103 - Vegetarian Delight

By Mary Luz Mejia

Published: June 14, 2006 

Given that South India in particular boasts a huge vegetarian community, it's no surprise that a bounty of beautiful produce is available at most Indian grocers.

The Singh Food Centre is no exception. Their produce aisles are lined with bright, eye-popping fruits and vegetables that most westerners will be unfamiliar with, but would be the happier for tasting. Take for instance Indian bhindi, or lady's fingers which is like our okra (although they have more varieties than we do), and is deliciously prepared in a number of ways including stuffed with paneer (Indian cottage cheese), deep fried, grilled, or cooked with onions and tomatoes.

They also stock valore, a green lima bean-like vegetable that is cooked with other vegetables and legumes or alone in a curry gravy. In the canned food section, you'll find parwal -- a small Indian gourd that's preserved in brine. Resembling a miniature cucumber, parwal is often cooked stuffed, like the bhindi, only instead of paneer, you'll find it prepared with chick pea flour and a host of spices.

If you're feeling really adventurous, why not try making the famous vegetarian dish from Gujurati call pachwati. A combination of parwal, valore, tindora, and eggplant cooked with fresh coconut, coriander leaves, kidney beans and legume flour dumplings comprise this popular oncoction.

The Singh Food Market also offers all of your Bollywood blockbusters, a sweets section, their own pizza shop and freshly pressed sugarcane juice with a hint of fresh lime and ginger. So when you need a refreshing drink after all that shopping, you'll be happy to know that pressed sugarcane juice is not only easy on the taste buds, but great for your stomach, kidneys, eyes, heart and they say, even the sex organs. Happy shopping!

Singh Food Centre
1729 Albion Road
Etobicoke, Ontario

and

186 Main St. South
Brampton, Ontario