Microgreens are known for their nutritional value, ease of growth, and delicacy in a variety of foods across the world. In different countries around the globe, people are including different types of microgreens in their food. Now let us look into microgreens used in India.
Many varieties such as fenugreek – methi, mustard, wheatgrass, coriander, bengal gram and mung bean are microgreen varieties used in India and Indian cuisine. Since these microgreens are fast growing, plus have a great taste, Indians really love to add them to their food.
It’s consumption is increasing day by day. They add an abundance of nutrients to your plate which is why they are universally accepted as superfoods. Now, let’s dive more into Indian usage.
Microgreens that can be grown from Indian kitchen
Each microgreen has a specific taste to it. Apart from adding some taste to your salads and toasts, these plants have been scientifically proven to have great health benefits.
You don’t have to step out to buy them; instead, you can grow some of them at your home as some of the seeds are already available in an Indian kitchen. Wondering what those crops are?
White Mustard Microgreens
Here is the list and other details:
- Lentils, pulses are ideally available in all the Indian kitchens such as rajma, lobia, chickpea, and moong. You can use them to grow these tiny veggies at your kitchen itself as it doesn’t consume much space.
- Spices – fenugreek/methi, mustard (Indian mustard in black color). These seeds are easily available in the kitchen so you can use them to grow. These are extremely flavorful crops and add them to your dishes to make them more delicious.
- Grains – Wheat; Wheatgrass is a popular super food as it has huge health benefits. A lot of them do not regrow once you harvest. But this super crop once you harvest it can regrow very well. . It takes 2-3 days to grow back. This crop is typically good for 2-3 harvests. After that, you should stop harvesting because the sugar content in the crop will be dropped drastically. Also, other nutrients which we are interested in the crop will also be reduced as time goes.
- Coriander/Cilantro – This is one major crop that every Indian uses in most of their meals. It could be a salad, starter, soup, lunch, breakfast, snacks, etc. Using the available coriander seeds from your kitchen you can grow them easily.
How to grow microgreens in your kitchen?
You can grow them at your home in areas like the kitchen, garage, garden, near the window, or on a table. The ingredients you need to grow these crops are plastic containers, soil/coco coir (growing medium), and organic seeds.
Take a plastic tray and make holes at the bottom of the tray to drain the excess amount of water present in the medium. Now add coco coir or soil or the growing medium which you’ve chosen. Spread the soil medium evenly and make sure there are no large lumps or any stones. It is important to choose the right medium for a better yield. You need to choose good quality and disease-free soil. Now sprinkle the seeds all over the soil evenly. Now cover this with another thin layer of soil and then sprinkle the water. Make sure you place another tray without holes at the bottom to collect the excess water which will be drained from the tray. Always choose fresh and good quality organic seeds for a healthy crop.
Now cover the container with another plate or container. When seeds initiate the germination process they start looking for the sunlight and they try to grow in the direction of receiving sunlight. When you cover the container this will help your crop to gain a perfect length which is 3-4cms. Keep watering them once or twice a day and at this duration do not expose them to sunlight. When they are grown to a certain length you can be exposed to sunlight.
Different Indian Seeds
Common problems faced while growing microgreens
- Excess humidity causing fungus:
Be careful with fungus growth in your growing medium. This usually happens when there are no drainage holes in the container where you’re growing the crop. If the fungus gets into seeds discard that crop and start a new batch of crop.
- Seeds fail to germinate:
Some of the spices we use in a kitchen absorb moisture and lose their fertility to a greater extent. This is not your fault; in this case, start with a new batch of seeds for better results.
- Lack of light:
When the seeds germinate they’ll look for the light. If they don’t get enough light they become leggy and eventually they become weaker and fall on soil. This is a significant sign that your plant needs sunlight. You cannot grow microgreens in a very low light environment. Some light is required for them to grow if you still face the issue, transfer the crop to sunlight exposure.
