Date: Thu, 20 Oct 94 16:27:39 EDT
"Vegetables in a mingling mood"
SOURCE: The Healthy Cuisine of India (recipes from the Bengal region)
AUTHOR: Bharti Kirchner
- cook veggies uncovered part of the time/when simmered covered for a
long time veggies become soft and mashed, but cooked uncovered they
develop a rich roasted flavour
-Crush a few of the veggies at the end with the back of a spoon to
release their essense, blending to form a unique sauce
-since the quantity is large, a 12"(30cm) DEEP-SIDED skillet is
needed/this allows the veggies to lie in a single layer,which results
in more even cooking, rich roasted flavour+ holds their shape better
-important to add spices in order as indicated; for instance garam
masala-a hot spice is usually added when the heat is turned OFF,
otherwise it will lose its aroma with high heat, and turn bitter if
2 Tblsp (30ml)...........water or broth
1 1/2 tsp(7ml)..........sugar
1 ..............................bay leaf
1/4 tsp (1ml)............five-spice
3 Tblsp (45ml)...........peeled, minced fresh ginger
1/2 tsp (2ml)............turmeric
2 tsp (10ml)..............ground cumin
3/4 tsp (3ml)............salt
3/4 cup (175ml)........chopped tomatoes (about 3 Roma or 1 1/2 regular tomatoes
1/2 cup (125ml)........water
1/2 lb (1/4kg)...........potatoes (approx. 2 medium), cut into 1" cubes
1 1/4 cups (300ml)....yams cut into 1" cubes
2 cups (500ml)...........cauliflower cut into florets 1 1/2" in diameter
1 cup (250ml)............green beans, cut crosswise into 1 1/2" lengths
2 cups (500ml)...........eggplant cut into 1" cubes
1 to 3 tsp (5-15ml)....red chili paste (optional) or (see below)
1/4 cup (60ml)..........thawed frozen peas
1/2 tsp (2ml)............garam masala
Garnish: Boris (lentil dumplings) (optional)
1. Heat water or broth in skillet (nonstick or Dutch Oven) over med.
heat Add sugar and fry(a few sec.) til it darkens/Turn heat to
med.low, fry bay leaf + 5-spice til they start crackling. Add ginger,
turmeric, cumin and salt; then tomatoes + water. Add potatoes and
yams. Simmer, covered for 15 mins.
2. Add cauliflower, beans, eggplant + red chili paste. Simmer,
covered, for 10 mins. Turn heat to med. low. Uncover + cook til the
veg. are almost tender approx. 10 mins. Sprinkle 2 to 4 Tblsp hot
water over the veggies if they start to stick to the bottom, but try
not add any more than necessary; the sauce should be thick and clingy.
3. Add peas + simmer, covered til the veg. are tender, 3-5 mins.
Remove from heat. Blend in garam masala. Using the back of a spoon,
mash a few of the potatoes + yams to mix with the sauce. Sprinkle
cilantro on top.
In a typical Bengali home it would be served with rice, tart red
lentils, mellow tomato chutney or soft bread.
TO PREPARE RED CHILI PASTE:
Dried red chili, made into a paste adds a rich,warm flavour + a mellow
hotness to the dish. You can roast the chilies first, to further
enhance the paste. Put 2-4 whole dried red chilies on an ungreased
griddle or skillet over low heat. Turn as soon as they start t o
darken on the bottom. Repeat for the other side. Soak the chilies in
hot water for 15 mins or til soft. Remove the seeds to reduce
hotness. Grind the flesh with a mortar and a pestle or in a
mini-chopper using 2 tsp or so of the soaking water. *Do not
substitute with commercial red chili paste. This paste contains other
ingred. which will alter the taste of the dish.