The Daikon radish, also known as Mooli, White Radish, Japanese radish, Oriental radish, Chinese radish, and Icicle radish, is a popular Asian vegetable. It looks like a very fat white carrot, but it is actually a radish.
The word Daikon comes from the Japanese words dai, meaning 'big' and kon, meaning 'root'. Daikon can actually reach sizes up to 100 pounds with a 2-foot leaf spread. Despite being associated with Asian culture, the plant is believed to have originated in the Mediterranean region. It was taken to the East around 500 B.C. The flesh is kind of white to off white, and it has a crunchy mild peppery taste.
Daikon is an extremely versatile vegetable that can be eaten raw in salads, it also melds well with other flavours and makes a flavourful addition to broth-based soups. Good used in Indian cooking too.
Daikon greens are also edible. Wash and salt the greens lightly before serving raw in salads, add them to soups or serve them lightly stir-fried.
When storing Daikon radishes, place them in a plastic container or bag and put them in your refrigerator. This will ensure that the roots stay moist, which is important to preserve their freshness.
RADISH & CHICKPEA CURRY
** 200g dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water over night / or use 400g canned chickpeas, drained & rinsed.
200g Daikon/white radish
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion,chopped
2 cardamom pods, crushed
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ginger -garlic paste
1/2 cinnamon stick
1 tomato, finely chopped
300ml coconut milk
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for serving
* If using the dried chickpeas-drain and cook in fresh water with bay leaf until tender, adding salt to taste towards end cooking, then drain.
Halve the radish lengthways, then cut across into 5mm thick slices. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the radish until lightly browned at the edges, remove and drain on some kitchen paper. Add the whole spices to the pan and saute for 1-2 minutes until they crackle, then add the onion and saute until golden brown. Add the powdered spices and stir, then add the ginger-garlic paste and saute for 2-3minutes. Add the tomato and cook for about 10 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, chickpeas and radish, bring to a simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until radish is tender. Sprinkle with the chopped coriander and serve with warmed naan breads.