In north they call it Mooli, in Tamil Nadu Mullangi, in Karnataka Moolangi and the japs have a short and sweet name for it: Daikon. It comes in many avatars. It can be pink, round and pretty as a picture. . Just pop this little feller into your mouth with or without salt (after removing the leaves, of course). It makes a great snack. The little pink guy (or gal) is great in salads. But PLEASE don’t cook it. If there are people who do, they should be hauled up before the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Vegetables (if that exists. And if it doesn’t it is high time we created one to teach these philistines a lesson). There is also a variety that is also pink but is long and not that pretty. But the most famous (or notorious depending on your viewpoint) is the white radish .It is THE MOOLI/MULLANGI//MOOLANGI. That exactly is the famous Japanese Daikon. . And it is such a vegetable that you can hate it, love it but you cannot ignore it. Japs use it for salads, cook it, make a soup out of it and I suspect they also add it to Sushi for pungency when wassabi disappears from the market due to profiteers. It has got a slight off-white skin. When you scrape it, the radish reveals itself in all its snowwhite glory. But don’t be deceived. This Snowwhite packs such a punch and many say it is not snowwhite but the evil queen . in disguise of her innocent stepdaughter. People like me are great fans of it.I love it in sambhar and in salads. But I found that it caused extreme reactions. When I was working in a German media firm few years ago, I put on oodles of fat (Rich German lunches) and decided to go on a crash diet.. and Ma it a point to eat only salads for lunch at the office.. The hero(ine) of the salad was of course my Snowhite. After two or three salad days, my German colleague nervously approached me. “Balaji, would you do me a favour?” he asked. “Shoot”. “Please don’t eat your salad here. Go to the terrace and sit in the shade and have your lunch”. He was showing no disrespect to me but to my favourite vegetable.. Unwilling to start an Indo-German conflict, I made the radish my dinnertime companion. You see the mooli optimists only see the bright side of the vegetable, but there are mooli pessimists who only see the dark side., the smell. Another facet of the dark side is this white radish can turn people suffering from flatulence into potent biological weapons. as their bowels would release a real stinker of a gas. That could teach you what air pollution really means. My German friend was unnerved by the white radish in Delhi which is relatively a gentle soul though it does pack some punch. But it pales before its cousin you would find in Tamil Nadu vegetable shops. Punch? That one is an Olympic boxing gold medallist.. It is not long like its northern kin, is somewhat short with a thicker skin, and at times with a bulge in the middle. Not so statutory warning:: Don’t eat that one raw if you are fainthearted. If you have seen someone wolfing it down then that must b a stunt performed by professionals, Do not try that at home. But the same pugnacious soul pipes down and becomes very gentle in a sambhar particularly when you put an end to its bachelorhood by a happy wedding with caramelized onions or shallots in a sambhar.. Slrrrrp!!!!!!!! So whatever murmurs of disapproval are there my very dear favourite veggie, I don’t give a damn. We have a long way to go together. What if I am turned into a leaky gas cylinder? That would hopefully keep miles away from me a lot of unwelcome people , particularly some relatives who barge into my bedroom when I am peacefully reading and try to start a conversation with me.