Food for thought?

No, its for the belly, at least in this case…

Ever since the thought of eating healthy has entered this pea-sized brain of mine, growing my own food has been a dream. This big balcony we have in the house got me one step closer to this dream. I now have couple of herbs which I use in my day-to-day cooking. Two types of Tulsi, Aloe vera, one Arika palm tree and a couple of Bamboo plants comprise the home garden, for now. There are big plans to grow the Italian Basil, tomatoes and chillies too, but given my green thumb, lets see how far I go…

Coriander is one of the easiest to grow. Just squash some coriander seeds and pour it into the pot. Water it daily and wait for at least a week. The sprouts do not look anywhere like how a coriander leaf is supposed to look, but hold on for another week and see the beautiful coriander bush in the same pot. I am so in love with this bunch, that I’ve decided that I am not going to cut this one out. I am just going to let this bunch stay in the pot and see how far it will go…


Pudina is another easy to grow plant. My maid, who has a great green thumb insisted that I have mint in my garden, and got the branch herself and planted it. It now is a cute little bush. Not enough to make mint chutney but enough to increase the green colour in the balcony…


There is no other plant that has got my fancy as much as the Basil. I sometimes doubt that my love for pasta is because of the love for Italian Basil. I love the smell of Thai Basil and the shape of the leaves. I love to pluck the Indian Basil’s leaves and chew on them. Fresh Basil and its smell always make my mouth water and when I made my first batch of Pesto, I was on Cloud 9.

So when I was getting the home garden ready, I knew I had to have the Basil plants. N gave me a bunch of Thai Basil seeds, but given the success rate I have in getting plants out or seeds, I lost them all. That was when A was generous enough to give me a Thai Basil sapling which I asked my maid to plant in the pot. And lo… within a few weeks, I had a beautiful plant , full of leaves and some more saplings in the same pot.


I am still waiting for laying my hands on some Italian Basil so I can make pesto out of my own basil leaves without having to make that trip to the super market , and to make plain basil pasta. Till then, I am making do with this Basil.


And then, there is the Lemongrass herb that I painstakingly grew. One fine day I got this craving to cook and eat Thai food, and the recipe called for lemongrass. I immediately set off to the nearest super market to buy some. Sadly, that place didn’t have any. The next super market didn’t have any too, neither did the next. Desperation took me to the Hyper City mall where I found three bulbs of lemongrass. But so shaken was I with the whole looking-for-the-herb when there is a deep craving for the food , that I chose to not cook with this lemongrass, but grow my own lemon grass. How I grew this from those three bulbs is another story, but this herb has not given up on me, so far. It gives me fresh stalks of grass every week, which i sometimes cut and throw away, because of its abundance. Touché.

And oh, the Kari Patta plant, which is now almost stripped off all the leaves, yet has one stalk for me every time I want to tadka-karo my South Indian dishes.

The Aloe Vera plant which promises eternal health, great skin , the sun, moon and the stars , has not been used for any of these purposes so far, because of which it has grown enormous leaves, stretching into my Thai Basil. And then there are the decorative plants the husband loves so much… All this on the bamboo stool that we got made for the balcony… well, that’s all to the home garden, for now, at least.


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