We have completely fallen in love with the food here. I mean how can one not? We're picking up some routine eating habits like mixed fruit museli for breakfast, freshly pressed juices for $1 midday snack, what seems like free flowing chai all day everyday, fried up street food we don't know the name of only the taste, thaili, and curd! So much curd from our museli, to lassi's, to raita. Here in Pushkar everything is laced with rose water syrup made in the city from their plenty of roses and saffron, lots of saffron. So. Good.
So, masala veg! Masala is just a blend of any Indian spices that can be used for sweet (chai) to savory (curry). These spices are pretty basic and you will have most in your pantry I'm sure.
Serve this dish piping hot over basmati rice or with warm chapati and/or naan, or all three, go nuts. We ate it with veg Briyani (recipe coming next!), but plain rice is great too.
Mix Vegetable Masala
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped.
2 small eggplants (about 1 cup chopped)
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup fresh peas (or frozen and thawed ahead of time)
1 cup cauliflower, chopped
2 small potatoes, diced
3 fresh tomatoes, diced
1" cube fresh ginger, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, diced
1/2 or one whole fresh green chili, diced
6 tbsp vegetable oil (don't use olive oil, trust)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
3 pinches garam masala (can definitely be found at Indian grocer on Robie, or in ethnic section at Sobeys or Superstore, if not just add 1/2 tsp more of chili powder, but masala will do you wonders)
Chop up all veg and put aside, leave tomato separate.
Combine your ginger, garlic, onion and chili in a small bowl.
Heat up all that oil in a medium size heavy skillet over medium heat. Indians are quite liberal with oil in their cooking, go with it- don't be shy.
Add your ginger mixture and stir until browned, around 2-3 minutes.
Add all your veg except tomato. Stir well and leave for 2-3 minutes.
One by one, start adding your spices (turmeric, salt, chili powder and garam masala). Stir to combine completely then add your diced tomato. Add 1/3 cup water and let mixture simmer, stirring occasionally until vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes. If you want a more saucey base, add another 1/4 cup water.
Voila! You can totally add tofu or chicken to this for some protein, just up your spices a touch.
I hope yours turns out as good as ours!