Vegetables are cooked to improve the colour, flavour and texture by which overall palatability is improved. Digestibility is also improved. The fibre becomes softened, starch gets gelatinised and protein gets coagulated. Cooking vegetables adds variety to the diet. Cooking also destroys micro-organisms.
While cooking vegetables, water- soluble nutrients like thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, folic acid and vitamin C may be dissolved in the cooking water and the nutrients may be lost.
Vegetables are used universally in all recipes. They are used
· in curries, salads and in sambar
· as garnishing agents eg. shredded carrot and coriander leaves
· as stuffng in samosa and parathas
· as thickening agents in gravies and soups
· in chutneys (onion) and pickles (tomato, onion)
· as part of recipes like pulao, avial and non-vegetarian dishes
· as preserved foods like vathal in the dehydrated form.