cucumber, corn and and chutney

After returning from India last week, I was fortunate to harvest both corn and edamame (soya beans).

A day's harvest 

Corn, edamame, cucumber, bell pepper and eggplant

As usual, the edamame and corn harvested and eaten on the same day justified growing them in my garden – they tasted superb. The beans were sweet and fresh; the corn juicy and tender. The cucumber too was water and crackled as you bit into it. I generally add a dash of lemon and some salt when I eat cucumber. 

Never keep such stuff for the next day. You pluck them and eat them immediately. When I was young and growing up in India, we didn’t have a refrigerator. Frankly, we didn’t need one! We bought fresh vegetables in the morning, cooked and ate them the same day; the next day, we again bought a day’s worth of vegetables.

That’s all about veggies in this post – we’ll go to my home garden that has some lovely blooms this summer, and I’ll also talk about a herb chutney that I tried out last week.

First, the hydrangea.



The hydrangeas did not disappoint me this year too. They stood stall and stately, welcoming me back from my trip to India.


Closeup of the hydrangea

Ain’t she beautiful?

Next, let’s go to the herb plot.

Herb plot

Yellow Camomille flowers, dark pink Monarda, yellow Soapwort flowers, fennel seeds, and oregano overflowing the plot. I decided to trim off some oregano and to make some chutney. Looked up the web and here’s what I came up with:

Chutney ingredients  

The substance of oregano chutney (my own version)

A teaspoon of urad dal

Some oregano leaves

Half an onion chopped as above

A tomato chopped up as in the photo

Two small green chillies (hot)


I fried the onions and chopped up chillies in batter (using some mustard seeds and cumin seeds) until golden brown, added tomatoes and the oregano leaves heating them for a little while. Then moved the entire mix into a small mixer, added some salt and squeezed about half a lemon into it and revved it up!  Within a minute I had some great tasting chutney in hand – it wasn’t too spicy, and I also use it as salad dressing. Do try it!


Original Oregano chutney

Now for the new additions and flowers in bloom in my home garden.



I love the delicate pink and white salvia, thanks to my friend Utiyama-san, who gave me a plant from his garden.

Monarda (Bergamot)


The lovely pink Monarda (probably called the Bergamot?) another donation from my friend Utiyama san’s garden, has quickly become my favorite flower.



The perfectly circular, umbrella-shaped petals of the pink Abutilon peeping out of leaves – this was the first of the Abutilons to bloom this year.





Yellow, red and orange in bunches that light up the surroundings


Hydrangea - white

Another variety of hydrangea with white flowers

Another tip of the hat to Utiyama-san. He gave this plant to me in a planter; within a few days the flowers were in bloom. You can see red and yellow abutilon behind and by the side of the hydrangea.



Finally, here is the plumbago – I had lost hope and thought the plant was dead. All that remained in winter was a forlorn looking stump. In summer, I watered the planter assiduously every day, and to my delight, leaves sprung up and flowers too!

Until the next post, here’s wishing you happy gardening!

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13 Responses to “cucumber, corn and and chutney”

  1. 1 Kevin
    July 3, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Those edamame look great. And fresh corn sounds good too. I completely agree with you about picking and eating on the same day. Can’t beat a freshly picked bunch of salad leaves (I’m giving mizuna seeds to friends in Australia) and freshly dug up potatoes were a revelation to me last season.
    Unfortunately I still haven’t tried my hand at edamame. I think I asked you about them two or three years ago? Just been moving house to often to settle at any one garden. Maybe this coming (southern hemisphere) spring/summer. Keep up the inspiring gardening and blogging please.

    • July 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm

      Yes, Kevin. I’m afraid I never replied to your questions on edamame thoroughly. I generally start them by planting two seeds in one of those flexible plastic pots containing soil meant for sowing seeds and cuttings. Once the leaves have come up and the height of the plants is about 10 cm, I move them to the vegetable plot. The timing for sowing the seeds is quite important. I guess you need to figure out the same for your location. All I can say is once you taste your own home-grown edamame, you’ll be hooked.

  2. 3 Anita
    July 6, 2011 at 7:22 am

    Your garden is doing so well: the veggies, the herbs and the flowers. The Monardo shot is stunning. Though I know what soya beans look like, I didn’t know what the pods they came in looked like. Now I know. I’ve heard about how there’s a right and wrong way to consuming soya beans. Wonder if you could have a post on soya beans sometime.

    • July 6, 2011 at 12:10 pm

      The only way I consume edamame is right out of the plant and immediately 🙂 Seriously, even if you keep the edamame a day in the fridge after harvesting, its taste drops hyperbolically. I pluck only what we need to eat for a day, boil the beans with the pods in water for about 2 minutes, sprinkle some salt on TOP OF THE PODS such that when you bite on the pods to push the edamame (bean) into your mouth, the salt accentuates the sweetness of the bean. You keep the edamame for a day or two the sweetness disappears. I think it is eaten in various forms all over Japan – the most popular may be tofu. Even the ubiquitous soya sauce (Shoyu) used for seasoning in Japanese cooking is made from fermented soya beans. I was surprised to note that India accounts for 4% of the soya beans produced in the world.

  3. July 6, 2011 at 10:12 am

    Three of my favorites – hydrangeas, edamame and Indian cooking. I generally get my edamame from the Farmers’ Market because I just don’t have the space for it. I wish I did. I used to grow a bush variety called ‘Envy’ that was compact and very tasty. But there’s never enough.

    The close-up of the hydrangea is stunning.

    • July 6, 2011 at 12:11 pm

      Thanks for dropping by, Marie. I understand what you mean when you say “there’s never enough.” Soon after I harvested the edamame, I planted two more rows. Can’t have enough! Have a great day.

  4. July 7, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    just stopping by to say hello…i love your hydrangeas 🙂

  5. July 8, 2011 at 4:31 am

    thanks for the warm welcome on blotanical. nice blog you have with so beautyful pictures of so beatyful flowers. and does your bell pepper looks like a big with a baby on it? the berries you have asked for are in german so called johannisbeere, the black one are cassis or blackcurrant and the white are called just white currant or champagner currant.
    have a nice day!

  6. July 9, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Everything looks fantastic but that first hydrangea takes top awards for gorgeous. Glad you’re getting plenty of edibles from your plots. Love how you’ve organized it all.

  7. July 23, 2011 at 3:32 pm

    You have a beautiful garden. Good to know that you have a great harvest despite being away.

  8. August 20, 2011 at 8:27 am

    Your garden is beautiful as is the harvest from it. I’ve not tried edamame, I’ve not tried anything new really in the last few years – would you suggest it?

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