Have you heard of a snow white beauty in the vegetable fraternity or a Cinderella in the foppish vegetable platter, which the winter months offer us in abundance? Last week when I went to the farmers market for my weekly grocery shopping, the sight of this dew fresh product with its green leaves intact, caught my attention instantly. I’ll vouch for the popularity of this seasonal delicacy as all the vendors had spread it neatly and attractively in small mounds as if it were their prized ware and all their sales dependent on its inviting armour. You must’ve made a guess by now, if not, then, I‘ll be telling you right away. It is the poor man’s food the lowly but ubiquitous, glistening radish, inundating the market at this time of the year. It looks glamorous with its fair exterior, long conical shape and freshly green head.
My brethren in Punjab’re crazy about this seasonal, daintily slim produce. Its mouth watering flavour tempts as well as pampers the taste buds. Its pungent and peppery taste and its fleshy crunchiness when eaten raw is peculiar to it, and that is what makes this humble root so very distinguishable. Not long back I remember it being sold, neatly sliced into quarters with salt and pepper sprinkled over, at cut price to appease hunger pangs just like pan puri, burgers, cucumber pieces etc.
It possesses a unique versatility as it can be eaten in many forms like thinly sliced with a dash of rock salt and pepper as a salad; grated and squeezed of its juice and mixed with condiments and carom seeds (ajwain) as a stuffing for all time favourite paranthas served with home made well set curd. It can also be cooked grated or cut into small pieces like any other vegetable and presented as a side dish or can be enjoyed sautéed or pickled. Finely grated it can be kneaded in wheat flour or corn flour to make delicious rotis. (All these are my mom’s recipes tried by me zillion times.) It adds richness and variety to the winter cuisine like none else
Interestingly this cheap vegetable has many healthy attributes. It is hydrating and acts as a diuretic and detoxifies the system by promoting generous urine stream. It improves the liver function and most importantly it decreases the severity of piles because it provides a lot of roughage, thereby cleansing the body of toxins. This apart it has many beneficial vitamins including vitamin C. Its juice applied to acne is believed to clear the skin fast.
For a balanced diet this savory root rightfully deserves a place in our daily menu.
courtesy: Google images