Microgreens business in India
These veggies are becoming extremely popular as part of food particularly for vegans who prefer to eat organic food and people who want a good nourishing healthy vegetarian diet. Anyone can start this business in your garage, the backyard of the house, home, basement, and anywhere. Consider a small as 100sqft area is sufficient enough for growing these crops for your usage, if you want to grow a little bit more that just one tray.
You can also choose to go growing commercially, but then consider a bigger place – 500 to 1000sqft area. This is a great opportunity depending on your ambition and the size of the business you would like to set up under the microgreen venture.
If your area is small then in that case you need to choose an urban vertical farming technique for growing these crops. Through this advanced technique, plants are grown one on top of another, it also gives a better yield. We are also growing it like this on racks and it is the best possible option, if you decide to grow it indoor.
Small microgreen ventures can be started with a few thousands of rupees. All you need is growing trays, organic seeds, fluorescent lights, potting soil or coco coir, and an area to grow. Commercially grown microgreens are ideally to be sold to hotels, restaurants, cafes where chefs are influenced and adding them into various foods. If you would like to get all in one, to start your own business adnd don’t be frustrated, how and where to get everything to started, we have prepared our own online course, which is very detailed and with a lot of value information. You can check it HERE. It could be salads, starters, and a lot more. India is also a big market to sell microgreens to households, since people are getting more conscious about the food they are consuming and availing its health benefits. Indian market certainly has a huge opportunity in these ventures.
Why should you consider microgreen business in India?
- A very small amount of investment is required to start this venture. For example, in the range of 15,000 – 15Lac rupees, you can set up a pretty good venture.
- Even a small area is sufficient to get started.
- These crops can give you yield all year long as you can grow anytime any crop.
- This crop can grow real quick hence it makes the crop cycle very short.
- The minimum number of equipment needed for growing them.
- Anyone can get started with this business; you don’t need years of experience to do this venture. But of course with our help and our online course, this start can really be more smooth and without too many errors.
- High value and demand in the market for these crops.
- It is a very profitable business and it is also a very practical idea of business.
Most Trending Microgreens in Indian Cooking
Most widely used in Indian cooking are Coriander, fenugreek, fava beans, radish, mustard, chickpea, cilantro, basil, lettuce, kale, baby spinach, beet, pea shoots, mung bean and a lot more.
Best Microgreen Seeds in India
If you’re looking for what all best microgreens seeds can be availed of in India, here is the list you can choose from:
Broccoli, Lettuce, Sunflower, Radish, Tuscan Kale, Thai basil, Amaranthus, Turnip, Green basil, Pea shoots, Beetroot, Kale purple, Kale green, Purple basil, Purple Kale, Baby spinach, Red cabbage, Red Mustard, Methi / Fenugreek, Coriander, Sango radish, Fava beans, Mung Bean.
This is not the entire list you can still find a lot more variety of seeds in the market.
Fastest Growing Microgreens
Here is the list of some of the crops which grow faster:
Radish – 7-8 days
Beet – 10-14 days
Cress – 6-7 days
Mustard – 7-8 days
Sango – 7-8 days
Wheatgrass – 8-10
Broccoli – 7-8 days
Lettuce – 8-12 days
Turnips – 8-10 days
Mung Bean – 7-9 days
How to Eat Microgreens in India?
Here are 4 quick healthy recipes you can try at home using these nutritious tiny veggies:
Green Gram Microgreen Stir Fry:
- 2cups green gram microgreens finely chopped
- 3nos+2nos shallots
- 1 green chilly finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp rice/mustard seeds
- 1/4tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2cup grated coconut
- 1tsp oil
- salt as required
- fresh curry leaves
- Heat a pan & add 1tsp oil. Add 1/2tsp rice & saute well.
- Once done, add in 3nos finely chopped shallots & curry leaves. Saute till shallot turns into golden color.
- Now add in the 2cups chopped microgreens & saute for a min or two. You will be noticing the microgreens has reduced its size well & get blended inside.
- Now take a mixie jar, add in 1/2cup grated coconut, green chilly, 2nos shallots, curry leaves & crush it coarsely.
