Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Balconies are something of a luxury in Mumbai, especially the old style hanging balconies. In most places, flat owners enclose all balconies and add a few square feet to their usable area. Thankfully we live in a building that has balconies all around the flat and, better still, does not permit any encroachment of the open spaces. After we put in all the palms and bougainvillea and ficus, we still had a lot of balcony space lying unused. So we decided to grow our own herbs and vegetables. After successfully growing basil, chives, mint, kadipatta and ova (a type of oregano) we got more ambitious. It was time to add some vegetables to our repertoire.

So, on our last visit to Thailand in October we bought various seeds – Bok Choy, Holy Basil, Kailan, Chinese Cabbage, Tomato and Chilli – which we planted in the many balconies at home. This involved buying about 100 kgs of soil and some 15 pots, getting the building mali to do the potting and transplanting. The Queen has been lavishing love and care on the plants to such an extent that some of them have grown large enough to be harvested.

Bok Choy

Thai Holy Basil


Chinese Cabbage

So, a couple of days ago we had our first crop of home grown Chinese Cabbage. It’s organic, cholesterol free and fat free too!!! Sound like a bloody advertising campaign. Had it in a delicious stir fry with Shitake mushroom and Oyster Sauce.

Chinese Cabbage 1st harvest

From pot to Wok. Stir Fried Chinese Cabbage with Shitake Mushroom & Oyster Sauce

I can’t wait to eat the Tomato which is growing rather well. The Chillies are doing fine and have just flowered.


Chilli. See flower in bottom right 

While this is slow, watching the plants grow, it’s quite exciting eating the stuff and it really does taste incredibly good.


  1. Fabulous work and simply unbelievable. They look super good!

  2. Fabulous work and simply unbelievable. They look super good!