In daily usage, vegetable is a part of a plant that is consumed by us as food and as part of savory meal. The term of vegetable is some times arbitrary & also largely defined through various culinary and cultural tradition.
Classification of vegetable:
BULBS Usually grow just below the surface of the ground and produce a fleshy, leafy shoot above ground. Bulbs usually consist of layers or clustered segments. e.g. onion, shallot, garlic, spring onion, leek, fennel, garlic
FLOWERS The edible flowers of certain vegetables. e.g. cauliflower, broccoli, gaai laan (Chinese sprouting
broccoli), broccoflower, globe artichoke, choi sum, courgette or other squash flowers
FRUITS: Vegetable fruit are fleshy and contain seeds. e.g. egg plant, capsicum, courgette, okra, pumpkin, tomato, choko, scallopini, cucumber, fuzzy melon, Indian marrow
FUNGI: Fungi are commonly known as mushrooms. e.g. button, flats, shitake, oyster, gourmet brown, wood ear, enokitaki, truffle
LEAVES : The edible leaves of plants. e.g. pok choy, cabbage, lettuce, silver beet, spinach, witloof, puha
ROOTS : Usually a long or round-shaped taproot. e.g. carrot, turnip, beetroot, swede, radish, parsnip, celeriac
PODS: Above the ground e.g. broad been, French bean, green peas , snow peas.
STEM/SHOOTS: Above the ground asparagus , celery , bamboo shoots , globe artichoke
Pigments: The attractive and various colours of vegetables are due to the percentage of pigments distributed in the plant tissue like chlorophyll (green colour) and carrotenoid pigment (red and yellow colour).
Selection of vegetable:
The qualities of root vegetable are determined by their firmness and absence of blemishes, the skin should be smooth and not wrinkled for carrots.
The potato should be regular size and the veg. should be heavy for their size.
Onion should have thin shiny skin and no percentage of sprouting. Green vegetables should be fresh and green colour appearance, if the end of the stem broken, they should snap off easily and the leaves should not be limp.
Beans should not be stringy and should break crispy ripe under pressure. Pea pods should be plumped. Brionjals should be light for their size and having a shiny and smooth skin. Ladies finger should snap in the end are broken. The carrots should have a shiny skin and regular shaped.
Basic steps followed for the vegetable preparation:
Method of Cooking:
(1) Boiling- Boil vegetable in the very little water.
(2) Steaming- Very applicable for potato preparation and other veg. also can steam by pressure cooker.
(3) Braising- It is mainly for celery, onion, leafy veg., cabbage on a bed of cut vegetable and moister with stock and braised in the oven.
(4) Baking- Brinjals for bharta or bread preparation. Sweet potato and potatoes also can be baked.
(5) Grilling- Tomato and mushrooms are grilled.
(6) Frying- Vegetable cut into various shape and preparing sauté related, deep fry related preparation and toss also.