Vegetables


Ingredients :

Large Potatoes : 2 no.

Mangoes : 2   – 3 Enough to give about 300 ml. Juice

Hot Green Chillies like Lavangi or Jalapeno or Habanero : 4 – 5 no.

Ginger : 1 inch cut into Julienne

Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Methi Dana or Fenugreek Seeds : 1/4 Tsp.

Curry Leaves :  4-5 no.

Whole Dried Red Chillies : 3-4 no.

Asafoetida or Hing : 1/4 Tsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 1 Tbsp.

Salt and Sugar : To Taste

Ghee or Clarified Butter : 1 Tbsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 1 Tbsp.

Method :

Peel and cut the potatoes into cubes or triangle shapes. Peel the mango and remove the pulp and puree it.

Cut the chillies in two pieces lengthwise. Make a paste of whole wheat flour and water.

In a shallow pan add ghee and heat over low heat. Add the potatoes to the ghee and saute till lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

Now add the mustard and fenugreek seeds and let them pop.

Now add the green chillies, ginger, hing, curry leaves and red chillies and saute and then add the potatoes.

Add the mango pulp and enough water to cook the potatoes. Add salt and sugar and cover and cook till the potatoes are cooked but firm.

Now add the flour paste and cook till the gravy thickens.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

 

 

 

Ingredients :

Yam (Suran) : 200 Gms.

Potatoes : 3 medium sized

Green Peas : 200 Gms

Green Chillies : 4 or as required, Finely Chopped

Ginger : 1″ grated

lemon Juice : 1/2 Tsp.

Cumin Powder : 1/2 Tsp.

Garam Masala Powder : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : As required (About 1 1/2 Tsp.)

Sugar : 1/2 Tsp.

Oven Dried Breadcrumbs : 3-4 Tbsp.

Oil : As Required to pan fry the cutlet

Method :

Steam or pressure cook the yam, potatoes and green peas till completely cooked.Remove and cool.  Peel and mash the potatoes with the yam and peas. To these vegetables add the rest of the ingredients.

Keep adding the breadcrumbs till the mashed mixture no longer feels wet or squishy. Adjust seasoning if needed.

Now round the mixture into small balls, flatten and shallow fry on a hot griddle.

Yield : 16 small or 10 medium sized cutlets.

 

 

Ingredients :

Arbi (Colocasia roots) : 250 Gms.

Red Onions : 2 Nos.

Raw Cashews : 50 Gms.

White Poppy Seeds (Khaskhas) : 1 Tbsp.

Cinnamon : 1″ stick

Cloves :  3 Nos.

Green Cardamom : 1 Nos.

Bay Leaf : 1/2 Nos.

Black Cardamom : 1/4 Nos.

Star Anise : 1/4 Nos.

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp.

Ghee : 1 Tbsp.

Haldi Powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Red chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.

Garam Masala Powder : 1 Tsp.

Curd : 1 Cup

Oil for deep frying

Salt : to taste

Method :

Soak the poppy seeds in hot water for 1 hour. Then boil them along with onions and cashews. Make a smooth paste.

Boil the arbi in salted water till 9/10th done and then peel it. Cut it into 1/2″ roundels and deep fry to a golden brown color.

In a pan, add ghee. Add the whole Garam masala to it and saute till it releases their smoky aroma. Now add the onion paste and saute till it is light brown in color and oil starts leaving the sides. Add the ginger garlic paste and saute. Now whisk the curd well and start adding it to the fried onion paste 1 Tbsp. at a time and keep sauteing it till all the curd is used and fat starts leaving the sides. Now add the powdered masalas and saute. Use a little water here to make sure the masalas don’t burn. Add the fried arbi and salt to taste. Add about 1 cup of water and cover and cook the arbi for 5 minutes.

Serve hot with roti or white rice.

Ingredients :

Okra (Bhindi) : 500 Gms.

Garlic : 7 – 8 Cloves

Green Chillies : 4 – 5 (As required)

Lime Juice : 1 -2 Tsp.

