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Apr 14th 2013
Growing Indian Vegetables at home !!
Spring is the most beautiful time of the year. This is the time when I start planting the seeds and making other required preparations for my vegetable garden. I thought it would be a good idea to share these ideas with many of you who are thinking about growing your own vegetables.
Growing vegetables at home is becoming more popular these days. There are plenty of reasons as to why people like to grow things in their own garden....Some people worry about the use of chemicals/ pesticides in the vegetables and fruits, while others like to be close to nature, and find it relaxing to work in the garden. Some enthusiasts also grow rare vegetables which are hard to find in the supermarkets.... Whatever may be the reasons for thinking about growing your own vegetables; it should be fun for you, and not a chore....
I love gardening. My family shares this passion. We plant the seeds, wait for them to germinate. The seeds sprout, and then the first set of leaves appears. Kids keep an eye, and inform " Mom it is growing taller and taller". The cycle of careful watering and waiting continues. Slowly, the plants bear fruits, and the long awaited moment arrives- we enjoy the freshly picked herbs, fruits or vegetables.... When we harvest our homegrown plants, it feels like a big achievement, it is a pleasure, it is healthy, and it is satisfying to use home grown vegetables in our cooking.
I like to grow lauki (bottle gourd), Karela ( bitter gourd), different varieties of tomatoes, different varities of chilies, Eggplant, Spinach, and also some herbs such as mint, coriander (cilantro), fenugreek, basils etc.....
So if you have proper summer weather in your part of world you can easily grow vegetables at home. Many of these veggies and herbs can be grown in a pot as well. Here I am mainly talking about some vegetables which are sometimes hard to find outside India. When you find them they have already travelled hundreds of miles and are not as good and tasty as they could be...
Karela (Bitter Gourd)- Karela is a very bitter vegetable and is very popular in Indian subcontinent due to its medicinal values. Karela can be easily grown in ground as well as in a big (about 10-12 inch ) pot. This climber / vine loves hot and sunny weather. So if you have nice area where you get sun you can easily grow this non attention seeker vine. I start growing karela from its seeds. If you live outside India you can order seeds online.
I have planted karela in the small pots so I can easily move them out when weather is nice and move them in when it is cold in the evening. In May When weather will be warm and there will not be any danger of the frost I will transfer the plants to the garden soil.
There are plenty of dishes made from karela like, Bengali dish Sukto, Fried Karela, Karela bhajji, karela pickle, karela juice, etc...Some dishes we have already made from Karela are- Karele ka thoran, Bharvan Karele, Karele ki bhajiya
Lauki - This vegetable is also known as Ghiya, Kaddu, Bottle Gourd and in America it is also known as Squash. Lauki contains about 96% water, it is rich in dietary fibers, is a good source of vitamin B and iron, and is very easy to digest. Just like karela, lauki can also be grown from the seeds. You can grow it in a big pot or in the ground. I have planted the seeds in the small pot because it is still cold outside. I will move the baby plants outside in the ground in the first week of May when the danger of frost is over.
Lauki seeds showing the growth after 9 days. I planted seeds on March 21. The right picture shows fully grown lauki hanging on the vine (from our last year's kitchen garden photo collection)
There are plenty of dishes made from Lauki. This is a vegetable which is normally eaten during the fasting days as well. I have separated the lauki recipes to make your search easier Lauki-Ghiya Recipes...
Along with Karela and Lauki you can also grow many other vegetables in your kitchen garden.