Category Archives: Vegetable side dishes

Cluster Beans With Fresh Turmeric

You may serve this super-nutritious and tasty dish with any meal.

cluster_beans_with_fresh_turmeric
SERVES 4
Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
4-5 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 medium tomato, finely chopped
½ teaspoon red chilli powder
300g cluster beans, trimmed, stringed and cut into bite-size pieces
1 tablespoon finely shredded fresh peeled turmeric
Salt to taste
½ teaspoon amchur powder
Jaggery to taste

Method
1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium heat.
2. When the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and garlic cloves. Stir for a minute.
3. Add the tomato and chilli powder. Cook until the tomato is pulpy.
4. Add the cluster beans, turmeric, salt and amchur powder. Mix.
5. Add ¼ cup/65ml water, cover the pan and cook until the cluster beans are tender, adding additional water if required.
6. Add jaggery to taste. Mix well. Cook until the jaggery melts and blends with the other ingredients.
7. Remove from the heat.Serve hot.

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Bitter, Sweet & Tangy Turkey Berries

Turkey berries, also known as pea eggplants, are hailed for their medicinal properties and traditionally used in the treatment of a number of diseases like indigestion, colds and coughs, anemia and diabetes.

The fresh, green berries are used as an ingredient in different cuisines to make a whole gamut of dishes ranging from soups to chilli pastes. The following recipe is a simple way to cook and include these berries in your daily diet. The berries have a bitter taste and removing some of their seeds helps in reducing the bitterness.

turkey_berries

Serves 4

Ingredients

190g  turkey berries
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground black peppercorns
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon de-seeded tamarind pulp
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons jaggery, or to taste

Method

  1. Using a mortal and pestle, slightly crush the turkey berries until they pop open.
    Place the crushed berries in a bowl and wash in 2-3 changes of water to remove some of their seeds.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan.
  3. When the oil is hot, add the garlic cloves and cumin seeds. Stir for a minute and then add peppercorns, turmeric and the washed berries. Stir for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Extract the juice of tamarind in 1/2 cup/125ml water and add to the berries. Add salt. Mix.
  5. Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the berries are tender and the water has evaporated.
  6. Add jaggery and mix. Cook until the jaggery melts and blends with the berries.
    Turn off the heat.
  7. Serve hot.

Lotus Stem Tawa-Fry

In this recipe, the beautiful lotus stem is cooked using little oil. The lotus stem becomes tender but remains deliciously crisp and has an unforgettable mildly sweet flavour. Serve this as a snack or side dish.

When you prepare the stem, you need to wash the stem thoroughly to remove any dirt trapped in the hollow tubes.

lotus_stem_tawa_fry

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

500g lotus stem, peeled, trimmed, cut into ¼-inch thick roundels, washed and rinsed in lime water

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

½ teaspoon red chilli powder, or to taste

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

½ cup/80g rice flour

3 tablespoons fine semolina

Vegetable oil to shallow fry

 Method

  1. Place the prepared lotus stem in a bowl.
  2. Add the salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix to evenly coat the stem.
  3. Place the rice flour and semolina in a plate. Mix well.
  4. Coat the lotus stem with the flour evenly.
  5. Heat a griddle or tawa over medium heat. Smear it lightly with the oil.
  6. Working in batches, place the lotus stem on the heated griddle and cook on both sides, until golden, adding some more oil if necessary. Remove to a plate.
  7. Serve hot.

Knol Khol (Kohlrabi) Sambar

Sambar is a popular South Indian stew made from husked and split pigeon peas (toor dal) and an array of vegetables. It gets its main flavouring from Sambar powder, an aromatic spice powder, which is easily available in Indian groceries around the world.
I have added only knol khol here so that its lovely flavour is not overridden by other vegetables. Serve this with plain boiled rice for a tasty lunch.

sambar

Serves 4
Ingredients
½ cup/115g toor dal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
10-15 fresh curry leaves
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon asafoetida
500g knol khol, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes
½ teaspoon de-seeded tamarind chunk
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons Sambar powder, or more to taste

Method
1. Cook the toor dal in a pressure cooker until tender, following the instructions of the manufacturer.

2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium-low heat. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sputter, add the curry leaves and stir until fragrant.

3. Add the turmeric powder and asafoetida. Give a good stir before adding the knol khol. Add 1 cup/250ml water and cook until tender.

