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Exotic new veggies: adding a gourmet tinge to any meal

Several exotic new greens have hit the market in the last few months; we get the low-down on the latest additions and how you can put them to good use.

health-and-fitness Updated: Apr 04, 2014 14:57 IST
Sonal Ved
Sonal Ved
Hindustan Times

The market has been flooded with all kinds of new roots, tubers and leaves. These vegetables are not only beautiful to look at, but they are also nutrition-rich and capable of adding a gourmet tinge to any meal. While some of them were being served by restaurants, cafés and delis across the city, in the retail sector, their presence is rather new.

Here, we bring you a list of these exotic new veggies and tell you how you can incorporate them in your daily cooking.


From cookery shows, health enthusiasts and food bloggers — the world has been obsessing about this green for a few months now. Belonging to the cauliflower family, it can be used in salads, added to green smoothies, stuffed in burgers and used to wrap meat fillings. It is known for its anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering benefits and is a dieter’s best friend. at: Trikaya, Crawford Market; Grant Road marketAlfalfa sprouts

Shoots of the alfalfa plant, these microgreens are thin and frail. They taste best when perched on Asian stews and curries, salads and health wraps. They can also be used as a filling for burgers. These are available in the seed form too, so you grow them at home and chomp away. at:; Trikaya, Crawford Market; Foodhall, Lower Parel

Not to be confused with celery, celeriac is a knobby root vegetable that is liked for its edible body. It tastes similar to celery, but has a nuttier and denser texture. Just like a potato or carrot, celeriac requires extensive cooking and can be used to make celeriac mash and chips too. You can also eat it roasted.
Available at: Trikaya, Crawford Market; Byculla vegetable market; Grant Road market

Bear lemons

A tad bigger than local lemons, these are known for their vibrant skin colour. They are perfect for desserts (lemon bars and lemon curd etc.) because they contain just the right kind of tartness. They also have a fragrant rind that can be grated and used in salad dressings. at: Foodhall, Lower Parel

(With inputs from Chef Krishna Khetle from Cafe Infinito, Bandra Kurla Complex)

Brussels sprouts
These tiny, edible buds that are full of crunch and colour originated in Brussels. They are best used in salads, soups or along with roasted meats as sides. Brussels sprouts need to be handled carefully as they are delicate and can bruise easily. This vegetable has a detoxifying ability, so you can blitz them with your vegetable juices as well.
Available at: Trikaya, Crawford Market; Foodhall, Lower Parel

Fruit vendors often try to sell these as ‘Chinese oranges’. Kumquats look like miniature oranges. They have a thin tangerine-like skin, smell deliciously sweet and have a saccharine-sour taste.
They can be thrown into salads, eaten raw or puréed to make fruit syrups and salad dressings. They are a little less sour than other citrus fruits and, therefore, work effortlessly in desserts such as puddings and cheesecakes.
Available at: Trikaya, Crawford Market; Foodhall, Lower Parel; Godrej Nature’s Basket outlets

Swiss chard
This green is bitter when eaten raw, but that bitterness fades away into a grassy tone when cooked. Chard’s colourful stem is rich in vitamins A, C and K. While tossing it in a salad is the easiest thing to do, Swiss chard works well in burgers and when tossed with your stir fry too.
Available at: Trikaya, Crawford Market; Foodhall, Lower Parel

Enoki mushroom
Drastically different from button mushrooms, these ones are long and have small heads. They taste great when served cold, so you can work them into salads and antipasti appetisers. You can also add them to soups and stir-fry preparations.
Available at:; FoodHall, Lower Parel; Godrej Nature’s Basket outlets