One thing I absolutely love about winters in Mumbai is the colorful fresh fruits and vegetables that are available in the market. The seasonal fruits and vegetables available at this time in the local markets are my personal favorites. One such favorite is Harbhare or Fresh Bengal Gram.
When I was a kid, mom would get these bunches of green plants and we would sit with them. I would pluck each pod from the plant and she would clean it to get the fresh green gram. Few we would eat just like that while talking about random topics while the rest either be roasted or sauteed. We still do the same whenever this harbhare comes into the market during winters.
Taste: The green Bengal gram has a distinct refreshing taste. Choose the right type ( the sweeter variety) and you would finish it just like that.
Appearance: Comes in green pods. It’s green and at times yellow in shade.
Availability: Easily available in the local markets during winter (mainly During late December to early February).
Usage: It can be consumed just like that or with a dash of salt and lime. It can be roasted, steamed, or sauteed. It can be used to make salads or regular bhajis. They can be sprouted to be consumed like that or in the cooked form.
The leaves of the plants are also used to make a gravy or dry vegetable which is served with Bhakri.
Nutritional Benefits: High fiber and a good source of protein. It’s a great source of folate and vitamin A & C and many other nutrients.