4. Extract the juice of tamarind in ½ cup/125ml water and discard the pulp. Add the tamarind juice and toor dal (along with the cooking liquid) to the vegetable. Mix and bring to a boil.

5. Add salt to taste and Sambar powder. Mix and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, before removing from the heat.

6. Serve hot.

Indian Round Gourd With Mung Dal

Indian round gourd, called tinda in India, is a popular vegetable that is used to make a variety of tasty dishes, including the one given here. Serve this with plain boiled rice or as a side-dish with Indian breads.

round_gourd_mungdal

SERVES 4
Ingredients
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
8-10 fresh curry leaves
5-6 dried red chilli peppers
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ cup/120g mung dal, washed, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
450g Indian round gourd , peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh coriander leaves to garnish
Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste (optional)

Method
1. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat.

2. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sputter, add the curry leaves, red chillies and cumin seeds. Stir for a few seconds before adding the drained mung dal. Add 1 cup/250ml water.

3.  Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4. Add the round gourd, salt to taste and additional 1 cup/250ml water. Cover the pan and cook for another 10-15 minutes, until the vegetable is tender to your liking. You may add additional water to adjust the consistency.

5. Remove from the heat.

6. Serve hot garnished with coriander leaves and lime juice (if using).

Agathi Leaves with Sweet Potato

Agathi leaves or August Tree leaves are laden with nutrition and full of health-giving properties. Though these leaves are bitter, you may combine them with some sweetish ingredients like pumpkin, sweet potato, or carrot, just to name a few, to make them appetizing.

Here, the leaves are combined with sweet potato and jaggery and the dish is really moreish. Serve this as a side-dish with any meal.

agathi_with_sweet_potato

SERVES 4

Ingredients

300g Agathi leaves

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

½ teaspoon black mustard seeds

4-6 dried red chilli peppers

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

¼ teaspoon asafoetida

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes

¾ teaspoon or more to taste

Jaggery to taste

1-2 tablespoons grated fresh coconut for garnish

 

Method

  1. Separate the Agathi leaves from the stem. Discard the stem. Rinse and coarsely chop the leaves.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium pan over medium-low heat. Add the mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to sputter, add the red chillies and cumin seeds and stir gently until fragrant.
  3. Add the asafoetida and sweet potatoes and the leaves.
  4. Add salt to taste and ¾ cup/175ml water. Cover and cook until the sweet potatoes and the leaves are done.
  5. Add jaggery to taste and mix. When it melts and blends with the vegetables, remove from the heat.
  6. Garnish with coconut and serve.

Phool Makhna Ghashi ( Fox nuts in flavourful coconut sauce)

Fox nuts, commonly known as Phool Makhana in India, are the seeds of a plant belonging to the water lily family. They are considered to offer a multitude of health benefits and are widely used in Indian Ayurvedic and Chinese traditional medicines. The dried seeds are also used in various culinary preparations, especially in North India.
Here, fox nuts are added to Mangalorean-style coconut sauce. The seeds absorb the sauce and become soft and flavourful, making the curry incredibly delicious!! Serve this with plain boiled rice.

phool_makhana_ghashi

SERVES 4 to 6
Ingredients
2 cups/30g fox nuts (Phool Makhana)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
15 dried red chilli peppers
1 ½ cups/150g grated fresh coconut
½ teaspoon de-seeded tamarind chunk
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
4-5 fresh green chilli peppers, halved
Salt to taste

 

Method
1. Place the fox nuts in a medium pan over low heat and stir gently for 4-5 minutes, until they turn crisp. Remove to a plate.

2. Add the chillies and ½ teaspoon oil to the heated pan. Stir the chilies until they darken and turn fragrant. Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.

3. Place the coconut, tamarind and red chillies in an electric blender. Blend until smooth, adding 1 cup/250ml water.

4. Place the remaining oil in the pan and set over medium-low heat. Add the onions and cook for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to turn golden, stirring occasionally.

5. Add the ginger and green chillies and stir for a minute or so.

6. Add the coconut paste from the blender. Add 1 ½ cups/375ml water and salt to taste. Bring to a gentle boil.

7. Add the fox nuts and mix. Let the mixture simmer for 5 minutes, before removing from the heat.

8. Cover and let it sit for at least 30 minutes, to allow the fox nuts to absorb the sauce.

9. Serve hot.

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