Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Parwal, Potatoe, & Pea Veggie Mix [Parwal aur Aaloo ki sabzi]

  • Parwal [pointed gourd] - 10-12
  • Potatoes - 2-3 small 
  • Peas - 2 cups [frozen, boiled]
  • Cilantro - 2 cups [chopped]
  • Nigella [Caraway/Kalonji] seeds - 1 1/4 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tbsp
  • Poppy seeds - 1/2 tbsp
  • Coarse black pepper - 2 tsp
  • Salt
  • Turmeric - 1 tsp
  • Pickles [Indian pickle - I used Amba Haldi pickle]
  • Ginger-Garlic paste 2 tbsp [or a tbsp of each if using separate pastes]
  • Tomato paste 3/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil [I used caola] 3/4 cup
Peel the skin of the parwals and the potatoes.
Slice parwal lengthwise into fours and the potatoes into cubes.

In a cooking pan, add parwals, potatoes, nigella seeds, mustard seeds, fennels seeds, poppy seeds, turmeric, pickle, and 4 tbsp oil. Mix well and set to marinate for about an hour.
Add ginger-garlic paste, black pepper, a tsp of salt, and remaining vegetable oil and set on high heat to fry.

Parwal should be fried well until it shrinks in side so it releases its taste. I picked up the tip from Indian Khana.net [also a Facebook Page]. 
When parwal has shrunk, add 1 cup cilantro and all the peas, and continue to fry for a good one minute.

Add tomato paste and continue frying until tomato caramelizes [oil separates].
Add 1 1/2 cup water and allow the vegetables to stew in the liquid mixture.

When boiling begins, reduce the heat to moderate so they cook on a good simmer.
Cook until gravy-like consistency is achieved.
Check parwals for softness [they retain a gentle, natural crunch] and potatoes for perfect softness.
If either of them are undone, add 1/2 cup water and simmer slow to let them cook.
Check for salt and adjust according to taste. Spice can also be increased by adding chopped green chilies as many as you like.
Add the remaining cilantro when gravy is formed, remove from heat, cover with a lid and allow the steam to infuse the aroma of the cilantro into the vegetables for a good ten minutes.
Serve with puris, naan, or boiled rice.

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