I am sure you are all familiar with the days, when you get back home tired and really hungry: the times when you don't have much energy to do some elaborate cooking, but would still love to have some yummy food! On one such day last week, i felt really lazy to cook much, yet craved something spicy and filling. In this bus, i had been dreaming about making some baked vegetables in some cilantro based marinade. When i got home, i checked out the vegetables in the fridge and wondered what all to use. Finally, i decided to go for some bell peppers, some mushrooms, a lil' paneer and some spring onions and marinate them in a cilantro based marinade. The cilantro chutney/marinade was made by simply blending together cilantro, green chillies, ginger, garlic salt, salt and lime juice. I mixed the marinade with the veggies in the baking dish and the whole thing looked really appetizing. I then wondered, if i should go for a salad, a sabzi or both :-D. I decided to take some in a bowl as a salad, which was yummy! and put the rest in the oven. As i feasted myself upon the lip-smacking chutney-vegetables combo, i simultaneously had been making some baked vegetables, which turned out to be equally delicious, if not more :-D. I am sure you all have your own variations on this theme, here's my version:
Baked vegetables in cilantro marinade:
- 1 big bell pepper (chopped into bite-sized pieces)
- 2 Roma tomatoes (sliced)
- 20 or so bite sized pieces of paneer
- 1/2 cup sliced crimini or baby bella mushrooms
- 1 bunch spring onions (chopped)
- 1 small bunch/3/4 th cup equivalent chopped cilantro
- 1 serrano pepper or 2 green chillies (adjust chillies to your taste)
- 1 inch piece of ginger
- 1 tsp. lime/lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic salt
- Salt to taste
Grind together the ingredients for the marinade. Mix these with the chopped vegetables. In case you are making the salad, leave the spring onions and chill the salad in the fridge. Mix the chopped spring onions before serving.
As i was having the salad, i wondered about all those laments that one gets to hear from time to time, as to how Indian food doesn't have much to do with salads! Indian cuisine boast of such an enormous variety of salads, from the lovely koshimbirs, to kosumbari, to the sundals, raitas and pachidis and the regular kheera-tamatar with lime, salt an pepper and many many more. Just that we don't label them as "salad" :-D.
Oh, and here's a quick weekend brunch idea. i am sure again that many of you make this in your own way as well. i am talking about the sandwich made with (aloo ki) sabzi :-D. i use left over aloo sabzi (dry) or any dry sabzi, stuff it in the sourdough or rye bread, along with a lil' skim mozzarella or five cheese blend and toast it on tava/griddle. i'll be honest with you, i use a lil' ghee (just a cpl. of drops) to toast :-D. It gives such a heavenly aroma!
Here's a quick aloo ki sabzi-a zero oil version:
- 1-2 potatoes (boiled/microwaved and mashed)
- 1/2 tsp jeera/cumin
- 1 ripe tomato
- 1 bunch spring onions (optional)
- 1 tsp. grated ginger
- 1 clove garlic (chopped fine, optional)
- 1 chopped green chilli
- Salt to taste
- 1/2 tsp. lime juice or 1 tsp. sour curds
- Chopped cilantro for garnish
Wash the potatoes and keep them in the microwave for cooking. It takes about 4 minutes per potato, and 7 minutes for two potatoes in my micrwave. Alternatively you can boil the potatoes. Meanwhile, heat a pan and dry roast the cumin seeds till they release the aroma. Add the tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the grated ginger and onions and garlic, if using. Stir and cook for a cpl. of minutes. (By now the potatoes should be done. Quickly peel them and mash them roughly). Add the microwaved/boiled and mashed potatoes to the pan and mix. Add the salt and souring agent of your choice (lime juice or curds) and mix well. If the mixture is getting too dry or sticking to the pan, drizzle some water. Cook for another 5 minutes with occasional stirring. Add the green chillies and cilantro.
Enjoy as a sabzi/side dish or as a sandwich/parantha stuffing :). Don't go by the picture, it tastes really good :).