Coriander is an annual herb in the family Apiaceae. It is also known as cilantro, particularly in the America. The leaves are variable in shape, broadly lobed at the base of the plant, and slender and feathery higher on the flowering stems. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are commonly used in cooking. The leaves have a different taste from the seeds, with citrus overtones. Some perceive an unpleasant “soapy” taste or a rank smell and avoid the leaves.
Capsicum should be a uniform, glossy colour, firm. The peppers can be round, long or square. Depending on the variety, it may be mild, sweet, hot or fiery. Capsicums are also called green, red or yellow peppers. The two varieties are sweet pepper or chili pepper. Sweet peppers are green, orange, red or black capsicums with a mild flavour. Chili peppers are significantly smaller than sweet peppers. They are also green, orange, and red but are extremely hot.
Banana is the soft and sweet fruit of the banana tree, a native of the Indian subcontinent, which is now cultivated in tropical regions like Africa, West Indies and South America. Each plant/ tree bears around 45 to 150 bananas, which have outer skins in varying shades of green, yellow or red, and a white or off-white coloured sweet flesh. Only certain varieties of banana are amenable to ripening, while others – called plantains – are cooked raw akin to vegetables.
A green chilli is an important star in Indian cooking. This spice is grown throughout the year and so there is no scarcity and a good quantity is exported. Chillies are used with or without stalks. Green chillies are available fresh, dried, powdered, flaked, in oil, in sauce, bottled and pickled. It spices up a bland meal.
Garlic is a species in the onion family Alliaceae. The bulb of garlic, the most commonly used part of the plant, is divided into numerous fleshy sections called cloves. The leaves, stems, and flowers on the head are also edible and are most often consumed while immature and still tender. The papery, protective layers of “skin” over various parts of the plant and the roots attached to the bulb are the only parts not considered palatable.
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.
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.
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.
The green mid-sized leaves are joined to a main stem and have a faint aroma which can be experienced while cooking. Apart from being widely used in medicines, it is widely used in many cuisines. These leaves are used extensively in Southeast Asian cooking, adding a very distinct flavour and aroma to an assortment of dishes.
Fenugreek has been used as a food, spice and medicine since ancient times.It is an erect, strongly scented, robust, annual herb 30 to 60 cm high.The fenugreek leaves are aromatic, cooling and mild aperient. The leaves are popular for their aromatic and unique flavour. Fenugreek has a strong, pleasant and a peculiar odour.
A root vegetable with a crisp texture and a peppery hot flavour. The hotness of the radish varies from mild to very strong, depending on the age and type. The different types come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colours. The most commonly found are the small, round Cherry Belle, the Red Globe radish or the white carrot shaped variety known as Daikon. There are two main categories of radishes, either the spring or winter radishes, based on the time when they are harvested. Spring radishes, which have a short growing season, resulting in a smaller radish. Spring radishes are generally eaten raw. The winter radishes have a longer growing season, which results in a larger round or more elongated shaped vegetable that stores longer. Winter radishes are generally cooked.