Cumin Seeds (Jeera) : 1 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Toasted Sesame Seeds : 1 – 2 Tsp.

Oil : 2 Tbsp.

 

Method :

Wash the okra with cold water and then pat it dry with kitchen towels. Cut it into roundels about 0.1 inch thick.

Chop the green chillies and garlic into brunoise.

In a saute pan, heat oil. Add the cumin seeds and when the seeds crackle, add the garlic and green chillies.

Saute the garlic for 30 seconds but don’t let it burn. Now add the okra and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the salt and lime juice and saute for a minute more.

Now you can cover the pan and cook the okra, but I like it a little crispy so normally I keep sauteing the okra over low heat till it’s cooked and crispy.

Add the toasted sesame seeds and mix well.

Serve hot.

Variation : You can also cut the okra lengthwise and add potatoes cut into same sized batons. When using potatoes you need to add the potatoes first and then when they are golden brown add the garlic and green chilli and continue as above. The proportion of potatoes to okra will be 50:50.

Ingredients :

Potato : 1 Large

Suran (Elephant foot yam – Amorphophallus paeoniifolius) : 300 Gms.

Red Pumpkin or  Bottle Gourd (Dudhi Bhopla) : 300 Gms.

Raw Banana : 1 no.

Carrot : 1 Large

French Beans : 200 Gms.

Green Peas : 100 Gms.

Drumsticks – Moringa oleifera (Soavagyaacyaa SoMagaa fruit) : 2 Nos.

Freshly Grated Coconut : 1 ½ Cups

Green Chillies : 5-6 Nos.

Cumin Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Curd : 1 Cup

Coconut Oil : 2 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 12 Nos.

Method :

Cut the vegetables into 1” inch cubes. Peel and cut the banana into cubes as well.

Cook the Elephant foot yam separately in salted water and when almost done,  discard the water. Cook the rest of the vegetables together in salted water with half the curry leaves. The water should just be enough to cook the vegetables. When the vegetables are 9/10th cooked add the cooked yam to them.

Make a paste of coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds. Then mix with the curd to make a smooth paste.

Add the paste to the vegetables and adjust the salt and the consistency of the gravy. Remove after one boil.

N.B. : There are some who prefer a tadka and some who don’t. I like to heat the oil and add the curry leaves to it and give this tadka to the avial. Some people prefer to add all the curry leaves while cooking the vegetables . When you have added the paste and removed it after one boil, they add the raw coconut oil into the avail and mix well.

Best served with boiled rice.

Brinjals

Ingredients :

Brinjals : 500 Gms.

Fresh Grated Coconut : 200 Gms.

Coriander Seeds : 60 Gms.

Dried Red Chillies : 10-12 nos.

Sliced Onions : 2 nos. large

Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.

Garlic Cloves : 8 nos.

Sesame Seeds : 4 Tbsp.

Turmeric Powder : 1 Tsp.

Tamarind Paste : 100 Gms.

Jaggery : 2 Tbsp.

Curry Leaves : 10-12 nos.

Black Mustard Seeds : 1 Tsp.

Chopped Coriander Leaves : 2-3 Tbsp.

Vegetable or Peanut Oil : As Required

Salt : To Taste

Method :

Cut the brinjals lengthwise almost into quarters; make sure you do not cut off the stem so as to keep the brinjal whole with a cross cut running the entire length.

In a Kadhai add enough oil to fry the brinjals till brown.

For the Bagara Masala Paste :

In 1 Tbsp. oil saute the sliced onions, coriander seeds, red chillies. Add these to the coconut and garlic. Dry roast the sesame seeds and add to the coconut mixture. Also add the turmeric powder and tamarind paste to the coconut. Make a paste of all these ingredients.

In a Tbsp. of oil add slit green chillies and add the paste and saute till the fat leaves the sides. Than add the brinjals, jaggery and salt to taste. Add water as required to get a sauce-like consistency. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes. This masala tends to stick to the bottom of the pan, so make sure that you keep stirring the pot every few minutes. Then add the chopped coriander leaves and remove.

