Kaashifal ki sabzi

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie)

Kaashifal ki sabzi (pumpkin veggie) always reminds me about my father. He always used to prefer kaashifal ki sabzi or pumpkin veggie for dinner, so that all family members can sit together and enjoy it with hot poori, curd and pickle. This used to be my favorite dinner also!

Pumpkin is basically sweet in taste. So chirpy green chillies, tiny pieces of raw mangoes or lemon juice gives this sabzi a perfect mixed taste of sweet, chirpy and slight tangy flavours.

Unlike other North Indian sabzis, kaashifal is not seasoned with our regular ria, hing and jeera. It is seasoned with dana methi (fenugreek). So the moment fenugreek seeds are added in hot oil, the fragrance spreads in the whole house and everyone knows that kaashifal ki sabzi is coming at the dinning table!!

For preparing Kaashifal ki Sabzi I always prefer to buy pumpkin which has green skin. Green ones are very soft and we don’t have to remove the peel while chopping pumpkin. This variety of pumpkin has lots of water in it, that’s why it gets cooked very fast. Nowadays, we are ordering online vegetables, so we get all varieties of mix pumpkin pieces. Other varieties of pumpkin are a little dry so while cooking add little water.

One more thing, while preparing pumpkin vegetable, add slightly more oil than usual. Trust me, you will feel like having chatpata pickle! Probably, I like pumpkin a lot, so either it is kaashifal ki sabzi or Kaashifal ka raita (pumpkin raita) I can just brag on and on…

Try this sabzi once, who knows this might be a new regular entry in your menu!!

Ingrediants:

Chopped pumpkin 1/2 kg
Oil          5 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds 3/4 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Chopped green chillies 3
Salt as per taste
Raw mango pieces(grated or chopped) /dry mango powder (amchur) /lemon juice
Water 1/8 cup (if pumpkin is dry)

Process:

Wash and chop pumpkin in small pieces along with skin (chilka).

Heat oil in a wok and splatter fenugreek seeds followed by chopped pumpkin pieces and green chillies.

Add salt, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. 

Mix everything and cover it. Let it cook on sim flame till pumpkin becomes soft. In between 2-3 times keep on turning pumpkin upside down for even cooking. When 90% pumpkin is cooked add tiny chopped pieces of raw mangoe or 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1/2 tbsp lemon juice.

Mix it well, cover it again and in 2-3 minuets Kaashifal ki sabzi will be ready! Serve hot with poori or parathas.

 
Karele ki sabzi

Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd)

Karele ki sabzi or bitter gourd vegetable is rarely liked by family members. It is almost an impossible task to make kids eat this. I have hardly seen a family where all family members love to eat and they demand Karele ki Sabzi (bitter gourd) in their lunch or dinner menu.

Not boasting, but I was always an obedient daughter and used to eat whatever my mom used to cook. Probably that’s how I slowly developed taste for all vegetables. I remember till 5th or 6th class my daughter Apoorva also used to eat every thing. But slowly she also became fussy and I just couldn’t make her eat a few veggies, including bitter gourd.

I love karela in any form – whether it is prepared as sabzi or in stuffed form. It tastes really good if onions are also added, but it is not compulsory. I like bitter gourd with hot parathas or as a side dish with simple daal – chawal.

There are many ways to cook bitter gourd. To eliminate its bitter taste you can peel it and smear it with salt and keep it like this for 2 hours. Later wash it and cook it.

I don’t want to wash away all nutrients of bitter gourd this way. So I never peel it. I just wash it and chop in small pieces and cook it with onions. To reduce the bitterness you can add dry mango powder (amchoor), grated raw mango or lemon juice.

Try this extremely nutritious vegetable in my way, probably you might develop a taste for it …

I have a few more posts on vegetables in the blog. You can take a look…Vegetables (Curries)

Ingrediants:

Bitter gourd(karela) 200 gms

Onions 2 big size

Oil 3 tbsp

Rai  (small mustard seeds ) 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds (jeera) 1/4 tsp

Asafotida  (hing) 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder 1+1/2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Red chili powder 1 tsp

Coarsely grounded fennel seeds 2 tsp

Finely chopped green chilies 2

Salt  as per your taste

Water  2 or 3 tbsp

Dry mango powder/grated raw mango/lemon juice

Process:

Peel, wash and chop onions.

In a wok heat 1 tbsp of oil and add chopped onions. Keep the heat on sim and let the onions turn light brown. Keep tossing them from time-to-time.

Wash and chop bitter gourd in round shape.

In another wok heat two tbsp oil and crackle rai, hing and jeera. Add chopped bitter gourd and rest of the spices, except dry mango powder. Mix everything nicely, cover it and let it cook on sim heat. In between keep turning them upside down a couple of times. If you feel that sabzi is sticking to the bottom of the wok, add little water and let it cook till it is tender.

