A Comprehensive Guide To Cruciferous Vegetables

Whether it is the smoky, meaty flavours of roasted cauliflower or the nourishing comfort provided by bok choy in a spicy tom yum soup, cruciferous vegetables are an important food group within the ecosystem. Vegetables belonging to a specific plant family called Brassicaceae, these vegetables are characterised by their cross-shaped (cruciferous) flowers, from which they derive their name. Rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytochemicals, the vegetables belonging to this mustard family have a mellow bitterness, and a peppery-spicy flavour. When roasted or treated with high heat, these vegetables also develop a nuttiness and sweet taste.


This green vegetable is widely cultivated and consumed worldwide due to its high nutritional value and health benefits. Eaten raw as well as cooked, this versatile vegetable is also rich in vitamins and folates that promote health and well-being. Commonly steamed, boiled, stir-fried or roasted, broccoli can be enjoyed as a healthy accompaniment to grilled protein, or in salads, soups, stir-fries or pasta.


One of the reasons that the cauliflower enjoys its popularity is because of its ability to soak up other flavours from ingredients that it is cooked with – making it a great canvas for a wide range of seasonings, sauces, and spices. Consumed as a staple across many regional Indian preparations, the vegetable has also found its calling as a great carbohydrate replacement for anyone on a diet. From rice to pizza crusts, the vegetable provides a low-calorie alternative to starchy foods as well as a rich flavour profile.


The crisp and peppery radish that is best eaten raw or pickled, is a root vegetable that also come in other varieties. Used to add colour, texture and nutritional value to dishes, sliced radish is also a great accompaniment to dips or sauces, while snacking. Within the diverse varieties of radish, each type might vary in flavour and texture; however, when cooked, tend to be mildly pungent and sweet to taste.

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6 Innovative Ways To Integrate Broccoli Into Everyday Indian Dishes


Known by other names like rocket or rucola leaves, this leafy green might surprise most when one thinks of cruciferous vegetables. The delicate and tender leaves have a pepperiness, which tastes great in sandwiches, wraps, salads and even added to omelettes. The delicious salad green also pairs well with cheeses, nuts and fruits, making it a delightful addition to a charcuterie board while hosting a party.

Brussels Sprouts

Beyond featuring in all its roasted glory as a Thanksgiving and Christmas side, Brussels sprouts can be used in a variety of casseroles, salads and soups. Nutrient-dense and low in calorific value, these deliciously nutty vegetables yield different textures when cooked differently. While roasting Brussels sprouts caramelizes their natural sugars and enhances their nutty flavour, steaming or boiling preserves their vibrant colour and crisp texture.


An unsual vegetable in appearance, the kohlrabi is an underrated vegetable that is also known as ganth gobhi in Hindi. Cooked in a similar fashion to leafy greens like spinach or amaranth leaves, the kohlrabi is most often eaten roasted, or added to stews and soups. With a texture relatively tender to potatoes, kohlrabi is dense in fibre and vitamins, with a mildly sweet flavour that is ideal in spicy gravies.

Bok Choy

Also known as pak choi, this leafy vegetable with a bulb-like centre is cooked with liberally in many Asian cuisines. Suitable most for quick-cooking methods, the stems and leaves are a great ingredient for braising, steaming or even raw for salads. With a mild, slightly sweet flavour and crisp and juicy stems, the taste of the bok choy is often described as a combination of cabbage and spinach, with a hint of mustardy tang.