Rains have started making its appearance here and there, not enough but promising some respite for farmers and the rest of us. Considering the atrocities we commit, nature is being kind to us and we have a lot to grateful for. Everybody is hopeful it will rain but I don’t see resolutions to change our ways. When will that happen?
Why we recommend what we do…
We started the practice of introducing new products and recommending specific products because of a reason. Many of us believe that going organic means just replacing some of the chemically grown foods with the closest organic replacement. This is not the case. We recommend eating naturally grown, whole foods which means that we have to explore many new food items, food groups and new ways of preparing food. Today what we have in our food is variety, not diversity, it is a small class of items prepared in different ways; be it corn, wheat, sugar all laced with additives and preservatives and tastemakers in diff forms.
What we need in our food is seasonality, locality, and diversity, where we explore various traditional varieties of grains (such as traditional rice varieties), pulses- unpolished and semi-polished, natural unprocessed sweeteners, cold pressed oils, native fruits and vegetables all grown, processed, transported and stored organically. We should be using our creativity to prepare interesting dishes with it. World over famous chefs has turned to a farm to plate cooking be it in Europe, US or India. Dan Barber has written a wonderful account about his own experiences of running a restaurant within an organic farm called “The Third plate”.
So this week we recommend the gourds, that’s what the farmers have : Peerkan ( ridge gourd ) which turns into absolutely delicious thogayil; Pudalai, snake gourd long and short, each has its own distinct taste ( I am partial to the taste of the long one ); Arasani, pumpkin which makes lovely soup and kuttu and poriyal and what not; Poosani, ash gourd, the healthy gourd of choice, Pavakkai, bitter gourd ( either loved or hated , never in between).