Roasted Veggies

After what seems like almost a year, I am trying to get back to my blog with some simple recipes that I have been thinking of putting down from very long. Starting with a simple and quick dish of oven-roasted vegetables which can be served as a side with simple bread and soup, or rice/chapati and dal or also used as starters. You can use any vegetable of your choice, but for this post am using cauliflower, potatoes, carrots, onions, capsicum and a handful of peas. Thankfully all these take up almost the same time to roast so I toss all of them together into the oven, however if you have a large number of veggies or of varying cooking times you can roast them in separate dishes for separate timings. Seasonings vary from using only salt and pepper to any spice of your choice.

Ingredients:

  • Cauliflower cut into small florets – 1 cup
  • Broccoli cut into small florets – 1/2 head
  • Potatoes – 1 medium-sized, peeled and cubed
  • Carrots – 1, cut into thick circular pieces
  • Onions – 1 small, cut into long thin strips or into small cubes (whichever is preferred)
  • Capsicum – 1 small or less, cut into long thin strips or into small cubes (whichever is preferred)
  • Peas – handful
  • Salt – to taste
  • Black pepper – to taste
  • Red Chilli powder or slit green chillies –  to taste (optional)
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Garam Masala powder (optional)
  • Chaat Masala (optional)
  • Olive oil or cooking oil or cooking spray or molten butter
  • Lime juice – for garnishing

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 400F. Line the baking tray with aluminium foil and grease it lightly with some oil/butter
  • Drizzle oil / butter on the vegetables and season them mainly with salt, pepper and any or all of the other spices. Mix well and keep aside for 5-10 minutes preferably. I usually do not roast the onions and capsicum with the vegetables, Instead I lightly toss them later with little oil / butter.
  • Spread the spiced vegetables evenly on the baking tray, try to use a big baking tray so as to avoid overlapping.
  • Roast for approx. 20 mins. (time may vary from oven to oven). Once done
  • Heat a pan and drizzle a few drops of oil/butter. Toss the onions and capsicum with little salt and pepper (if not roasting them).
  • Mix the roasted vegetables, toss well and sprinkle some chaat masala.
  • Garnish with freshly squeezed lime juice and serve hot.

It is best to serve this dish fresh so that you can enjoy the crunchiness of the roasted veggies.

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Vegetable Korma

I had been longing to make some nice vegetable recipe and stumbled upon a Mughlai dish – Navratan Korma (meaning nine gems) prepared from nine different veggies, fruit and nuts.

Vegetable Korma (at least my version of it) is derived from the usual Navratan Korma, and includes any vegetable of your choice. Paneer, cream and cashew paste adds richness to this recipe though one may choose to exclude it as well for a healthy meal. As I believe, happily ignore some of the ingredients that are not available in your kitchen.

Ingredients:

  • Oil – 2 Tbsp or a little more.
  • Broken Cashews / Peanuts – 1Tbsp
  • Golden Raisins – 1 Tbsp
  • Bay Leaf – 1
  • Whole Garam Masala –
    • Cinnamon Stick – 1 inch piece
    • Green Cardamom – 3
    • Cloves – 7
  • White (or Black) Peppercorns – 1/4 tsp
  • Onions – 2 medium, chopped
  • Tomato – 1 large, cubed
  • Salt – to taste
  • Sugar – to taste
  • Garlic – 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
  • Ginger – 2 Tbsp, finely chopped
  • Green Chilies – to taste, finely chopped
  • Cumin Powder – 1/2 Tbsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 Tbsp
  • Red Chili Powder – to taste
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Garam Masala – 1tsp
  • Evaporated Milk  – 5 oz can (may use half and half or whipping cream or plain milk)
  • Paneer – approx 7 oz, cubed (optional, but preferred)
  • Cut veggies – 2 cups (you may include anything, preferably cauliflower, carrots, green beans, bell-pepper, green peas, potatoes)
  • Apples – 1 medium sized, cut into small pieces.
  • Cashew paste (optional) – 1/4 cup
  • Cilantro Leaves – 1/2 cup, finely chopped
  • Water – approx 2 cups

Method:

  • Boil cubed potatoes and veggies.
  • Heat Oil in a medium non-stick pan on medium heat and lightly fry the paneer cubes (if using) and remove for later use.
  • Fry Cashews and Raisins until golden brown. Remove onto a plate draining as much oil as possible back into the pan.
  • In the same Oil, add Bay Leaf, Cinnamon Stick, Green Cardamom, Whole Cloves and Peppercorns. Roast for few seconds.
  • Add Onions and cook for 5 minutes on medium flame, stirring in between.
  • Add ginger, garlic, green chillies and a little salt and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the oil separates.
  • Add Tomatoes, stir and cook covered for another 5 minutes
  • Add in Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric powder and Red Chili Powder; mix well and cook uncovered. Sprinkle little water, if required, to help the dry spices mix well.
  • Put off the flame and take out the fried mixture onto a plate.
  • Once cooled grind this fried mixture into a fine paste. Add a few drops of water for grinding if required
  • Heat the pan again, if required use a few drops of oil, and stir fry the boiled veggies and apples for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the ground paste to the fried veggies and mix well
  • Add fried Paneer (if using)to the mixture
  • Add Evaporated Milk or plain milk and mix well.
  • Add cashew paste (if desired for richer gravy); reduce heat to low and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • If required add additional water to desired consistency. Cook for 5 minutes.
  • Adjust salt, add in Sugar (to taste), Garam Masala and Cilantro and mix well.
  • Garnish with the roasted cashews and raisins.

