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).