Vegetables and Fruits

Solanum tuberosum

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Potato
Humans started eating potatoes about 10,000 years ago and we still haven’t had enough of it. Read more >>

Solanum lycopersicum

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Tomato
Tomato is technically a fruit, but for all practical purposes, it’s considered a vegetable. Read more >>

Zingiber officinale

Family: Zingiberaceae
Common name: Ginger
The most common spice in Indian cooking, Ginger gives dishes a warm heat without the spiciness of chillies. Read more >>

Carica papaya

Family: Caricaceae
Common name: Papaya, Papaw
No yard is complete without a papaya plant as tall as the house and crowned by a bunch of green papayas. Read more >>

Manihot esculenta

Family: Euphorbiaceae
Common name: Tapioca, Cassava, Manioc
Tapioca or Cassava used to be part of the staple diet of lower and middle income groups of people in Kerala, India. Read more >>

Amorphophallus paeoniifolius

Family: Araceae
Common name: Elephant foot yam, Yam, Whitespot giant arum
A popular tuber crop grown mostly in the Asian continent, Elephant foot yam plant looks as good as any garden plant. Read more >>

Solanum melongena

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Eggplant, Auburgine, Brinjal
Eggplants like potatoes are a favorite across the world, used in all cuisines be in Asia, Africa, Europe or the Americas. Read more >>

Capsicum annuum

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Green chillies, Red chillies, Capsicum, Bell peppers
Capsicum annuum contains all those chillies and capsicums you’ve seen: long ones, chubby ones, round ones, green or red or yellow ones! Read more >>

Oryza sativa

Family: Poaceae
Common name: Rice, Asian rice
Rice is the staple food in Asian cuisine, and is used in sweets and savory dishes, especially in India and China. Read more >>

Murraya koenigii

Family: Rutaceae
Common name: Curry tree, Curry bush, Curry leaf tree
If you have a very basic understanding about Indian cuisine, especially South Indian cuisine, you would know how important curry leaves are. Read more >>


Family: Cucurbitaceae
Common name: Pumpkin, Squash, Gourd
Pumpkin is used in cuisines all over the world, cooked, baked, stewed, grilled, mashed or even eaten raw. Read more >>

Cajanus cajan

Family: Fabaceae
Common name: Toor dal, Pigeon pea, Arhar dal, Red gram
The most commonly used dal in India, without doubt, is the tool dal used in sambhar, khichdi, rasam and many popular dishes. Read more >>

Lablab purpureus

Family: Fabaceae
Common name: Hyacinth beans, Indian beans, Lablab beans, Egyptian kidney beans
Hyacinth beans of different sizes and shapes are used extensively, in various forms in Indian cuisine. Read more >>

Solanum nigrum

Family: Solanaceae
Common name: Black nightshade, Blackberry nightshade, Manithakkali
This little shrub is considered as food and medicine in South India, though there are questions about its toxicity. Read more >>

Vigna unguiculata

Family: Fabaceae
Common name: Long beans, Cowpea, Black-eyed pea
One of the most common vegetables cultivated in my hometown, Kerala, Cowpeas are used extensively in Indian cuisine. Read more >>


Family: Musaceae
Common name: Banana, Banana tree
An integral part of Kerala’s cuisine and culture, Banana trees can be seen in all backyards, and banana fruits in all homes. Read more >>

Colocasia esculenta

Family: Araceae
Common name: Taro, Arbi, Chembu, Kalo, Godere
Taro plants have been cultivated in India for hundreds of years for food, but they are also grown as ornamental plants. Read more >>

Abelmoschus esculentus

Family: Malvaceae
Common name: Ladies’ finger, Okra, Gumbo, Bhindi
A popular vegetable grown very commonly in India, Ladies’ finger is used extensively in Indian cuisine in dishes like sambhar. Read more >>

Allium cepa

Family: Amaryllidaceae
Common name: Onion, Common onion, Bulb onion
It’s unlikely that there is any other vegetable as commonly used as onions in cuisines all over the world. Read more >>

Coccinia grandis

Family: Cucurbitaceae
Common name: Ivy gourd, Scarlet gourd, Tindora, Kowai fruit, Kovakka
Ivy gourd plants are seen very commonly in India, and the fruits are used extensively in Indian cuisine. Read more >>

Spinacia oleracea

Family: Amaranthaceae
Common name: Spinach
Spinach is not just Popeye’s favorite, but a favorite of most kitchen gardens since they grow fast and grow abundantly. Read more >>

Raphanus sativus

Family: Brassicaceae
Common name: Radish, Daikon, Mooli
A very beautiful and hardy vegetable, Radish can grow and flourish in kitchen gardens very well since it’s a fast-growing plant. Read more >>

Xanthosoma sagittifolium

Family: Araceae
Common name: Arrowleaf elephant ear, Arrowleaf elephant’s ear, American taro, Tannia, Cocoyam
Arrowleaf elephant ear plants looks very beautiful with their extra-large, elephant ear-like leaves that can cover a large area. Read more >>

Daucus carota subsp. sativus

Family: Apiaceae
Common name: Carrot
A universal vegetable like Potatoes, Carrots are used in cuisines all over the world in various forms. The plants can grow to a height of 1-1.5 meters. Read more >>

Zea mays

Family: Poaceae
Common name: Maize, Corn, Indian corn, Sweet corn
Tasty and healthy food like corn on the cob and popcorn would not be possible if not for this verstatile vegetable known as Maize or Corn. Read more >>

Brassica oleracea var. botrytis

Family: Brassicaceae
Common name: Cauliflower, Gobi
Cauliflower plants are very beautiful, growing to a height 30-60 cms with bluish-green leaves arranged in rosettes, and lovely cauliflowers nestled inside the leaves. Read more >>

Amaranthus viridis

Family: Amaranthaceae
Common name: Green amaranth, Slender amaranth, Pigweed, Tropical green amaranth
Green amaranth plants grown in gardens even without sowing any seeds, mainly from bird droppings, cow or goat dung. Read more >>

Amaranthus dubius

Family: Amaranthaceae
Common name: Red spinach, Chinese spinach, Spleen amaranth, Hon-toi-moi, Arai keerai
A very commonly used vegetable in Indian kitchens, and a very commonly seen plant in Indian gardens, Red spinach comes in red and green colors. Read more >>

Piper nigrum

Family: Piperaceae
Common name: Black pepper, Pepper, Peppercorn, Kurumulaku, Kali mirch
Known as the King of Spices, Black pepper is very commonly used in Indian cuisine, and the plants are very commonly seen in South India. Read more >>


Family: Rubiaceae
Common name: Coffee, Arabian coffee, Arabica coffee, Robusta coffee
A walk through a coffee plantation is wonderful during most times of the year since coffee plants flower profusely from March, then have green and later red fruits on them. Read more >>