As Tuesday dawned, I realized I did not have a post ready with photos et al. I decided to fall back on one of my fail-safe recipes (photos will follow later) – one that I learned from a very good friend of mine when I first came to the US as a newlywed. When I arrived from India, I planned to spend some time getting used to being here before looking for the inevitable software professional job. So that meant I would be home after hubby left for work. I looked around in my apartment complex for company. Soon, I found a new friend. Her daughter, then a adorable toddler (now a teen!), loved my company which meant most of my afternoons and evenings were spent there. My friend would start making dinner and I would entertain her daughter – the side benefit of this – I would carry home a wonderful dish. She would always cook up a little bit more saying, “you can just keep some rice and if you want, make only one side dish instead of two today.” There was no way I could refuse her food – she has magic in her hands. So I would come home, record the current episode of Seinfeld to watch later, and serve up a great meal, thanks to her. Most evenings, the question from hubby would also be, “what did you get from there?”, not “What did you make for dinner?:-)” This recipe is thanks to her and I make it when I entertain (have guests over or just a party for just us!). So here it is:
For ground masala:
Onion – 1
Green chillies – 2
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 1 pod (or to taste) (optional for me nowadays)
Cashew nuts – few
Groundnuts – 2 tbsps
Cloves – 2
Elaichi (cardamom) – 1
Khas khas – 2 tbsps (soak for a few minutes in water)
Mixed Vegetables (carrots -2, beans – a handful, potato – 1, peas – ½ cup)
Curds (yoghurt) – ½ cup
Dhaniya powder – ½ tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (or to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Bay leaf – 1
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Oil – 2 tbsps
How to make:
Fry 1 tbsp of oil in a frying pan. Add the onions, ginger, green chillies, and garlic. Stir fry for a few minutes and then add the remaining ingredients for the ground masala (groundnuts, elaichi, cloves, cashews, khas khas). Fry until onions are translucent. Allow to cool and grind to a smooth paste.
Cut the vegetables to one-inch pieces and steam/cook until ¾ cooked.
Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil in the pan. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaf and then add the ground paste. When the paste starts to brown, add the red chili powder, turmeric powder, dhaniya powder, salt. Mix well and fry for a few minutes.
Add the vegetables and a cup of water (or as needed). Cook for 3-4 minutes.
Reduce heat to a simmer, add the yoghurt/curds and cook for 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or chapattis.