By Swatee Jog
We have heard people choose their place of residence based on the proximity to transport facilities, schools, hospitals or offices, but I for one, would any day choose Belagavi for its abundance of fresh produce.
Pet khush toh dil khush!
If you haven’t yet visited the market, you’re missing on witnessing this bounty. With plenty of rains and the farms flush with water and nutrients, Belagavi region is producing the best of vegetables these days.
Come to the city center at Raviwar Peth and you will see heaps upon smiling heaps of the most luscious cauliflowers, cabbage, supple beans bending like a gymnast, bright yellow lemons shining like the sun, the return of the local carrots, heralding an era of halwa and pulav at homes, peas that have been boxed within kernels like naughty kids and coriander that would give any bouquet a run for its money.
The maize is still ruling, though the original variety is now rare with the sweet corn’s arrival. The brinjals are shining like precious amethysts, waiting to be picked and stuffed to satiate those who love it.
Leafy vegetables are swooning in the winds, the red amaranth, the palak, methi and dil, seducing you with their greens. The cucumbers of both kinds, the potatos, big and baby varieties, lots and lots of okra, ash gourds, bottle gourds, capsicums, gavar (cluster beans), pumpkins, even the seasonal Gherkins (Tondli), the yam and the musk melon are all hobnobbing amidst the crowds. Apples are stealing the show with as low as 80 Rupees a kilo, red cheeks enticing you to pick and eat. The pomegranates, guavas, pears, chikkoos, bananas, even the watermelon is calling out the health-conscious.
If you have time, don’t waste it at the malls or the cinema halls, come to the vegetable market. Get the kids to see how nature showers its bounty on our region. Invite your friends and relatives if you may. School folks, take the kids to have a look at the myriad colors, the textures, the varied smells, the gamut of tastes and textures of the fruits and vegetables. Breathe deep, soak in the smells. Forget your processed foods, fill your plates with sliced fruit, chopped veggies, throw a dash of dil and a quick squeeze of lime, stir fry them, churn up salads, pack a fruit platter and relish fresh.
Log on to your phones to check different recipes and make them. Let the kids have the crunch munch at lunch, make every day wonderful, the Sunday brunch colorful. When mother nature is giving her bounty, only the ignorant will turn their backs. Hope you’re not one.