Any-veg Indian Masala


Matar (green pea) masala with cauliflower

I love Indian food. But of all the restaurants in my Park Slope radius, there just isn’t a good Indian joint. So I’ve been fiddling with a recipe of my own. I think I’m on to something; I’ve got a pretty good base recipe with a bunch of variations that (so far) has been a no-fail.

Indian Masala with Veggies

1 Tbls. cumin seeds (whole seeds, not ground)

1 tsp. mustard seed

1/4 cup plus 2 Tbls. oil

2 medium yellow onions, chopped

1 green chile (serrano) or 2 jalepenos, chopped

2 Tbls. fresh ginger, chopped (optional)

4 cups chopped vegetables

1 can chick peas or kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 1/2 Tbls. ground coriander

1/2 tsp. red chili powder

1/2 tsp. turmeric powder

1/2 tsp. salt

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 to 2 cups vegetable broth or light coconut milk (optional, depending on vegetable used)

Step 1: Heat 2 Tbls. oil in a large nonstick pan or wok. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and allow to sizzle. Add the onions, green chilies and ginger (if using); saute until browned. Remove from heat; set onion mixture aside in a small bowl.

Step 2: In the same pan, add 1/4 cup oil. When hot, add your vegetables and stir fry until edges start to brown. Add coriander, red chili powder and turmeric.

Step 3: For quick-cooking vegetables (green beans, squash, peppers, spinach, okra, etc.)
Reduce heat; add chick peas, kidney beans or green peas. Add onions back to the pan. Mix well and allow to cook for about two minutes. Add chopped tomatoes; cover pan and allow tomatoes to soften, about 7 minutes.

>> OR <<

Step 3: For longer-cooking vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc.) Reduce heat; add 1 cup vegetable broth or coconut milk. Cover pan and allow to simmer until vegetables are just tender, adding additional liquid if needed. Add tomatoes and cook for about 7 minutes longer.

Serve with rice, or not. Top with some chopped cilantro (trust me, it’s good).

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2 Responses to Any-veg Indian Masala

  1. howanxious says:

    Well, I would like to make a suggestion- you can add turmeric powder and red chilly powder quite early while cooking the vegetables because it takes a little bit of time for turmeric powder to get properly roasted and moreover, adding the two spices early would give the cooked vegetable a better color. It is not necessary for you to use broth/coconut milk, plain water will do just fine.
    Moreover, we are being health conscious nowadays, so you can even reduce the amount of oil you use for cooking.
    And some more spices that you can use to enhance the flavors- dried mango powder, carom seeds(makes the cauliflower even more delicious) and garam masala powder(to be added in the end)

    • cfrietch says:

      H — All good suggestions! Thanks. Agreed, the amount of oil kind of depends on the pan you’re using, and which vegetable; you can get by with less. Good tips! One thing I do like about this recipe is that the ingredients are easy to find in a regular grocery store.

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