Onions would be ready by now – so, switch off heat.

Once bitter gourd is cooked, add onions and 1 tsp dry mango powder or 1 tbsp grated raw mango or 1 tbsp lemon juice. Mix it well, cover it and on sim heat and let it cook for 2-3 minutes more.

Karele ki sabzi is ready to be served.

Bitter Gourd

Bitter gourd
 

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic)

Black Chana with Coriander Gravy (no onion-garlic) is a perfect dish for those who want simple food during their fasting days. Black Chana with coriander gravy is rich in nutrients. If you are inviting guests for lunch or dinner during your fasting days, this non-onion-garlic gravy dish might be the best dish in your menu!

Black chana – usually we know this as kala chana – belongs to the family of chickpeas. But kala chana is darker in colour and smaller than chickpea. Kala chana is usually cooked as a dry dish for snacks. But we can also prepare it as a gravy dish to be accompanied with roti (flat bread), poori or rice. Generally, we add onion along with tomatoes in all our gravy-based dishes to add to the volume of the gravy. Garlic is added for flavour. In India, some communities don’t use onion in their food due to their religious beliefs. Usually, new generation of these communities don’t follow these beliefs. But then, cooking two different types of dishes with the same ingredient is a burden.

So instead of using onions, you can use green coriander along with tomatoes, ginger and green chillies and prepare gravy not only for kala chana but for any other gravy based dishes as Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry), Chole (chickpeas with gravy)

Ingrediants:

Kala Chana 3/4 cup
Salt 1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cups
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Tomatoes 3 medium size
Grated ginger 1/4 tsp
Green chilies 3 – 4
Green coriander 30 gm

Oil 2 tbsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) 1/4 tsp
Jeera (cumin) 1/4 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) 1/8 tsp
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Red chili powder 1/4 tsp
Add some more water and salt if required

Process :

Wash and soak chana in 1+1/2 cups of water overnight.

Next day in the morning add salt and turmeric powder in soaked chana and pressure cook it with using the same water in which chana was soaked till it becomes soft.

While chana is getting cooked, we will prepare gravy. Wash and chop tomatoes, green coriander leaves, green chilies, grated ginger and grind all of them in the mixer to prepare paste. If required, add little bit of water while grinding.

Heat oil, crackle rai, hing, jeera and add the grinded paste in a wok.

Add rest of the spices. Keep stirring on medium heat until all spices are cooked.

By now chana must be cooked. Switch off the flame and let the steam of the pressure cooker settle down. Open the lid and add chana into the ready masala.

Reduce the heat to sim and let it cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Stir in between and add some water if you feel that consistency is too thick. Taste a bit, and if required, add some salt. After 10 – 15 minutes of cooking, kala chana with coriander gravy is ready to be served!!

 

Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi)

Mooli ki Bhujiya sounds as if we are talking about a snack recipe. But when we add leaves and roots of radish together and prepare vegetable (sabzi), it is called Mooli ki bhujiya (sabzi). In North India, radish is available only during winters. But, here in Bangalore, good quality radish is available during summers too.

Initially, around 16 years back when we shifted to Bangalore, it was really difficult to find radish with leaves. Leaves used to be cut and thrown away from radish by the vegetable shop owners. But now in front of my apartment a vegetable vendor sells radish with all the leaves. In fact, whenever I show interest to buy leaves too, the sellers are amused and give me plenty of leaves free of cost. Probably they are relieved that their garbage is being cleaned up by customers!!

This sabzi requires raw radish – so be careful while choosing. Radish will not remain tender when it starts ripening and will not taste good. Remove the stems if they are too thick and attached with the leaves. Use soft leaves and soft raw radish.

I have one more recipe with radish in the blog – if you are interested can take a look…Mooli ka paratha (wheat flour flat bread stuffed with spicy radish)

There are a few more posts on different vegetables in the blog. You can check this link to look at them Vegetables (Curries).

Ingredients

Radish with leaves

Oil 2 tbsp
Tiny mustard seeds 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp

Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 +1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Green chillies chopped 2
Salt as per your taste

Process :

Take radish and leaves, wash them nicely in the running water and chop them separately.

Heat oil in a wok and crackle tiny mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Add chopped radish and leaves along with all spices except salt – mix this nicely and cover for 5 minutes.

When we prepare leafy vegetables, their volume gives an impression of large quantity. But leaves shrink while cooking – so always add salt once the leaves settle down after 5 minutes of cooking.

Now add salt – mix it well and again cover the wok.

Keep on stirring sabzi continually till radish becomes tender and all moisture dries out. Mooli ki Bhujiya (sabzi) is ready!

