Monday, September 7, 2009
Here are some regional variation in Indian vegetarian cooking! I cooked Shukto which is mixed vegetable dish with bitter gourd or any other bitter vegetables or leaves in it, Split pea lentil soup (matar dal) with asian white daikon. Both are from Bengal and the third one is green beans sauted with spices and coconut. this recipe is from North Karnataka!
It taste bitter because of the bitter gourd or any other bitter vegtables. That is why you eat this mix vegetables with rice at first and then eat other dishes such as dal, sauted or fried vegetables, meat or fish and sweets at the end. A lot of non India friends ahve hard time eating bitter vegetables. Therefore, you have to be willing to try and like bitter food. The intensity of the bitterness depends on how much bitter gourd you use. Here I used:
green plantain - 1
zucchini: 2 small one
potatoes: 2 small red skin
eggplant: 1 long Japanese one
bitter gourd: 1 or 2 small Indian variety
If you have pumpkin or yellow squash you can use that instead of zucchini. you can add radish or white daikon and string beans or French beans there. In India, combination depends on the seasonal vegetables. There are a lot of variation of this dish. In fact, every family or person have their own recipes. And some times cook it differently depending on the availability of spices and vegetables!
mustard seeds: 1/2 tsp
panch phoron: a mixture of five spice mix from India (optional)
mustard and white poppy seeds paste: 1 TBSP
oil for cooking: 1 tsp or so ( I use little mustard oil for traditional flavor)
salt: as you want
turmeric: 1/4 tsp or less
ghee: 1 tsp (optional)
Mustrad and poppy seeds paste:
soak both of them in water and grind them in a grinder.
Cut all the vegetables in to small cubes. I use a wok to cook this. In hot oil add mustard seeds and when they splatter I add all the vegetables. saute them for a while with salt and turmeric powder. When the vegetables are some what soft add the mustard seeds paste and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes. when they are some what dry remove it from the stove.
I like to add the panch phoron later on. But it is not necessary. In a small pan roast the panch phorn ( five spice mix) and coarsely grind it. Add them on the top of the cooked vegetables. ghee is also optional and you can add on tsp at the end!