Serve hot with chapati, naan, or rice.

Vegetable Medley – the Indian way

I am feeling pretty lazy today and just could not think of what to cook. It is a real difficult choice that I need to make everyday.  I am sure that is the same way with most of us. But lets see I can push myself to make some easy vegetable dish. Back in India, it is a tradition to buy fresh vegetables every other day, but out here we generally stuff our refrigerator with frozen food (though we occasionally do buy whole vegetables too). Such things make life pretty easy for me on a day like today. This dish can be made with any cut vegetables that suits oneself. My packet here contains cauliflower florets, carrots, kidney beans, broccoli, peas, beans, mushrooms etc. Time to get started…

Ingredients:

  • Mixed vegetables (cut in small pieces) – 1 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
  • Onion, sliced – 1 medium
  • Bell Pepper (cut in small cubes) – 1/2
  • Green chillies (slit) – 1 or 2 (to taste)
  • Garlic (chopped) – 2 cloves
  • Salt – to taste
  • Oil or butter – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Lime juice or Vinegar – 2-3 drops
  • Seasoning agent (optional)
    • Basil
    • Oregano
    • Parsley
  • Chopped peanuts – for garnishing (optional)

Method

  • Boil the vegetables till they are half-cooked
  • Heat oil in a wok, add cumin seeds and let them sizzle.
  • Add onions and fry them till they change color and become translucent. (Do not brown them.)
  • Add chopped garlic cloves, pepper, green chillies, salt and mix well.
  • Add the vegetables and stir dry them.
  • Cover and cook medium heat till the vegetables are completely cooked. Keep stirring occasionally to avoid getting burnt. In case it dries up, sprinkle a few drops of water.
  • Once done, sprinkle pepper powder and lime juice or vinegar and add the seasoning agent (if desirable).
  • Mix well and let it cook on low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Garnish with chopped peanuts (if desirable).


Mixed Vegetable Manchurian

It was after my first month of cooking that I woke up one morning and just blurted to my husband that I wanted to cook veg manchurain. I don’t know what happened but I just did! And I had no clue how to do that. Following my routine I started searching the websites and finally got down to preparing the dish. Boy!!! It was my first experiment with  a new dish and what an achievement it was! I realised that this was probably one of the easiest things to cook (though the preparation can take some time). A very healthy way of cooking (if you ignore the consumed in frying) all the vegetables and tasty one too!

Ingredients:

  • Vegetables – grated, can also use ither than those mentioned below or can exclude any of them as well.
    • Cabbage / Cauliflower, grated – 1 medium
    • Carrot, grated – 1 medium
    • French beans, chopped – 1 medium
    • Spring onions with greens, chopped – 3 medium (optional)
    • Green capsicum, seeded and chopped – 1
  • Salt  – taste
  • Refined flour (maida) – 1/4 cup
  • Cornflour/ corn starch – 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Green chillies / Red chilli powder
  • Oil – to deep fry

For Sauce:

  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Onions, finely chopped – 1 large
  • Ginger, chopped – 1 inch piece
  • Garlic, chopped – 4-6 cloves
  • Green chillies, chopped – 3
  • Soy sauce – 2 tablespoons
  • Sugar – 1 teaspoon (or to taste)
  • MSG/flavored salt – 1/2 teaspoon (optional but the preferred)
  • Salt – to taste
  • Vegetable stock – 2 1/2 cups (optional)
  • Cornflour/ corn starch – 2 tablespoons
  • Vinegar or lime juice – 1 tsp (optional or as per the desired tangy taste)

Method:

  • Mix the grated veggies in a bowl with one teaspoon of salt (to taste), green chillies or red chilli powder, chopped spring onion, capsicum, refined flour and one-fourth cup of cornflour.
  • Mix thoroughly and shape into lemon sized balls.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep-fry vegetable balls in small batches for three to four minutes on medium heat or until golden brown.
  • Drain on absorbent paper.
  • Heat two tablespoons of oil in a wok or a pan and stir-fry chopped onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies.
  • Add soy sauce, salt. sugar and MSG to taste.
  • Stir in vegetable stock and bring to a boil.Ignore this step if vegetable stock is not available.
  • Stir in cornflour blended in a cup of water and cook for a couple of minutes or till the sauce starts to thicken, stirring continuously.
  • Add the fried vegetable balls, vinegar and mix well.
  • If you want to serve it dry without the sauce, reduce the stock to one cup and add cornflour in the sauce to one and a half tablespoons only.

Note – Tastes best with fried rice.