gentle Indian spiced vegetable stew

4th August 2013

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The weekend brought with it an adventure….the inspiring kind that leaves you refreshed, glowing, inspired and filled with awe and in love with nature’s Greatness that is.

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Praia da Ursa, Sintra, Portugal

a gentle indian spiced vegetable stew

Serves 3 – 4

This is a very clean, soothing and subtle-tasting dish, warming to the core.  I have been making it quite regularly, sometimes adding a beetroot palya or roasted pumpkin to serve with it.  Inspired by Lior and The South Indian Yogic Cooking Book. 

Bengal Gram also known as Chana Dal is a split and husked relative of the chickpeas.  Black Gram also know as Urad Dal, rich in protein, is a close relative of the Mung Dal.  Both are found in Indian Stores. You could easily substitute coarsely broken up chickpeas, Mung Dal or any dal you have available. 

ingredients :

1 cup green beans, finely chopped

2 carrots

1 zucchini

1 small-medium sweet potato (peeled)

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

4 cups water

ingredients for the ground paste :

1½ tsp split channa dal

1 tsp split urad dal

½ cup freshly grated coconut or (2 – 3 tab of dried coconut)

1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger

¼ tsp whole black peppercorns

½ tsp jaggery/brown rice

a handful finely chopped fresh coriander

salt to taste

for the voggarane :

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp cumin seeds

6 -8 fresh curry leaves

preparation :

Peel and finely chop the vegetables (I like the vegetables delicate and small).  Heat 4 cups of water in a heavy-based saucepan.  Add the vegetables and allow to simmer for 15 minutes, while preparing the ground paste.

to make the ground paste :

Dry fry the bengal gram and black gram until it turns a brown or golden colour.  Add whole peppercorns, turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly.  In a high-speed blender, combine the dry-fried spices (the grams & peppercorns), coconut, ginger,  and 1 cup of water from the simmered vegetables.  (Do not worry if you accidentally scoop up any vegetables, as I grind these along with the paste as it adds to the creaminess).  Grind until it becomes a relatively smooth puree.   Add the puree to the vegetables, adding broth from the vegetables to clean out the contents of the puree in the blender.   Allow to simmer for five minutes so that the vegetables are tender and to your liking.

prepare the voggarane :

To finish the dish, heat the ghee in a small pan.  Add the cumin seeds and curry leaves.  When the cumin darkens a few shades,  pour the seasoning into the vegetables.  Season with salt and finely chopped fresh coriander.  Allow to sit for half an hour for the flavours to come through.

Enjoy with brown basmati rice or whole barley and a drizzling of ghee.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

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