 

Malai do pyaaza (onion with milk cream)

Onion cooked with milk cream – sounds a little odd, doesn’t it? But with this combination you will get such a beautiful restaurant-style dish that you will prefer to keep it as the star dish of your dinning table! Apoorva and I named this as ‘Malai do Pyaaza’.

Last year during my Delhi trip my youngest sister Neetu served us this dish. I loved this onion dish as it was not only delicious (fat is always tasty, isn’t it 😂) but the whole preparation took hardly any time and quite effortless.

Try this dish as you don’t have to worry about buying fancy ingredients during this lock-down period. Milk delivery is regular, so we can collect malai. Spices used here are our regularly used ones and are always there in kitchen.

I have a few more gravy based dishes in the blog. If you are interested you can check them also…. Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry)

Mangodi ki subzi

Dahi waale aaloo (Potatoes with buttermilk)

Gatte Ki Sabzi

Ingredients :

Small size onions 8-9
Oil – 2tbsp
Jeera (cumin) – 1/8 tsp
Rai (tiny mustard seeds) – 1/8 tsp
Hing (asafoetida) – a pinch
Dhania ( coriander) powder – 2 tsp
Haldi (Turmeric) powder – 1/4
Red chilli powder – 1/4
Salt as per your taste
Malai (milk cream) – 1/3 cup
Water – 1 cup

Points to remember :

  1. Onions can be added without giving a cross cut.
  2. If you do decide to make a cross cut, make sure that the cut is not deep, otherwise onions will not remain intact.
  3. Malai is cream of milk which gets collected on top of the milk after boiling. Collect the 3-4 days malai from the milk (keep it in the fridge) and use it.
  4. Can Amul milk cream be used instead of malai? Yes, you can but it doesn’t give exactly the same creamy texture and taste as we get by adding malai.
  5. Keep malai ready by churning it before starting the process.
  6. This dish is full of calories, so physical exercise is a must to burn those calories 😉.

Process :

Peel, wash and cut a cross (not deep) on onions.

Heat oil in cooker and crackle rai, hing and jeera.

Add churned malai and spices and let it cook for two minutes on medium heat. Keep on stirring.

Add onions by keeping the cross side on top and close the lid of the cooker along with weight. Turn off heat after just one whistle.

When the steam of the cooker cools down, open the lid of the cooker and Malai do Pyaaza is ready.

Delicately shift in serving bowl and enjoy the whistles from family members and guests!!

 

Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal

Brinjals  come in so many varieties and all over the world it is cooked with so many variations that you can just keep experimenting with this vegetable. Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal is cooked with the ingredients of gravy spices but in a slightly different way.

A few months back I had gone to meet my dear friend Veena with my daughter Apoorva. Veena is a wonderful cook and no matter how much she is busy, she never lets me go without having food. So during this visit also we were greeted with elaborate lunch. Among all the dishes that were laid out in front of us, there was one dish which was new for me.  Veena told that it is green brinjal and Apoorva couldn’t believe that brinjal could be so good to eat!

I see green brinjals regularly in the market but never thought of trying them. Probably I was content with the variety of purple brinjals. But now after tasting Veena’s dish, I was determined to try them. I noted down the recipe from Veena and now green brinjals are a regular weekly basis vegetable in my kitchen.

Original recipe had fresh coconut and tamarind juice in the gravy masala. I replaced coconut with fresh coriander leaves and dry mango powder instead of tamarind juice. Feel free to use any of these as per your taste.

I have a few more varieties of brinjal dishes in the blog. If you are interested can check them also… Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines

 

Ingredients:

1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 6-7 spicy green chillies, tiny pieces of ginger and green coriander leaves

Spices:

4 tbsp coriander powder, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp clove powder, 2 tsp cinnamon powder,1 tsp dry mango powder or tamarind juice and salt as per your taste.

7-8 tbsp oil

Process:

Wash and dry brinjals and keep them separate.

Chop onions finely and grate tomatoes, red chillies and ginger.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed  or non stick pan and add chopped onion, ginger and green chillies. Saute them on medium heat till onions are transparent.

Chop coriander leaves very fine.

Add chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and all spices, other than dry mango powder.

Let it cook till tomatoes are cooked and add dry mango powder.

Switch the gas off and let it cool down completely. Later, grind everything in paste consistency.

Cut brinjals vertically as shown in the picture below.

Fill in ground masala paste in all brinjals and keep them in a pan. Pour rest of the oil and remaining masala on all brinjals. Cover them and let them cook on sim heat.

Keep on turning them upside-down in between for even cooking.

  • When brinjals become tender and are cooked completely from all sides, switch off the gas and serve these delicious green stuffed masala brinjals with rice or chapatis.