Sunday, 10 July 2011

eating greens and mangoes

Not that it was obvious as I've still be blogging, but I've been in Wales most of last week while D drove on to see his mother. I joined him at his mothers on Friday. We drove back up to Scotland yesterday.

I didn't get the opportunity to go to my Dad allotment as it rained pretty much all week.  Yes its funny, I left the Scottish rain behind, only to be drenched by the Welsh rain.  However I did take some pictures of my mothers very cramped garden. She doesn't have much space to grow as the grandchildren dominate most of the garden with their toys, bicycles and shenanigans, but the little growing space she does have she has crammed with either flowers or vegetables.

Here are a few pictures of what is growing there, but also what I got to eat - I do get fed like a Vegetarian Queen when I am at my mothers.
 Some heavily perfumed delicate blooming roses.
 Cherries still ripening, hopefully they will get to them before the birdies do.
 Mottled Pears
 Green plums still hard as pebbles
Green tomatoes, the first of many planted outside in the ground.  Next to the tomatoes, she has a number of chilli plants that were flowering.

Chickpeas - still growing - my mother always grows fresh chickpeas. Fresh chickpeas are green and nuttier. Hopefully they will be ready the next time I visit and I'll be able to share more images.

Now what I got to eat, most of it fresh from the garden.  On of the days, I got to eat fenugreek aka methi.

 Freshly picked spinach aka palak.
Now I need your help please, I have absolutely no idea what this is (see and click on above image).  My mother has not planted this green.  It is an edible weed growing amongst some of her flowers.  My mother calls it padina, but my research has identified it as mint, and I can assure you this tastes nothing like mint, nor does it have a minty fragrance.

Cooked down it was absolutely meltingly delicious.  The flavour reminded me of wild nettles (without the stings of course).  So if any of you know and can identify what this edible green weed is called, it will be most appreciated.  My sister in laws (I have two of them) cooked it with yellow chickpeas.
On another day for brunch, I had daikon also known as Mooli, grated and stuffed in a Paratha.  It was served with a mango and lime pickle.  These daikons were grown in pots for the first time, hence the stunted growth.  It was the first time my mother grew them in pots. 
On another day, mustard greens transformed into Sarson Ka Saag.  This is the authentic stuff, the real deal, not those pretend versions sold at Indian restaurants and take-aways that tend to be made with spinach (palak). If your interested to learn more about real saag follow here.
I also ate loads of fresh fruit: plums, cherries, melons and of course, mango.  I know my mother and sister-in-laws are not reading this blog, but if they were I would like to say to them Thank you as always for feeding and watering me well. x

I am hoping to repay the compliment when I move down.


  1. Shaheen, is the unidentified green plant perhaps Chenopodium Album aka Fat Hen?

  2. Nice to see healthy fruits and veggie picked fresh!

  3. Sounds like you were spoiled Shaheen :)

  4. I love greens and just bought a whole lot of them from my local market.. Nothing beats local fresh produce from the market... especially for people like me that do not even have a garden. Thanks for sharing and have a great week ahead dear!

  5. Garden fresh vegetables are so wonderful and you really highlight that here. I'm also interested to see that box of mangoes - and the "Produce of Pakistan" stamp. Here, most of our mangoes are from Mexico, so that's pretty cool to see.
    Hopefully the weather gets better for you all over there.

  6. Makes me want to raid a garden and get some fresh food, I ate curry all week so a big green salad would be wonderful :)

  7. Could it be 'Salva', there is one variety that is called Apple Mint, it self seeds readily, it doesn't really taste minty, but cooks down into a mellow herby taste. I wilt it very briefly and add it to pasta or pizzas with spinach.

    Your mum does extremely well in a small space, now we know where you get your green fingers from......both your parents!

    I hope you finally get out from under this rain cloud you seem to be dragging around the British Isles with you.

    Sue xx

  8. Ooh, honey mangoes! I have been really enjoying them recently (I almost managed to cook some too - grilled & served with rice pudding, yum!)
    The greens (do they have grey-green tiny flowers bunched into spikes?) look like Fat Hen (Chenopodium album), I have it growing everywhere in my garden, and love it! You can use it as a salad, but it's a little bit brassica-y, it's lovely cooked any way you would use spinach.
    I'm so envious of your mothers chickpeas, they never seem to grow for me, though I try every year :)
    Much love, dear friend

  9. Might it be tree spinach? They were talking about it on Gardener's Question Time and it sounds similar.

  10. Looks like there arelots of lovely things growing there! I'm intrigued by the fresh chickpeas, I've always wondered about growing those, so I'd be interested to see how they turn out!

  11. Beautiful garden pics! Those roses are exquisite and all the bounty...seems she gets quite a lot out of a small space...and such healthy greens too.

    I recently tried green chick peas...I'm hooked. I really want to try fenugreek greens now too.

  12. Glad you had a lovely time whilst away. Wow look at all those fruits and veggies. I think that Mooli was mentioned by a friend of mine at work, I had never heard of it. I am lucky enough to work with quite a few friends of different cultures at work and love to hear about what they cook and try their dishes :-)

  13. Your mother grow a very interesting mix of veggies - about those cherries though ... I wouldn't bet on tastng them unless you're picking them as soon as they turn red.

  14. Re your unidentified herb. Could it be Mentha arvensis - see

  15. What lovely fruits, greens and flowers!
    Glad you are keeping well. We've had a lot of rain as well. Best to you.

  16. Shaheen..think it is Orach...there is a red version also. It reseeds really well in England..not so much here. Very healthy food.

