Category Archives: vegetables

From the garden – Radish seed pods and potatoes (सेंगड़ी आलू की सब्जी)

I have been experimenting with growing some vegetables in my garden this summer. In the beginning of the summer, I had planted some radish seeds and also planted potatoes in two pots in the front yard. I was able to pick most of the radish but had left couple of plants to flower. Yesterday, i was out in the garden and noticed the flowering plants had produced radish seed pods also called mongre or sengri in north India (read here for description). I was able to harvest…

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Spring cleaning: discovering new recipes

It has been good to put the focus on trying to use up the ingredients in my pantry and freezer. Since we are moving soon, it helps to have less groceries to carry even if it means just 2-3 less boxes to carry. The real joy has been to find and try new recipes using ingredients bought on impulse or for a specific recipe. Here are some of my favorite discoveries: Vegan pumpkin- chocolate bars Last fall, I bought one too many pumpkins when we visited Yakima valley…

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Zucchini spiced with fenugreek seeds, garlic and chilies

There you have it;  the ingredients list for this simply amazing zucchini preparation is part of the title of this post. You do have to add oil and salt but that is it. I have been making this recipe for a decade and I am still surprised by how addition of 3 other simple ingredients can turn zucchini to taste so sublime. The natural sweetness of zucchini is drawn out due to slow roasting and is perfectly balanced by the bitter fenugreek seeds and hot dried red chilies in this recipe.…

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Karela: my new favorite vegetable and minimalist way to prepare

Comfort food at its best – arhar dal, rice and karela! All leftovers enjoyed for a quick lunch. I was talking to my sister in India and she mentioned she had prepared Karela (करेला ) that day. Karela is a summer season vegetable and since this is the beginning of the summer in India, my sister told me that fresh karela was available in the market. I could picture tender green karela piled up in the vegetable markets in India. As I talked to her more,…

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Baigun Bharta – smoked spicy eggplant

Roasted eggplants & preparation Baigun bharta is my ‘go to’ vegetable dish for all sorts of occasions. It is a great accompaniment in any Indian meal and can also be served as a dip/topping with crackers, bread. I prepare it for parties, picnics, potlucks and camping trips. Here I am preparing it as part of a vegetarian dinner meal I offered as an auction item to support my neighborhood school.  Eggplant is first roasted, usually directly on top of the gas flame, and then cooked…

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Everybody’s favorite Bhindi

Bhindi, also referred to as Ladies finger in India, is the Hindi name for okra. It is one of the beloved vegetables in India. I remember liking it from a very young age. Not that I ask everybody I meet, but  I am yet to meet an Indian who did not like bhindi growing up. In my house, my mother prepared it dry (no gravy) style. The technique for making this type of bhindi is similar to cooking other dry vegetable sides. For chaunk (a…

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Two curries – getting the most out of my weeknight cooking

Prep One of the weeknights this week, i returned from work craving something steaming hot and flavorful. Coconut milk based curries have become a recent favorite for me because it can be prepared rather quickly with produce and ingredients usually available in the house. Richness and creaminess provided by the coconut milk makes the coconut milk vegetable curry extremely satisfying. This makes it almost perfect weeknight food on a cold night except my son is not so fond of anything coconut. It was only fair…

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How I cooked Nimona (Part 2)

If you have read my last post here, you have the background of how Nimona needs fresh peas. Now I want to fast forward 10 years. To this date, I have not made Nimona myself. I have had the urge to make Nimona with what is easily available (frozen peas) several times, but I have let it pass. But then I have been craving Nimona for some time and yesterday I decided to make it using frozen peas. After I put all the spices and…

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“Mixture”

“Mixture” was the name given to the stew like mixed vegetables mummy prepared when root vegetables are in season. I must confess that I did not like this as a kid but grew up to appreciate the simpicity of the dish and the natural flavours of the vegetables it highlighted. The combinations of the vegetables work very well together, providing different textures, flavors and color to the dish. This was also one or Papa’s favorite thing. The success of this recipe is dependent on finding…

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Shimla Mirch Aaloo

Mummy made bharwan shimla mirch (stuffed green bell peppers) with the stuffing made out of potatoes flavored with methi and saunf (fenugreek and fennel seeds). Since the recipes for making stuffed peppers is more elaborate, she had a simpler version that provided all the flavors with half the fuss. In this version, she cut the green peppers and potatoes and prepared it with the same masala as the one used for stuffing. When I made this last week, we ate it with parathas (pan fried…

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