It has starting to get warm here in Sacramento, California. The first day of spring was this weekend and we are expected to be in the 80’s later this week. I feel like Sacramento skips spring and goes right into summer. The weather change initiates a change in our wardrobes as well as our meals.
As a kid spring and summer in California meant watermelon, barbecued chicken, corn on the cob, potato salad and ice cream. My husband who grew up in India would look forward to mango shakes,coconut water, Tinda subzi, Kulfi and other summer/spring foods.
I have never had an issue finding Indian dried daals, beans, and spices in the United States. On the other hand Indian vegetables have been a challenge. Indians eat many of the same vegetables that Americans eat and grow locally. Foods like potatoes, peas, Okra, carrots and so on. There are a few fruits and vegetables that are unique to India, and are very quintessential to the summer palate.
When I visited India I went in the middle of the hottest part of the year! It was too hot to eat anything heavy. I enjoyed the light vegetable subzis (curries) that my mother in law made. After returning to the US I have been searching for these mystery vegetables ever since. Half the problem is the fact that my husband only knows the Indian name for these vegetables which puzzles the produce clerks at my local stores. I have searched at Indian markets but there is not alot of vegetable variety.
A few months ago I discovered this amazing grocery store called KP International Market! Its huge! Its right near where I live. Imagine a store catering to all the different types of ethnic foods. There is a huge section for Asian food, Thai, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Japanese. There is a Middle Eastern section, Mexican, European. It is an amazing market and the prices are so good! My daughter and I love going down the different aisles searching for new unique foods, different types of cookies. I looked through the vegetables but honestly I dont know which vegetables my Mother in Law used in the subzis. I just know they are tasty!
Every time I come home from grocery shopping I go on and on about how great the market is to my husband. This last weekend I finally got him to go with me! He was like a kid in a candy store! He found some of his most favorite vegetables that he had not eaten since India! Who knew we would get so excited for vegetables!
I then took him down the Indian section and he raved about their selection of Indian salty snacks and cookies! I had to remind him that we can always come back for more, as he loaded up the cart as if he was preparing a famine! I loved seeing him so happy and having the comforts of his home country! I am excited for using these vegetables. Yummy!