Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Vegetable Stew

A bowl of hot vegetable stew was a welcome for the cold late evening. As we sat and enjoyed the stew watching a movie, I had other thoughts in mind. I knew I had to finish my packing. I’ll be away for more than a week and thought it better to post this recipe before I leave.

It is a simple dish, will hardly take fifteen to twenty minutes.

Cauliflower: Florets 2 cups
Radish: 2 cut into small pieces
Cabbage: 5-6 leaves (each leaf cut into quarter size)
Carrot: 2 Cut into long pieces
Green banana: 2 peeled and cut into small pieces
Green peas: ½ cup
Tomatoes: 2
Some mulo and phulkopir dhanta (radish and cauliflower stalk after removing the greens and cutting them)
You can add vegetables of your choice.

For seasoning:

Panch phoron: 1 tbsp
Dry red chili: 2
Oil: 1 tbsp

Haldi powder: 1 tsp to add to the vegetables.

Wash and cut the different vegetables into their sizes so that no single one is over cooked.

Place all the vegetables in the pressure cooker. Add water and haldi powder. Quantity of water should be enough for the vegetables to swim in the liquid, as the dish is moreover soup-y, the only difference-you can bite into your vegetables.

Place the pressure cooker on the oven, close the lid and after it comes up with 4 whistles, switch off the gas. Let it cool before you open the lid.

Heat oil in a kadhai or pan. Once the oil is hot, break the red chillies into half and throw them in. Now add the panch phoron. Then add the contents of the pressure cooker into it. As it starts boiling add salt and sugar to taste. Let the stew remain watery.
Serve hot and enjoy the crunch and munch of the vegetables with their juicy flavour in a bowl. I like this as a substitute of soup.

Friends, will be away from Friday, will catch up with all that I’ve missed once I’m back.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Winter Khichuri with Vegetables

“Time and tide wait for no man”. As I remember these words there is the feeling nobody can stop time from moving on. The first month of this year has moved so fast almost eating up the first week, and as I realize the fact, the date reads ahead with every sunrise and sunset to make sure, day had come and gone.

No New Year resolutions from me, I feel happy to see friends and relatives follow this pattern of resolution…sticking to their words and no bad feeling if those words have been broken like the bone china cup slipping from my hand and crashing into bits and pieces.

The kitchen at home has no rest. Someone is there in the morning, sitting the saucepan filled with measured cups of water on the gas chullah for the morning tea. Then starts further kitchen activity breakfast, lunch, evening tiffin and dinner. Kitchen is the most visited place at home, that’s what I think and you may think differently.

Everyone at home likes hot khichuri, so I cooked this dish. My secret of khichuri...its easy to cook and one whole-meal cooked in a pan. There was a bunch of palang saag (palak, spinach), carrots, phul kopi (cauliflower) and potatoes. I decided to cook khichuri with these vegetables…turning it into a healthy dish. To go with this was Begoon (egg plant) bhaja.

For the Khichuri:

Rice: ¾ cup
Roasted Mung dal: ¾ cup
Haldi powder: 1 tsp
Jeera powder: ½ tsp
Dhania powder: ½ tsp
Red chili powder: ½ tsp
Tej pata: 2-3
Cooking oil or ghee
Salt to taste
Sugar to tast
Water: 3 cups (maybe a little more)

Vegetables I added:

Palak: 7-8 torn with the fingers
Carrot: 2 cut into long pieces
Cauliflower: 1 small
Potatoes: 1 only, peeled and cut into 4 pieces

Cooking it:

Wash the vegetables, dry and cut them.
Mix the rice and roasted mung dal. Wash and drain the water.

Heat ghee or oil in a pressure pan, fry the potatoes and cabbage florets till light brown. Take them out and keep them aside. Add the tej pata and the rice and dal and sauté. After 2-3 minutes add haldi, jeera, dhania and red chili powder and sauté for another couple of minutes. Now add salt and stir fry for another 2-3 minutes. Add 3 cups of water ( a little more if you like a thin) and also the vegetables and mix them. Add the sugar, close the lid and after 4-5 whistles switch off the gas. Open the lid before serving. Add some more ghee when served on the plate.

For the Begoon Bhaja (egg plant fry):

Cut the egg plant into thin slice. Rub it with salt and haldi. Sprinkle besan (gram flour) over the pieces and mix it with the egg plant slices without adding water.
Heat oil in a kadhai for deep frying.
Drop in the begoon pieces and fry them till it turns deep brown.

Serve with hot khichuri.

Tomato chutney or even aam shotto (aam papad) chutney goes well with khichuri. Why, even sweet mango achar tastes good with Bangali Khichuri.

Thank god there was no grumble from either S or D with this unusual vegetable combination for the khichuri.

A sigh of relief.