Best Winter Vegetables in India

Even though Indian Winters are not as harsh as other cold weather countries, our health advisers do recommend more Carbohydrate and Protein based diets for this season.

If you’re a vegetarian, you can include healthy Winter vegetables in your daily meal to stay fit in climatic change. And people who like non-veg. food can, of course, fulfill their quota of nutrients by consuming Eggs, Fish and Meats along with regular meals.

Now, you must be guessing the names of these vegetables, right?

Well, don’t scratch your head. I’ve prepared a list of Winter vegetables for those who’d love to try them out this season.

Have a look at the following list of vegetables that should be enjoyed during Winter season in India –

Beetroot

Beetroot is a must-have vegetable for everyone, as it helps immune our body system. In cold weather, our immune system needs more support to keep everything safe and sound.

Therefore, it is recommended to include veggies like Beetroots in the winter diet list.

Can be used inVegetable dishes, Sandwiches, Salads, Pav Bhaji (as a coloring agent), Beetroot Halwa, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Contains Iron, Calcium, Vitamins A, B6 & C and many invaluable minerals
  • Helps in Liver Detoxification process
  • Limits the possibility of Diabetes, Obesity and Heart Disease
  • Helps increase WBCs
  • May prevent Cancer

Brinjal

Fortunately, we get various types of Brinjals in our country, and we don’t have to depend on just one or two varieties for delicious recipes.

Generally, I prefer making it in Brinjal fry or Sabji style as per their available types. In Southern regions, people also prepare Vangi Bhat (Spicy Rice dish) with small sized Brinjals.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes and curries, Starter varieties, Rice preparations, Chutneys, etc.

Health Benefits

  • May prevent Cancer, Heart Disease and other Chronic Diseases
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Good for Weight Loss
  • Helps prevent Brain Damage
  • Good for Skin and Hair

Cabbage

Cabbage is a Winter crop in India. However, if you buy them in rainy season, there is a possibility that you’ll find a Cabbage Worm or two on its leaves.

So, when you see any shopkeeper selling Cabbage in the off season, don’t buy it. Some unseasonal veggies do come with such uninvited guests.

Can be used inIndo-Chinese Recipes, Salads, Sandwiches, Vegetable dishes and curries, Masala Dosas, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Good source of Vitamin C
  • Decreases the possibility of Heart Disease, Obesity, Diabetes
  • Helps in Weight Loss process
  • Cancer prevention properties
  • Maintains Blood Pressure level
  • Helps in Digestion

Capsicum

With the help of shade nets and poly houses, the farmers have successfully managed to supply Capsicums in each month of the calendar. You will rarely hear about the shortage of this crisp vegetable in India.

It’s not a Winter-special vegetable, but you can see them in large numbers in local markets during this period.

Can be used in – Multi-cuisine dishes, Vegetable dishes and curries, Starters, Rice preparations, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties
  • Prevents Cancer
  • Contains important Vitamins like C & B6
  • Benefits in Cardiovascular issues
  • Boosts Immune System
  • Good source of Magnesium

Carrots

Yes, we can even call it the season of Carrot Halwa!

Once the Winter season hits North India, you get to see this rich sweet dish being prepared in every household.

Like most of the other veggies, carrots are available in all seasons these days. However, if you want to enjoy the real sweetness of this vegetable, I think you should wait for the right season.

Can be used in – Multi-cuisine dishes, Vegetable dishes, Gajar ka Halwa, Snacks, Salads etc.

Health Benefits

  • Helps in reducing the risk of Cardiovascular Diseases and Cancer
  • Has Anti-ageing properties
  • Maintains Blood Sugar
  • Great source of Vitamin A
  • Improves Dental Health
  • Beneficial for Body Cleansing
  • Good for Eyes and Skin

Cauliflower

Similar to cabbage, you won’t come across bugs in Cauliflower during this time of the year.

Apart from that, it supplies great nutrients to our body that are essential in many ways. Its digestive properties are well known to us, but it also helps keep some chronic diseases at the bay.

So, go ahead and enjoy your Veg. Lollypops!

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes, Exotic Rice preparations, Snacks, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Possesses Digestive properties
  • Contains Phytonutrients and Antioxidants
  • Good for Heart
  • Helps curb Cholesterol level
  • Improves Immunity
  • Great source of Calcium and vital Minerals
  • May prevent Cancer

Drumsticks

Drumsticks’ second harvest season begins from July and ends in September/October.

So, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to taste this healthy Winter vegetable, when the cool breezes just begin to knock on the door. It is one of the most beneficial vegetables in India!

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes and curries like South Indian Sambar

Health Benefits

  • Contains Mono-unsaturated Fatty Acid and Oleic Acid
  • May help in increasing Breast Milk production for mothers
  • Good source of Vitamin A, C, Potassium and Calcium
  • Improves Digestion
  • Blood Purification properties

French Beans

I never used to see these beans in vegetable markets in the past, but things have changed so dramatically over the last decade that it’s not a surprise anymore.

I like to add French Beans whenever I make Vegetable Pulao or Veg. Fried Rice at home. It brings nice crunch to these spicy Rice dishes.

Can be used in – Indo-Chinese dishes, Vegetable dishes and Pulaos

Health Benefits

  • Helps reduce the risk of Cancer and Heart Disease
  • Anti-oxidant properties
  • Rice in vital nutrients and minerals
  • Eases Digestive issues
  • Ensures healthy development of fetus in utero
  • Prevents Diabetes

Lady Finger

Lady Finger/Okra may not have got the glamor from restaurants, but that doesn’t mean it tastes bad or something. It’s just that some people have labeled it as ‘made for home‘ vegetable.

