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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

How to buy vegetables

There used to be joke, where the son asks the mother what the vegetable vendor would do with the rotten vegetables and she replies saying that he would wait for his dad to come so that he can get rid of them.

How many are proud of buying the fresh, good quality vegetables? Not all are good at it! Cooking is an art provided you pick the vegetables carefully. 

Here are a few tips:

Always go for the bigger and the round yams and if the cut ones are available, the inner colour should be light red or pinkish. 

Brinjals crown should be fresh and and thick, if its crown and the stem look thin, it's stale. Tender brinjals would have softer skin and they would taste better.

Cabbage should be light and fresh. As soon as you buy remove the outer portion, many would have touched and it's better to be safe.

Cauliflower should be white in colour and should not be yellow or brown, look for green, violet spots, if found do not buy. Cut off the leaf portion .Take them as florets and before cooking put them in boiling haldi water with salt to check for worms. Go for the bushy ones. 

Cluster beans and French beans should be tender and the pods should not be seen as knots. Avoid buying as they would have more thready substance and may not be tasty. 

Garlic pods should be seen in the big bunch. 

Go for medium green Bitter gourds, the dark green ones would be bitter. The light yellow ones will ripe soon. They can be cut and stored. To get rid of the bitter taste, cut the bitter gourd and rub some salt keep aside for a few minutes before cooking. 

 If the head portion is cut off for raddish and carrots, they are not fresh, better to buy with leaves or if some fresh leaf portion is seen. After buying cut the head and the tail and store. 

Onions and potatoes should never be purchased when they are wet, firstly they would weigh more and you lose on the quantity, secondly they would get rotten  quicker. 

Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating raw and peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.

Potatoes should never be green and without any black spots and tender sprouts. Touch the skin and check; if they can be peeled easily they are good, sometimes you get seasonal potatoes.

Sweet potatoes should not have any knots and bends, they would be bitter. Go for the straight ones. 

 Twist the drumsticks to see: if it twists, it’s good.  Wash, pat dry and cut them into pieces and store in an air tight container in the fridge.

 While buying  coconuts , shake and listen for the water sound and if you can hear the water sound it has more coconut water, if it does not make any sound it's ready for 'copra' or rotten, better avoid it.

While buying lady finger break the tail portion and see whether it is tender, if it's not do not buy. After buying wash them and leave them on a newspaper and pat dry and store in fridge. Squeezing a lemon would prevent it from getting sticky.  

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