NEW DELHI: Over the decades, Indian cuisine has developed a unique vegetable consumption pattern based on a seasonal calendar that follows the annual cycle of foraging, planting, harvesting, cooking, and preserving edible plants.
Another happy fallout of the pandemic has been an upswing in gardening. Chefs are setting up their own farms and collaborating with farmer groups. While consumers are investing time in growing their own produce.
Seasonal vegetables are nature's way of enriching the diet, and the traditional diet includes whatever is locally available in season. These patterns had consumers investing time in growing their own produce.
That's when the years of the pandemic kicked off the trend of kitchen/terrace garden trend. Gardening can help understand seasonality and the benefits of seasonal vegetables. This led to the ultimate goal of people getting to know each other and starting their own vegetable gardens.
According to the Godrej Food Trends Report 2022, 33.3 percent of home-grown fruits and vegetable production comes from window/kitchen/terrace gardens.
The overall theory of gardening has highlighted the trend of innovative uses of kitchen waste. 36.5 percent of the experts said that consumers are focused on zero-waste cooking at home, which made them pay attention to their cooking and eating habits.
Chef Kunal Kapur said, "While most urban-dwellers have space constraints, a growing number of people are dabbling in kitchen gardening, even if it means just a few vegetables and herbs in pots on their balcony, because the joy of nurturing one's own food and seeing it come to fruition is very fulfilling. It is also making consumers more appreciative of the food systems they rely on."
Avid gardener and author of Everyday Superfoods, Nandita Iyer took to urban gardening a decade ago. "Everything was a learning experience. Germinating and nurturing even the simplest of things like limes and coriander was an exercise in patience. But it helped me realise the value of things we often take for granted."
Gardening also helps us understand seasonality. "Our desi vegetables are locally available and cheaper because they grow abundantly in season. We need to consume them more mindfully, cook the cuisine of our roots but also try to be more versatile so we get a wide spectrum of colours on our plates and different micronutrients and phytonutrients in our diet," she concludes."