Articles tagged with: vegetables

Bharleli Vangi (Stuffed Indian Eggplant) ~ Maharashtrian style

Maharashtrian Stuffed Eggplant

Maharashtrian Brinjal

Vangi is the Maharashtrian name for eggplant or brinjal, or baingan as it is known in Hindi). This is a Maharashtrian recipe that uses a spiced paste to stuff the vegetables. Use the shiny, oval, deep purple Indian eggplant for this dish. You can also use the striped variety. And as Mum says, the thornier the stem, the tastier the eggplant!

Veg Fried Clams (Fried Oyster Mushrooms)

Deep Fried Oyster Mushrooms coated in Panko and Cornmeal

Deep Fried Oyster Mushrooms coated in Panko and Cornmeal

I tasted these mock clams at a vegan restaurant and loved them! The next day, I experimented cooking up a batch of oyster mushrooms and was delighted with the way the ‘clams’ turned out! The coating was airy and crisp, and there was a pleasant crunch to it. The texture of the mushroom inside was almost similar to clam strips

Maroon Juice

Beet & Chard Smoothie

Beet & Chard Smoothie

There are many fancy juicers available in the market with juice and cleansing diets becoming so popular, but I’ve been using an old Oster blender that was bought initially for crushing ice. It blends the vegetables and fruits fine, and although there are some miniscule bits of fibre here and there I don’t mind consuming them, at least I am not throwing the good stuff away.

1/2 medium cooked beet, chopped
1/2 apple, chopped
2 cups chopped Swiss chard (green, red or rainbow)
1/2 tsp grated ginger
Juice of 1/2 a lime
3/4 cup water

  •  Place all ingredients in a blender. Adjust the amount of water to create a drinking consistency that you prefer

Undhiyun ~ Indian Winter Vegetables Gujarati Style


A potpourri of Indian winter vegetables unique to Gujarat

This is one of my favourite ways to eat vegetables. Undhiyun is usually made in the winter season in India, and originates in Saurashtra (Southern Gujarat), using a unique combination of fresh winter vegetables. This Indian state has two streams of cuisine – Kathiawar and Surat schools. Surati preparations tend to be sweeter, due to the addition of jaggery or sugar.

Drumstick Daal

Drumstick Daal

Drumstick Daal

This is a family favourite – simple daal cooked with drumsticks – no really. Native to India, the moringa or drumstick tree has delicate light green leaves and is widely grown all over the country. I remember the foamy cream-white flowers shrouding the tree just before the heat of summer, followed by green slender ribbed pods that emerged and grew up to 2 feet in length! Sometimes if we saw trees that were on public property, we’d create a makeshift tool with a long bamboo stick and wire at one end to break the pods which would grow in clusters from the tree. In markets, These pods were either sold loose or tied into slim bundles with banana string, and I learnt how to choose the young, tender ones just by watching my mother and mother-in-law fussing over the basket of drumsticks much to the vendors frustration! It’s packed with protein, minerals and anti-oxidants and benefits those with high blood pressure, diabetes, anaemia, ulcers and more.

Ishtoo ~ Anglo-Indian Stew

Anglo-Indian Stew

Anglo-Indian Ishtoo (Stew)

This is a bonafide Borthwick family recipe, a stew that was wolfed down with much enthusiasm. Anglo-Indian cooking is a unique and little-known tradition that evolved during the days of the British Raj in India. An era when English ‘sahibs’ had Indian butlers and cooks, the kitchen staff added regional touches to ‘English’ dishes, fortuitously creating one of the earliest fusion cuisines – an English menu elevated to new heights by injecting ingredients used in South Indian, Bengali, Goan and Mughlai cooking. This tradition continued in mixed race Anglo-Indian homes after the departure of the British in 1947.

Baingan Bharta ~ Roasted Indian Eggplant

Baingan Bharta

Roasted Indian Eggplant

All you eggplant haters – do try this recipe – you’ll never look at it the same way after you’ve tasted it prepared like this! Also called ‘bharit’ in Maharastra (Bombay is the capital of this Indian state), this is a wonderful recipe that uses a large eggplant. You need to roast it over a charcoal or stove fire, or in the oven. Pray, do not microwave, boil or steam the eggplant! I have seen some recipes that call you to do that which is unfortunate, because the essential flavour of this dish is derived from the ‘charring’ process.

Crispy Savoury Pakoras


Deep fried Pakoras or Bhajiyas

This Indian version of tempura is a favorite street food and snack. While fillings may vary, the ingredient for the batter stays the same –  besan, or chickpea flour. Chickpea flour is also used as a thickener and a flavoring. Pakoras can be made several hours in advance. They taste best freshly made of course, but if you make them ahead of time, heat them in the oven until they get crisp, since the crunch is a huge part of the taste. Serve with tamarind-date chutney, mint chutney or ketchup.

Saag Paneer ~ Creamed Spinach with Indian Farmers Cheese

Palak Paneer

Palak Paneer

Also know as Palak Paneer, this is another popular and well-loved North Indian preparation using creamed spinach and Indian farmer’s cheese. You can substitute paneer with firm tofu – cut tofu into squares, dust lightly with flour and fry lightly. And I have cooked this with a mix of seasonal greens – chard and tender kale, beet and mustard greens. My preference is to keep the spinach in the recipe, and not eliminate it altogether, as it adds a touch of creaminess to the dish. Although tomato is not traditionally used, if there is one in the refrigerator that begs to be of service, I will. Kinda adds a tangy sweetness to it – like a #4 on a major scale if you know what what I mean. And yes, it’s okay to use oil instead of ghee or butter.

Cabbage-Tomato Salad

Cabbage Tomato Salad

Goan Cabbage Tomato Salad

We were served this crisp, tangy salad with our meals at most of the rustic beach side shacks in Goa, India. It accompanies spicy Goan curries astonishingly well, in particular the fiery red meat curries like pork vindaloo.

Paneer Makhanwala

Paneer Makhanwala

Paneer Makhanwala

North India enjoys more pastoral land than the South and has a tradition of dairy farming. The abundance of milk has influenced the cuisine of Punjab and its neighbouring states with milk products such as yoghurt, butter and the fresh cheese paneer are used frequently. This popular dish is also known as Paneer Makahani or Butter Paneer.

Matar Pulao ~ Fried Basmati Rice with Green Peas

Pea Pulao

Aromatic Indian basmati rice with green peas and spices

A pulao is rice sauteed in ghee, onions, ginger & garlic and cooked with spices. Vegetables or meat can be added, though vegetables (commonly peas, carrots, cauliflower, green beans) are a more popular option. The rice grains in the pulao should be perfectly cooked – each individual grain must be identifiable, the consistency of the rice soft, not lumpy or mushy.

Taro ~ Arbi Fry

Arbi Fry

Sliced Arbi or Taro root lightly fried in oil and spices

Arbi or taro root is a starchy vegetable of South East Asian origin – its leaves are large and dark green, and my favourite way to consume them is in the form of patra, a Parsi preparation. Taro is different from the tree-like yucca, whose root is used widely in Carribean and South American cuisine.