Still, I’m glad that chefs have started bringing it in other exotic styles like Bharwan Bhindi and Kurkuri Bhindi.

Lady Finger is available in early season as the second term crop. This means that you get to taste its right flavors for a couple of months in the Winter.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes, Curries, Starters, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Considered beneficial for Pregnant Women
  • Good for Weight Loss
  • Maintains Blood Sugar levels
  • Helps in Digestion
  • Prevents Colon Cancer
  • Controls Asthma
  • Improves Immunity

Mint Leaves

Mint can be grown in your small kitchen garden too. You don’t have to buy it from local vendors each time.

The mint leaves from your garden will have more aroma and freshness to them, which is needed for Biryanis as well as chutneys.

Mint plant grows well in early Winter atmosphere with moderate sunlight.

Can be used in – Rice preparations (as a flavoring ingredient), Chutneys and Parathas

Health Benefits

  • May help with Allergies and Oral Infections
  • Improves Digestion
  • Good for Skin
  • Relieves Aches and Pains
  • Combats Morning Sickness
  • Stress Reliever
  • May prevent Cancer

Mustard Leaves

Makki di Roti and Sarson da Saag is an all time hit food combination in Punjab. It tastes so simple and devine that you’ll probably forget other lavish food dishes.

If you want to try it out sometime, there is no better season than Winter. Sarson (Mustard), which is grown in Rabi season, is generally harvested during February and March. So, you can relish this delightful dish prior to the harvesting period.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes

Health Benefits

  • Anti-inflammatory and Anti-oxidant properties
  • Good for Detoxification
  • Prevents Heart Disease and Cancer
  • Good for Lungs
  • Lowers Cholesterol levels
  • Beneficial for Eyes and Hair
  • Rich source of Phytonutrients

Potato

Who doesn’t like Potatoes? Everyone does!

You can simply have them in any form i.e. Aloo Sabzi or French Fries. It is also one of the most essential vegetables in all parts of India.

Potato is a cool weather crop, so that’s the best time to get the real taste of this vegetable. And even if you put on a bit of weight with potatoes, it will only help you retain some energy in chilly atmosphere.

Can be used in – Multi-cuisine dishes, Vegetable dishes and curries, Snacks, Different types of Parathas/Theplas, Vegetable Pulao, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Improves Digestion
  • Great source of Vitamins, Potassium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Zinc
  • May help relieve your stress

Radish

Indian radishes are best suitable for Winter months, though farmers have started producing them in the off season as well.

Radish is good for health, but I feel we haven’t really brought it in mainstream vegetable dishes or curries.

On more brighter side, I think Radishes are still cheap and you can make your favorite variations whenever you want.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes, Salads and Parathas

Health Benefits

  • May reduce the risk of Cardiovascular Issues and Cancer
  • May resolve congestion in Respiratory System
  • Reduces Blood Pressure
  • Controls Diabetes
  • Helps recover from Jaundice
  • May cure certain Urinary Disorders as well as Skin Disorders
  • Good for Weight Loss

Spinach

Spinach is another important vegetable for our health in cool and dry weather.

I have been fond of Spinach since my childhood days and I never thought it as a tasteless vegetable.

I always enjoyed it with nutrients in mind. And this simple trick has worked for me to beat the taste of similar veggies.

If your kids don’t like it much, just show them Popeye – The Sailor Man.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes and curries, Snacks, Rice preparations, Soups, etc.

Health Benefits

  • Strengthens Bone Health
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Helps combat Iron Deficiencies
  • Prevents Constipation and similar issues
  • May help with Cancer, Heart Diseases, Diabetes and Asthma
  • Beneficial for Pregnant Women

Tomato

Tomato is also an essential vegetable in most part of this country. Hence, it is produced throughout the year.

Tomatoes are considered beneficial for immune system by many researchers. So, please make sure to include it in your meals this season.

Can be used in – Multi-cuisine dishes, Vegetable dishes and curries, Soups, Salads and Rice preparations.

Health Benefits

  • Improves Skin and Hair
  • Helps prevent several types of Cancer
  • Reduces Heart Disease risk
  • Prevents Kidney Stones and similar issues
  • Burns unnecessary fats quickly
  • Helps building strong bones
  • Good for Eyes
  • May help repair the damage caused by Smoking habits

Yam

Yam can be a great source of carbohydrates during tough weather conditions.

For those who don’t like this vegetable, try making them in the form of fritters or shallow fried chips. It tastes absolutely amazing with Dal-Rice or Roti.

Can be used in – Vegetable dishes and Starters

Health Benefits

  • Beneficial for Digestion
  • High in Anti-oxidants
  • May reduce the risk of Heart Disease
  • Good source of quick energy
  • Good for Menopausal Women
  • Helpful in treating some Skin Diseases
  • Improves Blood Supply
  • Increases Cognitive Abilities

Conclusion –

As our previous generations used to say, you should always eat food that is available in the season.

Well, they were right! They did know how nature affects our human body functions in every season.

They used their knowledge to fight with adversities in the past. And I think we should also make use of their experience and knowledge with modern science in all possible ways.

So, do keep an eye on the above veggies, when you go for vegetable shopping next time. Have a safe and healthy Winter folks!

Disclaimer – Although all these vegetables are immensely beneficial for our health, please do take an opinion from your Health Consultant or Family Doctor. You will get the precise advice from them on curing or improving your health related issues.

2 comments… add one
  • Anirudh Vashisht

    Good work done. Need more information about vegetables of all type. With hope thanks.

    • Thank you, Anirudh! I’ll definitely try to share more information in upcoming posts.

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