Most weekends, we don’t want to eat rice or chapati which is our staple diet, so I am always on the lookout for new dishes to make which can be eaten without rice or rotis. One of my recent experiments was this dish which is inspired by dishes originating from the western part of India, my home state of Maharashtra and our neighbouring state of Goa. We ate it as a stew with a crusty French loaf, but S also mentioned that it would be lovely to eat with rice or even rotis.
Mixed Vegetable Stew or Curry
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 medium sized cauliflower, chopped into small florets
- 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 medium sized sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
- 2 medium sized onions, chopped into bite sized pieces
- 1 green capsicum, chopped into bite sized pieces
- ½ cup mixed dals (I used moong dal and toovar dal)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ cup grated coconut
- 1 lime sized piece of tamarind
- 5-6 fresh red chillies
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
- Blend together the coconut, tamarind, red chillies, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, peppercorns and fennel seeds to a smooth paste and keep aside.
- Soak the dal in hot water for about 20 minutes and then cook it till it becomes a smooth paste. You can cook the dals in a pressure cooker and then whisk it with a beater or even in a blender when it is cool. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and when the oil warms up, put in the onions and let the onions cook and become translucent.
- Add the other chopped vegetables, the turmeric powder, salt and cook covered till the vegetables are about 80% cooked.
- When the vegetables are almost done, pour in the blended coconut paste and the whisked dal and stir well. At this point, add water to thin the stew or curry to the level you want. Remember, the dal and coconut will thicken the stew, so add a bit more than you think you need.
- Let it all come to a nice rolling boil and then cook on a low to medium heat for about 10 minutes.
- Check for seasoning and add what you feel is missing, switch off the gas and enjoy it with some crusty bread, rice or flatbread.
- If you don’t have access to fresh red chillies, you can also use dried red chillies, and depending on the spice intensity, reduce or increase the number of chillies
- When blending the tamarind, make sure you remove any seeds in it as well as any extra fibers. You can also use about one to two tsps of tamarind paste or pulp.
- The dal should be very smooth so that when you add it in the stew, it will disappear. So make you cook it completely and then whisk or blend it.