Last week my husband discovered an Indian produce store. Since he is just as much a curious cat as I am, he came home with a huge “cool bag” (we go grocery shopping with reusable bags that keep temperature for a couple of hours) of interesting, albeit mysterious vegetables. He expected me to make sense of them. Only one of them, a long white thing with a green leafy plume, looked somewhat familiar, and – lucky me! – he snapped a picture of it with a name, Muli. I went to my trusty Google which said, “Hey, it’s just a radish, and it’s cooked.” I’ve never heard of cooking radishes, so I went to my more than trusty – and much admired! – fellow blogger Sumith Babu of Keralas.live and asked if this radish was anything like Daikon, and if I could just treat it the same way. Sumith said that IT WAS Daikon radish. One mystery solved, and one salad in the making. For the recipe of Daikon Salad, please click here.
There was still the issue of the green leaves which I temporarily put on the side in order to figure out some other leaves. Those looked like basil, but not exactly basil, and had a purplish red tint. Cautiously, I tasted a bit of a leaf. Basil! Red basil? Wow! Google to the rescue. Apparently, it is called Holy, or Sacred Basil, and I would not presume, but will appeal to fellow bloggers who are knowledgeable to enlighten me. I figured, maybe stir-frying those Muli greens together with some of the brighter red and purplish basil leaves, plus grating some ginger and some white turmeric, also found in the “cool bag,” will make either a salad or a side dish. So I iced and salted them, like I do with all herbs and greens, and put them on the side. For a method of preserving fresh herbs, please click here.
Meanwhile, the next thing I found was a couple of dozen of miniature cucumbers. You can see how tiny they are: I am holding one, and I have really small hands. “Great, – I said, – I am pickling the whole bunch of them.” So I got my pickling jar ready, I washed them, I cut one lengthwise, as I do with Kirby cucumbers, and – surprise! They were NOT pickles; rather, they looked like miniature zucchinis. No name, of course, so I couldn’t Google, nor could I ask fellow bloggers. A quandary. Well, as I’ve already remarked, quandary is not a place where I stay for long. I made a decision to experiment. I decided to treat some of them as zucchini, and some as cucumbers. Sumith, Priya, and other experts, are you laughing your heads off now?
The first part of the experiment I, unfortunately, did not photograph. I cut about a dozen of those little green things lengthwise and stir-fried them together with Muli greens and red basil leaves, with ginger and turmeric, and some other seasoning that I will save for an actual post when I make it again and take pictures. However, the second part was truly the easiest. I generally tend to pickle every vegetable I can lay my hands on. So I pickled these babies exactly the same way I pickle everything else. For my pickling recipe, please click here. The only difference was, I decided, totally on a whim, to add maybe a quarter cup of the pink brine that I was pickling ginger in. I thought, geographically these veggies are sort of close to each other, so they should be friends. A pinkish hue and a ginger tang will only enhance whatever the final product will be.
It did. It did so well, that I never had a chance to take pictures. My husband, the curious cat, was tasting to see if they were ready, and there was only a handful of them, and they were soooo tiny…
In summary, he just brought me a couple of pounds of TINDORA, or IVY GOURD, and I am pickling the entire batch. Oh, and I pickle ginger the same way, but to make it pink and sweet, I add some beet juice, about 1/3 of the amount of water, and eliminate garlic. I did use garlic with Tindora pickles, though, and it was great. You can see the big jar of pickled Tindora in the background of my post Intrepid New World.
So guys, any ideas what to do with Tindora, other than stir fry or pickle? Who wants to do a guest post on my blog?
I thank you in advance for all your future contributions!