I had my Eureka moment a couple of days ago, when we decided to have Pooris and the usual culprits (Kabuli Chana or Potatoes) were not present in sufficient quantity. Bored out of my shoes, I decided to make mixed vegetables in green gravy, and ended up adding ingredients I had no intentions of adding and worse yet, had no idea how the combination will end up tasting. The result was a subdued and rich side-dish with many interesting taste-layers.
|Mixed Vegetables in Spinach-Poppy Seeds gravy|
- Carrot: 1
- Potato: 1 Medium sized
- Beans: 8-10 Medium sized
- Capsicum: 1 Medium Sized
- Peas: a handful.
- Spinach (Palak): Half a bunch.
- Onions: 2
- Green Chillies: 2
- Ginger: 1"
- Poppy Seeds(Khus-Khus) – 2 tsp
- Cashew Nuts: 5-7
- Corn Flour: 1 tsp mixed in water.
- Cut the carrot and beans into long stripes. Cut the potato and capsicum into cubes (and squares).
- Blanch the Spinach leaves. Immerse them in cold water immediately, and grind them with tomato when cooled.
- Use the same water to boil carrot, beans, potato and peas. Add about ½ tsp salt to this water. Take the vegetables out after about 5 minutes on high flame and about 5-10 minutes on low flame. When in doubt, always take them out when they look half-cooked.
- Needless to say, the residual water makes for a great soup.
- Grind the Onions, Green Chillies and ginger into a smooth paste.
- Heat some oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds.
- When they cackle, add the onion paste and stir for a while.
- Add turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder.
- Add the tomato-spinach paste and the vegetables, and keep stirring in medium flame.
- Meanwhile, dry roast poppy seeds and cashew nuts till they turn a bit brownish. Grind them together.
- Add them to the pan and mix well.
- For a thicker and uniform consistency, add the corn-flour-water mix. Add about half a teaspoon of sugar to bring the flavors together.
- Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve.
- The dry roasting of poppy seeds and cashewnuts is done to ensure a smooth paste. Poppy seeds are surprisingly difficult to grind. If you have any other ideas on how to make the paste smooth and consistent, let me know.