When you want to ‘love your vegetables’ but get stuck preparing them the same old ways, you might want to try Indian cooking recipes and techniques. In the Flavors of India classes we’ve learned some great vegetable and savory fruit dishes. These prove that non-meat dishes can be the stars of any menu. Here are recipes for dishes that are always big hits:
Fresh Corn Pachadi
Fresh Corn PachadiDifficulty: Easy, Serves 6 – 8
3 Cups raw corn, removed from the cob
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper (sliced in quarters with or without seeds)
Handful fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 cucumber; seeded, peeled, and finely diced
1 red bell pepper; seeded and finely diced
Juice of one lemon
Fresh ground black pepper – to taste
Salt – to taste
In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together: raw corn, diced cucumber, diced bell pepper, cilantro, sliced seranno pepper, salt, black pepper, and lemon juice. Mix well and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. Serve chilled.
Notes: Fresh Corn Pachadi can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days. It does not freeze well. Other wonderful add-ins to this salad include pomegranate seeds, shredded carrots, sliced radish, bean sprouts, or kohlrabi.
Peach Saffron Pilaf
Palisade Peach-Saffron PilafDifficulty: Medium, Serve 10
2 cups raw basmati rice, rinsed and drained
4 Tbs. unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped yellow onions
1 cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods, cracked open
1 pinch saffron threads
1 cup milk
3 cups water
¼ cup golden raisins or chopped dates
1 Tbs. almonds, toasted and ground
1 pound fresh Palisade peaches!
salt to taste
Melt the butter in a large frying pan and cook the onions until translucent. Add the cinnamon stick and cardamom pods and fry until the spices are puffy and fragrant (about 2 minutes).
Add the drained rice and saffron. Fry until the rice is well coated in the onion mixture. Transfer the rice to a sauce pan and add the milk, water, raisins or dates, and salt. Cook until the rice cooker is done. Allow the rice to cool with the lid off and check for salt. Carefully “fluff” the rice with a fork.
In the same frying pan used to cook the onions and spices, cook the sliced peaches on medium heat until they start to caramelize. Serve the rice in a bowl with the sauteed peaches arranged on top around the edges.
Potato Masala: Spiced PotatoesDifficulty: Medium, Serves 4-6
2 large potatoes (cooked and peeled)
½ medium onion (or less) finely diced
1 serrano pepper, quartered and seeded
½ cup frozen or fresh peas
1 tsp. urad dal (optional)
1 tsp. channa dal (optional)
1/8 tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. mustard seeds
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
¼ tsp. of hing (asafoetida)
¼ tsp. finely chopped fresh ginger root
Juice of ½ lemon OR ½ tsp. garam masala
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, finely chopped
3-4 tbsp. cooking oil (any kind)
1 tsp. salt or to taste
After the potatoes have been peeled and cooked with your preferred method (boiled, microwave, pressure cooked, etc.) crumble into small bite-size chunks.
Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium high heat. Fry mustard seeds until they pop, add urad dal, channa dal, cumin, turmeric, and hing until the dals are golden brown. Then add serrano pepper, ginger, and onions and sauté until onions are translucent. Then add the peas, and constantly stir. When the peas are soft, add the potato chunks, lemon juice and salt, mix well to incorporate. Remove from heat.
Fold in fresh cilantro and serve with pooirs or use to stuff samosas. This masala can be served with rice or Indian bread.
Bell Pepper Dry Curry
Bell Pepper “dry” curry: a South Indian Style Vegetable SideDifficulty: Medium, Serves 4 – 6
3 bell peppers or 6 small sweet peppers, cut into bite size pieces
¼ cup (or less) besan (chickpea flour)
¼ tsp. ground cayenne
¼ cup crushed peanuts (not dry-roasted)
¼ tsp. brown mustard seeds
¼ tsp. cumin seeds
3 Tbs. vegetable or canola oil
salt to taste
In a shallow pan or wok, heat the oil on medium heat and fry the mustard seeds (covered) until they pop. Once the mustard seeds start popping, add the cumin seeds and stir rapidly.
Immediately add the bell pepper and stir frequently to avoid burning. Once the desired softness is reached, add salt, ground cayenne, crushed peanuts, and besan.
Mix all the ingredients together until you start to smell the nutty aroma of the peanuts and besan. Remove from heat and be careful not to burn. Serve hot or warm as a side dish.
Notes: Bell Pepper dry curry can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. This dish also freezes well
I hope you try at least one of these great recipes!
of India: Vegetables, Fruits, Color and Great Flavors