round depressions are found on one end of the fruit. The fruit is used for its husk, white flesh, and liquid in the fruit called “milk.” The fruit harvested from the coconut tree, which lives for 70 years, producing thousands of coconuts. The white flesh of the fruit is the coconut meat. The center contains a watery liquid coconut juice which is often sipped straight from the coconut.
Okra is a type of green vegetable, long finger like, having a small tip at the taporing end. Its head shows a bulge, lighter green in shade, which is often removed as inedible portion. The cross section cut okra shows white coloured round seeds spread entirely inside the vegetable. One of the peculiar signs of this vegetable is the internal stickiness. The lady’s finger may be cut in to round pieces or sliced in to 4 halves or may be put whole in a mix vegetable subji. The taste is very specific to the vegetable and generally liked by children.
The onion, known scientifically as Allium cepa, is, on the surface, a humble brown, white or red, paper-thin skinned bulb; yet, despite its plain looks, has an intense flavour and is a beloved part of the cuisine of almost every region of the world. The word onion comes from the Latin word unio for “single,” or “one,” because the onion plant produces a single bulb, unlike its cousin, the garlic, that produces many small bulbs. The name also describes the onion bulb when cut down the middle; it is a union of many separate, concentrically arranged layers.
The beetroot is the taproot portion of the beet plant, usually known in North America as the beet, also table beet, garden beet, red beet, or golden beet. The rich flesh of this root vegetable is naturally sweet and nutritious, and adds its own touch to dishes ranging from salads to soups. The edible leaves can be prepared in the same manner as other greens.