    Well fed and watered you are ;-)

  17. You take beautiful photos!!

  18. I was going to guess those were mint, because they do look JUST like mint. But mint has such a distinct flavor, I'm sure you'd know it if it was mint. I'm glad they turned out yummy!

  19. Hi Shaheen, what a fascinating read this post was! When all the following gidgets pop up again I would like to follow you and see what you do! Thank you for popping in and saying hello on my blog too.

  20. I love seeing beautiful nature garden, I marvel at the growing cherries, blessings for the wonderful pictures, nice post, hugs.

  21. Your mom sounds like a wonderful cook, Mango. I can see where you get your inspiration. Those wild greens look like lamb's quarters to me. If it was mint, the stem would be square.

  22. Thanks Mark.
    I think your right, but I will have to double check the next time I go there. I will have to take my wild weed book too.

    Thank you Bangchik and Kakdah.

    Thanks Jacqueline - I always am :)

    Hello Food Glorious Food,
    Thanks for your comment, your right fresh produce from the market is the second best optionw hen you don't have a garden. You will oneday - I hope - a little bit of green is good for the soul!

  23. Thanks foodfeud.
    Yes the box of mangoes excited me too. These came from a South Asian grocer shop. Those imported from the indian sub contient tend to be sweeter, well I think so - I won't eat other imported manges as they tend to disappoint.

    Thanks for the warm weather wishes, its been changeable - still haven't been able to hang my laundry out to dry naturally though.

    Thank you Frosty Duncan.
    Me too, but a small green space is better than nothing at all. If my mother could she would have greened her whole garden, but then the nephews and neices would be treading in everything, so much of it is concrete for their wandering feet.

    Like you I ate rich 'curry' style meals all of last week, so a big green salad would be wonderful. I'm fortuante as I do have some salad growing in my 3foot by 3 foot plot :)
    I hope you get a garden oneday.x

    Thank you Sue.
    I don't think it is Apple Mint, I've grown it in the past and am familiar with it, but thanks for bringing it to my attention as I;m not 100% sure, it could simply be fat hen.

    Your right my mother does extremely well in a small space - the chickpeas are growing underneath the named fruit trees! I shall have to measure her growing space the next time i am down there.
    Yeah I blame my parents for finally discovering my green fingers!

    Thanks for the good weather wishes, the morning has started off grey, lets hope it clears.

    Hello my dear friend littleblackfox.
    always, lovely to hear form you - yes I got spoiled with all kind of food including honey mangoes! I tend to enjoy them natural, not in cooking but it sounds excellent with rice pudding - should try it with the weather being on and off like a tap.

    You've described the greens ell, they do flower but my mother harvest them before i could see the colours of the tiny flowers. I think your right thought that is is Fat Hen (Chenopodium album). I will have to double check the next tiem i am down there with my wild weed book.

    My mother has always grown fresh chickpeas and encouraged me to do so, but I never have. She does have a secret when planting them, she soaks them and then plants them, perhaps that is the secret to growing them successfully. I will ask her to make sure :)

  24. Thanks Jane.
    Tree spinach I'm intrigued, I will have to look into this one for sure.

    thankss Sooz.
    Yes there certainy are, that if the nephews and neices hven't treaded on them.

    I will try my utmost to update you on the progress of the chickpeas. I'm not sure when my next trip down will be. It usually coincides when my husband wants to check up on his mother, so I am thinking two weeks.

    Thank you Rose.
    My mother had so many exquisite roses, but many of them had withered. She does cram a lot into her small space, a bit like me. Much of it is growing amongst other things, for example the chickpeas are growing beneath the fruit trees.

    You must try fenugreek greens, very distinct flaovur so i do hope you like it. I really do love eating it.

    Thank you Scented Sweetpeas.
    So good to hear from you, its been a while. I know your a busy bee :)

    I remember you telling me that you work in
    an environment where there are many people of different cultures. I think thats a good thing, breaks down stereotypes in some cases. RE the mooli, its not to everyones taste, but I don't mind it :-)

  25. Thanks Chris.
    Your right about the cherries, the birdies tend to get to them before the humans,

    Thanks Just Gai.
    I will follow your link Re the unidentified herb, but i am moving towards the suggeston of fat hen.

    Thank you e.
    I hope the rain eases off where you are too.
    The skies are still grey here.

    Thanks Gardeningbren.
    I've heard of Orach and its often sold here, namely the red version. I don't think this is orach though and am moving towards the suggestiont that it is fat hen, but i will check out your suggestion as I'm not 100% sure.

    Yes, I certainly was well fed and watered ;-)
    I do get spoiled horrid when I am at my parents.

  26. Thanks Jess.

    Thanks Rivki Locker,
    Majority of Fellow gardener bloggers have identified it as fat hen. I think they may be right, but more research is required on my side.

    Thank you so much Naturally Carol for repaying the compliment and coming by my blog, its most appreciated.

    The following gidgets pop up have been playing up on most blogs the past few days.

    Thank you so much Rosita Vargas.

    Thank Barbara.
    She is a wonderful cook, but these days my sister in laws do a lot of the cooking under the instruction of my mother though :)

    Re the wild greens - I've not hear of lamb's quarters, so I will look it this. it as bee suggested by U.K gardeners that it could be fat hen, I think it my e too - but am not 100% sure yet.


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