Tadka :

In a small pan add 1 Tsp. oil and when hot add mustard seeds. When they start to crackle add the curry leaves and pour this over the curry. Mix well.

This can be served with Rice or Parathas.

P. S.Vegetable Variation – You can make a tadka of mustard seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. To this add mixed vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, green peas etc. Then add the bagara masala and salt to taste. Cover and cook till the vegetables are done. Then add chopped coriander on top.

Ingredients :

Paneer (cottage Cheese) : 300 Gms.

Cashew nuts : 50 Gms.

Dried Kopra or dessicated coconut : 2 Tbsp.

Onions : 3 medium sized.

Cinnamon : 1″ piece

Cloves : 4 nos.

Black Peppercorns : 4-5 nos.

Green cardamom : 1 crushed

Black Cardamom : 5-8 seeds

Mace (Jaipatri) :1″ piece

Poppy Seeds (Khuskhus) : 1 Tsp.

Green Chillies : 3-4 nos.

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 Tbsp.

Curd : 100 Gms.

Milk : 100 ml.

Ghee : 1 Tbsp.

Ajwain Seeds (bishop’s Weed / Carom Seeds) : 1/2 Tsp.

Salt : To Taste

Kewra Essence or Rose Water : 1 Tsp (Optional)

Method :

Soak cashew nuts in warm water till soft. Thinly slice 1 1/2 onions and the rest should be finely chopped. Chop the green chillies into small pieces. Cut the paneer into 1/2 inch cubes.

In a small fry pan, saute the sliced onions till brown. Remove and then brown the kopra as well. Also roast the whole spices in a small amount of oil and then make a paste of the kopra, browned onions, spices, green chillies and the soaked cashew nuts. Take care while roasting the whole spices not to burn the poppy seeds.

In a karai or wok add ghee and add the ajwain seeds. When they splutter, add the chopped onions and saute till browned. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute til brown. Then add the masala paste and saute till fat starts leaving the sides of the pan. Then start adding the curd 1 tsp at a time and keep sauteing till all the curd is used. Then add the milk and the paneer and add water if required. Add salt to taste and let this simmer gently for about 10 minutes. Add the kewra or rose essence and remove from heat.

Serve hot with roti or Jeera Rice.

 

 

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 6 medium sized

Onion : 1  medium sized

Curd : 1/2 cup

Salt : to taste

Ginger Garlic Paste : 1 tsp

Vegetable Oil : 2 tsp

Coriander leaves : 2 tsp

For Masala :

Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp

Fennel Seeds (Saunf / Badishep) : 1 Tbsp

Coriander Seeds : 1tsp

Red Chilli Powder : 1 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder : 1/2 tsp

Method :

Peel and cut potatoes into quarters or into eight pieces. Then parboil them with a little salt. Cut the onion into large dices.

Dry roast the cumin, coriander and fennel seeds and then powder them. Mix the powder with the chilli and turmeric powders to get the masala powder.

Heat the oil and suate the onion till translucent. Then add the potatoes and the ginger garlic paste and a little water. Saute till the paste turns brown and then remove from fire.

Add the curd, the masala powder, water and salt to taste. Mix well. Return to heat and cook covered for 6-10 minutes till you have a gravy coating the potatoes.

Remove and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot.

There are a few dishes that become closely associated with our childhood. They evoke memories that transport us to simpler times: times when things were simpler, relationships were easier and our loves and hates were frequent but fleeting.

I still remember Saturday afternoons, when I used to come home from school, glad to be greeted at the door by my mom. As she was a working mom, these occasions were special and therefore treasured.  She knew I loved her special potato tawa bhaji and used to make it on those days so I could enjoy it. The thali with steaming white rice, yellow Dal and the slightly burnt crispy potato bhaji was a combination that never failed to lift my spirits. No matter how bad the day might have been, finding mom home,  making the potato bhaji was enough to make my day.

