Bengali-style mixed vegetables

Bengali-style mixed vegetables

By
From
I Love Curry
Serves
4
Photographer
Jonathan Gregson

Inspired by a Bengali staple called shukto, this is a mild dish with a mix of sweet, starchy vegetables as well as an essential bitter one, which was originally added to whet the appetite for future courses. I have used autumnal vegetables here, but this is not a heavy dish and is often eaten in the summer in Bengal. You can substitute any other vegetables, as long as you include some sweet and some bitter. I’ve used western vegetables here instead of the traditional Indian green bananas and bitter gourd, but the dish still works beautifully. Serve with rice.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3 tablespoons white poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon panch phoran
225g parsnips, peeled, cored and cut into 1.5cm half moons
225g sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1.5cm half moons
15g fresh root ginger, peeled weight, grated into a paste
3 long, thin aubergines, or round aubergines (around 150g), halved lengthways and cut into 2–3 pieces
15-20 green beans, topped, tailed and halved
salt, to taste
50g radicchio, endive or other bitter vegetable, diced
1/2-3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 handfuls cooked chickpeas
150ml full-fat milk
1/2 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

Method

  1. Using a spice grinder, grind the poppy and both types of mustard seeds to a fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil, add the panch phoran and, once it splutters, tip in the parsnips and sweet potatoes and sauté over a moderate flame for five to six minutes, or until softening. Add the ginger paste, aubergines, beans and salt and sauté for another three minutes. Add the bitter leaves, ground seeds, cumin and 200ml water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat and cook for three or four minutes, until all the ingredients are tender.
  3. Uncover, add the chickpeas, then reduce most of liquid in the pan over high heat, stirring so nothing catches on the base. Add the milk and sugar, bring to a boil, taste, adjust the seasoning and serve.
Tags:
curry
India
Indian
Asian
I
Love
Curry
Anjum
Anand
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