Monday, 18 January 2010

Stuffed vegetable curry (Masala bharelu shak)



This is a modified recipe of an Indian dish called Undhiyu - often served at Indian weddings. You will not find this stuffed vegetable curry in any Indian restaurants. This is a vegetable dish using vegetables such as potatoes, small aubergines, peas, green chillies, onions, baby carrots etc... which are readily available in the UK.

The recipe is not as complicated as it looks. The preparation time for this recipe is more important than the cooking part.

Ingredients:


For the stuffing:

2 tablespoons Chickpea flour
2 tablespoons cumin powder
2 tablespoons coriander powder
some Indian grocery stores may sell a bag of cumin and coriander powder which is fine.
Salt to taste
Chilly powder to taste
2 gloves of crushed garlic
1 tablespoon brown sugar
Sunflower oil about 4 or 5 tablespoons

Optional ingredients can be added to add extra flavour:

1 tablespoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons ground peanuts -preferably roasted and ground

For the seasoning:

a teaspoon of dried mustard seeds


For the actual curry (all amounts are approximate and you can experiment with any vegetables you have in the fridge or freezer):

5 or 6 small potatoes (baby potatoes are preferable but any small ones are good.)
2 onions
4 or 5 chillies
mixed frozen vegetables
2 fresh tomatoes
half a can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons of lemon
Fresh coriander or desiccated coconut to decorate the curry

Method:

Prepare  the stuffing:

1. Mix the Chickpea flour, cumin and coriander powder, salt , chilly powder, crushed garlic and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and stir the mixture. This mixture needs to be warmed gently until you get an aroma of the spices. For those of you who are unsure, I would suggest that you cover the mixture and microwave it for a minute, stir it and microwave it again for another minute. Stir and allow to cool.

2. Prepare the vegetables:

The potatoes, onions, tomatoes and chillies need to be prepared and left whole with just diagonal cuts. The cuts should be long enough to enable you to stuff the spices as shown in my pictures below. Once the vegetables are prepared, stuff the spices to the potatoes, onions, chillies.

3. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan. Add the mustard seeds to the oil. Once the seeds start popping, gently take the vegetables one by one and lower them into the saucepan. Use a spoon if you are worried about the hot oil. My suggestion would be to put in the potatoes first, then onions, tomatoes, aubergines and lastly the stuffed chillies. Now add any other mixed vegetables you may have and sprinkle on any left over spices left over after after stuffing the vegetables. .


4. Allow the curry to cook on a gentle heat. I tend to add a few frozen mixed vegetables to the curry as they help to add moisture to the curry and also help the vegetables to cook well. If you prefer your curry to have some gravy, you can add a glass of water to it.

5. The trick is to cook this curry without stirring it. Again for those of you who are inexperienced, you could transfer the curry to a microwave and cook it for 10 minutes and then check if the vegetables are cooked by pricking them with a knife. If not, give it 10 more minutes. Do not over cook the vegetables, as you need to add the crushed tomatoes and lemonjuice to the curry and allow it to cook for 5 more minutes.

6. Voila the curry is ready to serve with Naan bread, rice, chappatis etc...


7.  The amount of spices, sugar and lemon can be decided once you taste the curry. I prefer my curry to be hot and spicy with a hint of lemon - but some of you may prefer it mild and sweet so please take my ingredients as an estimate.