The bitter melon (Momordica charantia) is a type of cucurbit (pumpkin and melon family) widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean. Also known in English as bitter gourd, bitter squash, or balsam-pear, it grows as a vine and has several varieties which differ in shape, skin texture and bitterness of the fruit.
The insalata grika is a salad typical of the griko culinary tradition of the Salentine peninsula in Puglia, Italy. The griko villages of the Salento have strong historical links to Greek culture and a local dialect based on Greek was spoken in the area for centuries.
Tria e ciceri (pasta with chickpeas) is a classic pasta dish from the Salento area of Puglia in Italy, and the signature dish for that area’s provincial capital Lecce. It is a wonderful example of cucina povera whose name reflects the historical influences in Puglia and southern Italy: tria is an old southern Italian word which derives from itriya, an Arabic word for pasta, while ciceri derives from cicer, the Latin for chickpea.
The PTS Pali-English dictionary relates the Pali word madhuka to the tree Bassia longifolia, better known today by the alternative scientific name of Madhuca longifolia. Madhuka is a fast growing tropical tree to 20 metres, found in the central and north Indian plains and forests.
According to the PTS Pali-English Dictionary, the Pali word kapiṭṭha (or kaviṭṭha) refers to the tree Feronia elephantum, better known today by the alternative scientific name of Limonia acidissima. The tree is known by a variety of popular names including wood-apple, elephant-apple, monkey fruit, and curd fruit. A large tree growing to 9 metres, kapiṭṭha has a wide variety of culinary and practical uses.
Mention fava beans and it soon becomes clear that people either love them or hate them, the statistics being about 50-50 in my experience. But fava beans (also known as broad beans) are a valuable addition to any organic garden and diet, so it is worth experimenting to find appealing ways of preparing them.
Okra (Abelmoschus esculentus) is a hardy flowering plant cultivated for its edible green seed pods. A popular vegetable in tropical, subtropical and warm temperate regions throughout the world, it is also known as bhindi (South Asia), bamia (Middle East), and gumbo (Southern US and Caribbean).
Pasta all’aglio e olio (pasta with garlic and oil) is a simple, very tasty dish that can is quick and easy to prepare. The dish is originally from Naples where it is called maccarune aglio e uoglio and is traditionally served with spaghetti or linguine pasta.
Portulaca oleracea is a fleshy ground-hugging plant commonly found throughout arid regions of the world including Australia, North Africa, the Middle East, India and Southeast Asia. This widespread distribution is generally assumed to be the result of human activity.
La cucina povera refers to a traditional Italian home-based cuisine, mainly based mainly vegetables, fruits, legumes and grains. The term literally means poor or peasant cuisine.