Hi there all!! How are you all doing? Its been a long while since I posted anything here. A lot changed in a year or so. I moved to a new country as 2018 rolled in. Wrapping everything up and starting a new life again in a new place, kept me quite busy for first couple of months. Life happened, some realisations and many changes! I am still very new to this country and I will have to spend some time to build up my experience here, quite looking forward to add another experience in my life book. I am glad though, that I haven’t completely abandoned my blog. Although a yearlong break, but it’s good to be back.
Holiday spirits are high everywhere, it’s the season again! Just a couple of days back we all celebrated Diwali. It was a quiet and cosy celebration at my house. I did make a few things but nothing elaborate. Next day after Diwali, is when people celebrate ‘Gowardhan or Annakoot’. It is a Hindu festival and people celebrate it on the 4th day just after Diwali. There are all sorts of religious activities that happen all around and one of those is offering freshly cooked food to the Gods. What I remember from my childhood days, is my family used to make this curry along with other stuff like Kadhi (a yogurt-based curry/gravy/sauce), rice and chapatis. I grew up in a vegetarian family and food used to be quite seasonal and simple at my mum’s place. No wonder why I always prefer using seasonal ingredients in my cooking.
The northern part of India begins to transition towards Winter and the festival of Diwali happens to fall around this time. Unlike Christmas, there is no fixed date for this festival, it depends on the Hindu calendar which I have no idea how that works. With the onset of winters, lots more vegetables and fruits start to make appearances in the farmer’s market. This is one another reason why this curry is made celebrating the arrival of winter produce. As this is part of the offering to the Gods, there is no onion and garlic in the savoury preparations. Many of the temples prepare this curry and serve along with Kadhi, rice and chapatis to the visitors. I still remember some of my visits to the local temples in my hometown where they used to organise these lunches. Simple food, full of flavours and soul satisfying!!
I tried to recreate the same flavours through my memory again this year with the local and seasonal produce that I could find here in my new abode. One thing I would say, if you are planning to give this a try, do the sorting, washing and chopping of vegetables, a day in advance. Don’t get intimidated by the long list of ingredients, you don’t have to add it all. Whatever you can find at your greengrocer’s or your farmer’s market, just use that. The key is to use the seasonal veggies.
- Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
- Cooking time: 60-70 minutes
- Makes: 10-12 servings
1st step-cooking vegetables
Spices, Seasonings & Garnish:
A 5-litre pan with a lid (pan 1)
2nd step-tomato tempering
Spices & Seasonings:
A small medium sauté pan (pan 2)
- Separate greens from the other veggies.
- Heat oil and add cumin in pan 1. The moment they start sputtering, add asafoetida and quickly add all veggies except greens.
- Add salt and turmeric and sauté for a minute until all the veggies are coated properly in the spiced oil, lower the heat, cover and let it cook until they are soft. It will take around 20-25 minutes. Don’t add water as vegetables will loose water as they cook through.
- In the meantime, heat oil in pan 2, add cumin and as it sputters add asafoetida followed by ginger, green chilli and tomatoes.
- Let it simmer on low to medium heat until the tomatoes are cooked through (it will look like a thick tomato paste when it loses all its water). It should take about 15-20 minutes.
- Back to pan 1, check if the veggies are soft enough. If yes, add all the greens and mix.
- Now, mix the tomato paste from pan 2 along with garam masala into the veggies in pan 1. Let it simmer on medium heat for another 10-15 minutes.
- Check for seasoning and garnish with fresh coriander before serving.
HINTS & TIPS
- You can use any seasonal veggies available at your place.
- Serve it either with freshly made chapatis or steamed basmati rice.
- As its not a dry curry, it pairs nicely with rice.
- Traditionally, it is served along with Kadhi ( a spiced yogurt based gravy), pickle and sun dried lentil papads (sort of flame roasted or microwaved crisps).