- Add this mixture to the microgreens & saute it well adjusting salt as well.
- Cook it in low flame till done.
- Our microgreen thoran/poriel is ready to be served with steamed rice or sambar rice.
Fenugreek and mustard microgreens chopped – 1 cup
Finely chopped onion – 1
Finely chopped tomato – 1
Eggs – 2
Salt – as per taste
Cooking oil – tbsp
Turmeric – 1 pinch
Pepper powder – 1 pinch
Milk – 2 tablespoon
Harvest mustard and fenugreek microgreens, wash and remove the water content using tissue paper then chop them into small pieces. Take eggs and break them in the bowl then add chopped microgreens, add chopped onion, and chopped small tomato. Give it a good mix, and then add milk, a pinch of turmeric, a pinch of pepper powder, and salt as per the taste. Once again give a good mix then take a pan add a tablespoon of butter then add the mixture spread evenly in the pan. Cover with lid/plate for about 5 minutes at low flame. After 5 minutes turn the omelet upside down and let it get cooked on another side as well. Now carefully transfer omelet to serving place and you’re good to go!
Microgreen egg burji:
Green gram (mung bean) microgreens chopped – 1 cup
Finely chopped onion – 1
Chopped green chilies – 2
Chopped coriander leaves
Chopped garlic – 1 tbsp
Eggs – 3
Curry leaves – 8-10
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Pepper powder – ¼ tsp
Cumin powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Kashmiri chili powder – tsp
Salt – as needed
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Heat oil in the pan then add garlic saute for a minute, add onion, chilli saute them for 2 minutes, add all the spices and salt. Now add tomato fry for 2 minutes and add chopped tiny veggies and let them get fried for 2 minutes. Now add 3 eggs and give a good mix and cook it, keep it a semi-dry consistency. Add coriander and salt if needed. Now your delicious microgreen egg burji will be ready to serve.
We know that wheatgrass holds numerous health benefits. This helps boost your immunity, cleanses the food, detoxifies the liver, flushes out digest toxins, reduces acidity, fights disorders like cancer, and a lot more benefits. This is one of the most antioxidant and vitamin-rich superfoods which can be easily grown in your kitchen with no expense at all.
- Option – with slow juicer
Cut wheatgrass above the soil (coco coir) – a handful will be enough for around 30ml of wheatgrass juice. And then you have to use slow juicer, which is really good for leafy green vegetables. You can juice more juice if you want, just cut more wheatgrass.
Wheat Grass Juice With Slow Juicer
2. Option – with blender
A handful of thoroughly washed wheatgrass
Pure Water from natural source or filtered– the same amount as you have the wheatgrass
Add the ingredients to the mixer or a blender and blend it well for a minute. If you have a really good blender, then you will just need to use a strainer or sieve and your drink will be ready. If there will still be grass fibers, you will need to squeeze them out. Pour the juice through a strainer and drink it as fresh as you can to get maximum benefits and absorb maximum nutrition. You can drink 2 ounces on an empty stomach; the juice will have a very grassy taste and a very sweet after taste. You can also grow and juice spet grass – it has the same sweet after taste. Or barley grass, but here the after taste is really bitter.
This recipe is easy yet super- efficient, do not miss to try this recipe as it has abundant benefits.
Wheat Grass Juice With Blender
Other recipe ideas where you can add microgreens are burgers, sandwiches, salads, stir-fries, can be used for garnishing different foods and can be added in starters and in a lot more dishes you can experiment with.
In this era of fast food, we should not forget to consume a plate full of a healthy nutritious meal. Intake of healthy food, in turn, boosts the vitamins, minerals, protein, antioxidants, and a lot more essential nutrients. We should stop relying only on medicines to fulfill these nutrients for our body; instead, we should start eating healthy to fulfill day-to-day requirements in our body. Microgreens is one such awesome gift to us which we can add to our diet to improve the overall health of our body at the lowest price and effort. It also helps in combating major disorders that occur in the human body. So don’t forget to add a handful of microgreens to your plate on every meal!
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