Can you guess one part of most vegetables that is highly rich in nutrition but is always discarded?
We’re talking about greens of root vegetables like radish, beets, turnips, carrots etc.
While it is the root for which they are cultivated, the greens are packed with the goodness of any green leafy vegetable plus much more. It is such a waste to throw them away. Most supermarkets tend to chop them off before storing the root veggies in the shelves as it makes for more efficient use of limited storage space. Also, the greens tend to wilt quickly, making the vegetable look not-so-fresh on the shelf.
However, if you grow some of the root vegetables in your garden or buy them from an outdoor market or mandi, you’ll see that most of them are sold with their green tops intact. In Mumbai markets, radishes especially are sold two ways - one for the roots with bigger radishes, and one purely for the tender greens, where the radishes are quite small and the leaves are tender and fresh.
If you grow radishes or beets at home, don’t be afraid to use a pair of good quality herb scissors to regularly keep chopping off a few leaves from the top. The very tender leaves can be used as is in a salad, tossed in a flavourful olive oil dressing. As you keep snipping these greens, new ones will keep sprouting, so until the radishes are ready, you have another part of the vegetable that can be used in daily cooking.
The larger leaves can be cooked along with dal or made into a sambar. They can also be finely chopped and made into a subzi along with the radishes or with potatoes or carrots.
We’re sharing with you a unique South Indian recipe called Thogayal which is a sort of chutney made using a variety of vegetables or even vegetable peels. Here we have made it using radish greens. This thogayal can be mixed along with rice and ghee or even served with Idlis and dosas as a respite from the regular coconut chutney.
RECIPE FOR RADISH GREENS THOGAYAL CHUTNEY
Makes 1 cup
2 tsp oil, divided
3 cups washed and finely chopped radish greens
3 dried red chillies
2 tbsp udad dal
1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of asafoetida
2 cloves garlic (optional)
½ tsp rock salt
1/3 cup freshly grated coconut
1 small piece tamarind (1 tsp size) soaked in a little hot water
Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan and add the chopped radish greens. Saute on high flame for 1 minute or so until wilted. Remove from the pan in a dish , to cool.
Heat 1 tsp oil in same pan. Add broken red chillies, udad dal, mustard seeds, asafoetida and garlic (if using).
Stir for 1 minute or so on medium flame until udad dal turns golden brown.
In a chutney jar of the mixer, add these slightly cooled ingredients along with the coconut and rock salt and grind until you get a coarse powder.
At this point add the wilted radish greens, tamarind and grind till you get a coarse paste.
Keep in an airtight container. Use within 2 days.
Instead of radish greens you can use any other green leafy vegetables for this thogayal recipe.