No one cooks vegetables as well and in as many ways as the Indians do. Broadly, there appear to be three distinct ways of cooking veggies. First, the North Indian way that uses Garam Masala. Second, the East Indian way that uses Pachphoran, a mixture of five other spices that don’t constitute garam masala. And then, there is the South Indian version that prefers neither garam masala nor pachforan but uses a totally different way of making veggies by using black mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coconut.
Today, we present to you the North Indian way of making your Cabbage, Carrot and Peas.
Cabbage–1/2 Kg (500 grams or 18oz or 2 cups)
Green peas (shelled, fresh are preferred) –200 grams (7oz) (1 cup)
Medium size Onions–2
Turmeric (Haldi) – 1/2 tea spoon
Dry crushed coriander-2 tea spoon
Garam Masala (mixture of common Indian spices) crushed- 1/2 tea spoon
Kashmiri Red Chilli powder–1/4 tea spoon (Recommended for colour, but if you like your dish to be really spicy, use some other red chilli powder)
Cumin (Jeera) whole-1/2 tea spoon
Salt-1 level tea spoon (or to taste)
Tomato Ketchup-1 table spoon
Cooking oil-1 table spoon
Ghee (clarified butter)-1 tea spoon
Water-1 tea cup
Blend together (in a blender preferably!) the onions, garlic, ginger and tomatoes to a fine paste.
Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. (In case you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a wok/deep pan).
Add cumin to the oil and as it turns brown, add this paste and gently fry the same.
As the paste starts giving off a nice aroma, add all the vegetables (cabbage, carrot, peas and potatoes) and sauté gently.
Add all the dry masala and salt to this mixture and keep stirring till all the vegetables are well coated.
Add the Ketchup and ghee to the mixture and stir again.
Add the water.
Close the lid with weight and bring it to full pressure on high.
Thereafter turn off the heat source.
(In case using a wok/deep pan, cover the wok/deep pan with a lid and reduce the heat to minimum. Let the vegetables cook to your liking for about 10 minutes. It is advised that you poke the vegetables once in a while with a fork to see whether they have been cooked.)
Let the cooker cool down on its own before opening it.
Your band, gobi, gaajar, aloo mattar sabzi (cabbage, carrot, peas and potatoes veggie curry) is ready.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 7 minutes with pressure cooker; 15-20 minutes with a wok/deep pan
Total time: 17 minutes with pressure cooker; 25-30 minutes with a wok/deep pan
(Excerpts from my second JIFFY Book “Home Style Indian Cooking In A Jiffy”. The Chapter on Vegetable Dishes in this book contains 15 recipes; five North Indian, four South Indian, five Eastern Indian, and one special quickie for my Western friends).
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This mission is dedicated to all those friends, relatives and acquaintances who have sampled my mom’s cooking either at my home or at my work place from my lunch-box. I’m starting with Indian cooking, so that the fear of “cooking curries every day” (that my friends in University College London would so often comment on) is banished forever.
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