Friday, October 21, 2011

Basil - Grow, Munch, Enjoy !

Its sometimes shocks me to know that most of my friends in India don't know how to eat Basil. In big cities, a few boutique-type vegetable shops do sell basil, but the buyers are all restaurateurs.

It shocks me because I have eaten lemon basil as long as I can remember. And frustrated with 'no basil' situation, I took to growing them a few years ago. Turns out, they are extremely easy to grow! Doesn't need more attention than what you give to a Tulsi/sacred basil plant.

The common way to basil is of course as a flavor add on or as a salad leaf. So, one day I thought of trying an 'Indian' way - fry the leaves. The result was quite impressive! The leaves were thin and therefore cooked quickly. With each bite, you get the strong flavor filling your mouth, your nostrils, while the fried leaves, coated with corn flour, tempts you to snack on.

Another experiment that I did was cooking basil with tiny local fish. Clean the fish, mix them with a thick paste of turmeric, salt, ginger, green chili and garlic. Finally, add a liberal amount of finely chopped basil and  and cook in steam . The taste is so good, you will not forget for quite some time!

Another weekend is here. How about flavoring it with a bit of basil - the oriental way?

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