Friday, March 20, 2009

Fresh Veggies, at long last

With a few glorious exceptions (Dr. Lowell's early birthday salad dinner!) I don't think we really ate any raw veggies at all in Varanasi. If it didn't have a very close to impermeable rind that we could remove, it got cooked (to death, oh, I mean, Bhoj Puri style) before we ate it. No grapes, no raw peppers, definitely no salad.

Only late in our stay in Varanasi did I get clued in to potassium permanganate. The link makes it look like some sort of scary pool cleaning compound (which it is), but it also great for sterilizing fruit and vegetables.

You can buy a big packet of it at most any drugstore in India. Then, in a non-reactive container (not aluminum) you dissolve 2 or 3 grains of the stuff in filtered water. The crystals themselves are dark purple, but they turn the water a delightful magenta. After washing the dirt of your veggies and prepping them, let them soak for about 15 minutes. Rinse of the potassium permanganate with filtered water and then dig in!

We have been gorging on grapes and sweet peppers, as well as spinach salad. Such a relief to finally have fresh produce in our diet again, and without fear of intestinal calamity. Hooray!

1 comment:

Grandpa George said...


Ahah!, quite fascinating. Did not know anything about this.

Wonders (and education) never cease.