Saturday, February 14, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Curry!

N and I love to experiment with food! We try all kinds of cuisines. Also we always seem to have guests for who we are cooking. We generally cook elaborately for our guests. After one such draining week, we craved for simple food and regular desi khana. No other cuisine on the planet offers more regional diversity than Indian cuisine. You travel just a couple of hundred miles from Chennai to Andhra Pradesh and the food is very different! Travel a couple of hundred miles to the west and you enter Karnataka, a whole new culinary world!. You travel a few hundred miles southwest and you enter Kerala. All these 4 states belong to the southern part of india and they all have very different and unique ways of preparing and eating food. I haven't mentioned the other states across India which offer tremendous variety in terms of ingredients and the style of cooking. And I'm not talking subtle variations. There are truly some dramatic variations in Indian cuisine depending on the region.



Coming back to the weekend, I love my South Indian roots, but N and I suddenly had this craving for some good old North Indian Roti-Sabzi. It also helps that with Roti-sabzi, there are fewer dishes to wash :P So, we came up with this on a spur and made it every time since then to entertain guests.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup cubed onions
1/2 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced beans
2 potatoes, cubed
1 green bell pepper, deseeded and cubed
1/4 cup peanuts
1/4 cup poppy seeds (khas-khas)
1 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp garam masala (I used MDH brand)
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp cumin seeds
Red chilli powder to taste
salt to taste

1. Microwave the cubed potatoes with some water for some time until they are semi-done. By this, I mean the outer part should start to soften. A fork should still not be able to cut through it.

2. Roast the peanuts and poppy seeds, cool them completely and pulse them in a blender or food processor into a semi-coarse powder.

3. Add 2 tbsp oil to a pan on high heat. Add the cumin seeds when the oil is hot. Add the cubed belle peppers first. I love the burn marks on my bell peppers. I think it goes really well with the smoky flavor of bell peppers and imparts additional 'smokiness' to it. Keep stirring to avoid burning.

4. After half the pieces have acquired the burn marks, add the onions, beans and carrots. Reduce the heat to medium-high. When the onions are translucent, bring the heat to medium and add the salt and all the dry spices. Keep stirring to avoid burning the veggies.

5. After 2-3 mins., add the potatoes. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil. This way, I make sure that my potatoes are roasted but dont overcook and turn mushy.

6. When the potatoes are almost done, add the peanut-poppyseed powder. Mix well and cook for 2 more minutes.

7. Garnish with finely chopped coriander or some more peanut-poppyseed powder and serve hot with rotis



This dish was so simple and easy to make! Also, the nut mixture makes this dish seem rich, but there is hardly any bad calories playing here! Try it for a weeknight meal and let us know how it came out! Of course, you can add some paneer to it to lend more richness, and any other veggies that you like :)

15 comments:

Asha said...

That's what make us all great foodies, we love to taste other cuisine no matter where we come from.
Subzi looks fabulous. Peanut and poppy seeds sounds good too. Enjoy!

I made a RCI Kerala thali post last year and I fell in love with Kerala food and the story continues for me! :))

Asha said...

Okay! Go get an attorney then! Do you have to adopt both you? Too expensive! HeHe!!

Cham said...

Sounds super cool side dish in weeknight! Like the finnishing touch u gave with peanuts and Poppy seeds...
I always wonder how many regional cuisine could exist in India? each one unique as u said!

Usha said...

Love this dish, especially the combination of peanuts and khus khus must have added a different dimension to the dish...true about the different cuisines and not to mention the variances within each regions cooking too...we have limitless choices :-)

Nags said...

you are so right about the diversity part. proud of indian food!! :D

btw, since this recipe calls for khus khus (which i love to use in coconut milk based curries), i recently went to this mallu shop near my house and asked for 'khasha khasa' (what its called in malayalam). the shopkeeper stared at me and said 'ohh god, u shudnt ask for that in singapore, its illegal to sell it here cuz if you eat khasha khasha and take a drug test, u will test positive, same result as heroine!'.

did u know that? and he warned me against trying to smuggle some from kerala next time cuz apparently, i will be jailed or fined or both!

DEESHA said...

I love South Indian cuisine too but at times I do crave for food from the north. Loved the subzi, adding peanuts & khus khus is totally new .. such comfort meals are always soo simple to make

Trupti said...

Curry looks very delicious

Ranjani said...

It looks bright and pretty! Poppy seed would have been a nice addition I bet. I'm bookmarking this recipe...thanks for sharing:)

PG said...

I love beans like this and almost always make it like this, i.e., with potatoes (a must :D) and carrots.
Yours looks fantastic, mouth watering!
You even if you don't consider this South Indian, but what I love to do sometimes (when i happen to have fresh coconut) is to add grated coconut and add a curry leaves and urad daal tadka. Can I get away with calling it South Indian then?!

A_and_N said...

Asha: Just adopting me will do, Asha. I will help you with the dishes and even help you cook. A can cook and fend for himself no? :D

Cham, Usha: It adds a new richness to the dish!

Nags: Take the risk, I say ;)

Deesha, Trupti: Thank you :) Do try it!

Ranj: Come home next time and this shall be served!

PG: oh, certainly! South Indian it is :) Regarding your son, can you use buckwheat?

PG said...

oh yes, the only two things I'm avoiding right nowmis wheat and spelt. I'm giving him rye, oats and barley and he doesn't seems to be reacting to them. But, I'll write about it soon in more detail.

Valarmathi said...

Curry looks yummy and delicious.

Soma said...

I make my mixed veggies with poppy seeds & i had never seen anyone do that. the moment i saw this pic I was thinking it looks exactly like mine! & later I saw the ingredients:-). it gives it that extra rich elegant taste doesn't it?

Raaga said...

lovely... even for a weekday lunch :)

A_and_N said...

@PG: Do let me know!

@Valarmathi: Thanks so much!

@ Soma: Ya, it does. Its brilliant!

@ Raaga: Ya, exactly. Do try it!