Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

This morning, I went up to check on my terrace garden (like I do every morning), I was so overwhelmed with the surrounding prettiness. I immediately decided that despite the mountain of work in my to-do-list, this is one blog post I will get to, today itself and share my happiness with my readers. In the coming week, when I find some time, I am going to post links to all the seeds etc. so please bear with me until then :-) It's just a quick photo essay, but I do hope the lovely flowers and the shades of green make you feel REEEALLY happy the way they make me feel

If you want regular updates (more like daily updates cough), do follow me on Instagram, where I promise to share all manner of eats, shoots and leaves with you

Thank you, Sangeetha, for the Bathua seeds. As you can see, they are coming along beautifully!

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Earlier my entire focus was on veggies, but then flowers not only make the garden pretty but also draw in the bees, which are great for the veggies. So an overall win-win. This is Sweet Alyssum (_Lobularia maritima). _I so love how dainty they look!

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

French Beans

We've been struggling with French beans forever. I've tried seeds from local markets, from US gardening websites. The plant grows briskly, flowers and just when my expectations go up on the sighting of baby beans, the plant withers up and dies. I've hardly managed to harvest a few handfuls of French beans in the last 4 years. So here's keeping my fingers (and toes) crossed that we have better luck this time

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Dill Flowers

I must say I'm not a huge fan of dill. I prefer to add a tiny bit to salad dressings and such, but I find the overall flavour of this herb hugely overpowering. Then why am I growing dill? Just for these delicate beauties, the dill flowers. The delicate fronds add so much beauty to a kitchen garden and they fit into any nooks in between other plants / herbs. I do want to give this herb a go in Eastern European cuisine sometime soon, and see if I like it that way :) Or may be use the dried fronds in my next batch of handmade soap

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015


If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen my excitement at making a vibrant green bathua paratha or raita. The best thing about these greens are that they don't have any strong bitter or sour taste, so it pretty much goes into anything with ease. Did you know the superfood quinoa comes from the same family as bathua? Chenopodium aka goosefoot! The immature seeds that you see on the stalk, that's what in the quinoa species turns into quinoa seeds, after all, quinoa is a seed not a grain

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015


I get many surprised comments when they see zucchini growing in Bangalore. Let me tell you that almost anything will grow in Bangalore, after all we are blessed with a moderate weather. But these huge leaves of zucchini end up catching mildew almost each time and then the plant fails to thrive. Also, squirrels tend to chew on the squash just as I am thinking of harvesting them. Nowadays, I harvest them quite early to get to it before the squirrels dig their teeth into them and render them useless for me. The zucchini flowers are such a welcome sight in the mornings, when I go up to the garden

Recipe: Zucchini Curry | Zucchini Thogayal

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015


That's the handiwork of my garden lady, Maria, who assumes that I like to eat 10 kilos of brinjals, or radish, in this case, all at once. She loves to sow all the seeds at once, making me the generous neighbour and friend, gifting away homegrown vegetables to anyone who will care to have them. These are a mix of Indian heirloom white radishes that I picked up from a street vendor in Dharamsala and the red baby radishes, with a pungent bite that are just so perfect in salads

Recipe: Moong Dal with Radish Greens

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Okra / Bhindi

With Bhindi, again I've had mixed luck. Pests go on a rampage on these leaves, leaving the plant as pitiful skeleton. This time I planted these seeds in a few different locations so that the pests cannot get to all the plants at once. My trickery paid off, and I get a handful of bhindi every few days. Happy with this as my son loves Bhindi and it's one vegetable he will never say no to

Recipe : Quick and easy Bhindi Masala

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Fenugreek / Methi

Oh Methi, in how many ways do I love thee! I honestly feel that our Indian herb, methi / fenugreek has a one of a kind flavour and aroma, unmatched by any other. Theplas or methi in curries or dry some up to make kasoori methi, I can never have enough of this

Recipe: Methi Thepla | F for fenugreek

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Bittergourd / Karela

Baby Karelas are in season now. Not only do they have pretty yellow flowers, but these mini karelas are quite cute too. They need to be harvested quickly and not allowed to mature too much on the vine. It's amazing how these leaves emit that slightly unpleasant bitter aroma. No wonder, even pests don't like to get on this plant

Recipe: Crispy Karela in Airfryer

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015


I cannot recall what variety of tomatoes we have planted. We will know in another couple of weeks on harvest. As of now, I am just happy anticipating some juicy tomatoes for a pasta sauce or a caprese salad

Recipe: Italian style eggplants in tomato sauce

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015


That's my chutney patch. For the first time, I'm getting a lush harvest of coriander. I keep snipping the leaves as and when required and they grow back bushy. This can be done some 3-4 times. No need to pull out from the root and start afresh each time, as it takes quite some time to go from seed to shoot. I forget what variety seeds I used this time, need to make a note of this really good varietal

Recipe - Mint and Coriander Chutney

Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015
Kitchen Garden Tour - July 2015

Yard long beans

How pretty are the flowers of these yard long beans / chouli / karamani. I have two varieties growing currently - the light green stringier Indian variety and the dark green smooth Chinese variety. I do like the latter better. But today, I plucked the really tender beans and cooked them immediately into a dry curry. I can swear they were as sweet and tender as French beans. Need to start plucking them before they turn into grandolddaddies on the vine itself. Even that is not a big problem, as we open the pods and get out the beans inside (cowpeas) and use it in subzis and as sundal

Recipe: Yard long beans curry | Edible flowers in Salad

(c) Nandita Iyer 2006-2015

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