Life is indeed a series of such small pleasures. A steaming home-cooked meal, a cup of hot coffee on a rain-soaked evening, the smell of earth after the first showers, finding a good book after rummaging through stacks of used books – there isn’t much to compare these pleasures.

I remember the first time I made this dish by myself – my mom was ill and she had asked me to cook lunch for both of us. I was scared but also eager. I had watched my mom cook a thousand times and helped her in the kitchen as I could. But this was different. I had to make everything from scratch and not make a mistake.  I kept running out to where mom sleeping and asking her every little detail that hadn’t seemed so important till now – how much water should I add to the Dal & how much in the cooker, how long should I cook the potatoes, how much salt is just right and how much chilli powder is too much. The questions never stopped and finally the meal was ready. I eagerly awaited mom’s verdict. She took the first mouthful and made a face. I was heartbroken….thank god, it was because the food was too hot. I finally gathered enough courage to ask her how the dish fared. She replied, quite oblivious to my mental state,” Very good! Tastes just like mine.” My heart did a summersault and I was hooked on cooking.

Now the recipe

Ingredients :

Potatoes : 8 medium sized

Groundnut Oil : 3 Tbsp.

Mustard Seeds : 2 Tsp.

Asafoetida (Hing) : a pinch

Turmeric Powder : 1/4 Tsp.

Red Chilli Powder : 2 Tsp.

Salt : To taste

Sugar : a pinch

Method :

Boil the potatoes till done and peel them. Cut the potatoes into 1/2″ (inch) dices. Rub the pieces with salt and sugar.

On an iron griddle, heat oil. Then add the mustard seeds, asafoetida and turmeric powder. When the seeds crackle, add the chilli powder. Now add the potatoes to this mixture and toss them with a spatula. Make sure the potatoes are evenly coated with the masala. Now spread the potatoes in a layer on the griddle and let the potatoes cook on medium flame till crispy on one side. Now turnover the potatoes and let them become crispy on the other side. If the potatoes burn a little, don’t worry. It gives a nice, smoky flavour to the dish.

I looked it up and it seems a sweet potato is called a Yam in US. But the yam I am talking about is called Suran in India. It is a tuber and has a rough, dark brown skin, which is very tough. The yam needs to be cooked in a alkaline medium as it can otherwise irritate the throat. So Indians generally use tamarind, kokum or lime juice while making a dish using yam. Also according a friend who is very knowledgeable about Ayurveda, yam is supposed to be very good for people suffering from Piles. He says they should eat at least 100 gm of yam everyday.
I love cooking suran in different forms and today I will put up a couple of my favourite recipes.

(1) Yam Salad ( सुरणाची कोशिंबीर)

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg

Green Chillies : 6 – 8 no.

Onions : 2 no.

Grated Fresh Coconut : 100 gm.

Lemon Juice : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For Frying

Salt : to taste

Method :

Remove skin and finely chop the yam. Rub with salt and keep aside. Then squeeze out the water and fry till it is brown. Remove and keep aside.
In a bowl, add finely chopped onion, chopped green chillies and mix well with the yam. To this add grated coconut and lime juice. Adjust the seasoning and Serve.

(2) Yam Chops ( सुरणाचे काप )

Ingredients :

Yam : 1/2 kg.

Tamarind Pulp : 2 Tbsp.

Whole Wheat Flour : 4-6 Tbsp.

Salt : to taste

Red Chilli Powder : 1 Tbsp.

Oil : For shallow frying

Method :

Slice the yam into 2″ long, 2″ wide and 1/4″ thick slices. Coat them evenly with the tamarind pulp and keep aside for 5 minutes. Mix the red chilli powder and flour and add salt as required. Then roll the slices in this mixture to coat them with it and then shallow fry on a griddle.

P.S. : Some people prefer to use rice flour instead of wheat flour.
Another variation of this recipe is to make a paste of dried red chillies, ginger, garlic, tamarind and salt to taste. Coat the yam slices with this paste and keep aside for a few minutes. Then roll in rice flour and shallow fry.

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