Mixed Vegetables Simmered in Coconut Gravy
This medley of select vegetables provides an excellent boost of vitamins and minerals to the body, along with the antioxidants and trace minerals provided by the spices. Manganese, selenium, copper and iron are but a few of the essential nutrients the freshly made coconut milk adds to the dish! It takes the phrase “delicious while being nutritious” to the next level. Enjoyed with Rice, couscous, unleavened bread or bread.
- Making coconut milk – If using dried coconut, use half a coconut. Wash and soak in 2 cups of water for 30 minutes, then blend in mixer with the same water. (I usually soak it the previous night whenever I know I am going to be making anything with coconut the next day). If making with fresh coconut, slice half a coconut into smaller pieces, add to blender. Add water and blend till a coarse liquid is formed. After blending in 2 cups of water, add one more cup of water and set it aside.
- Adding 1 tbsp of cashew nuts is optional. You can add the cashew nuts to the coconut before blending. Adding cashew nuts yields a silky and thicker gravy.
- Vegetables: 2 cups carrots, 2 cups string beans, 2 cups potatoes, 1 cup fresh peas, 1 cup cauliflower. All vegetables washed and chopped to bite size. 2 medium sized onion chopped finely. 2 medium tomatoes chopped finely. 1/2 cup of chopped cilantro leaves.
- Spices: 2 tsp fennel seeds, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 2 dried bay leaves, 2-star anise, 2 tsp coriander powder, 1 tsp chilli powder, 5 cloves, 4 cardamom pods – crushed, 1 cinnamon stick, 4 garlic cloves and ½ inch ginger skin peeled – crushed together in mortar and pistil, ½ tsp turmeric.
- Oil (use either sesame seed or coconut oil)
Duration: 35-40 mins
- Add 2 tsp of oil, cloves, crushed cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and star anise to a well-seasoned MEC Large pot (4 qt) and place on stove. Start stove on low. Cover and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Raise heat to medium. Add chopped onions, ginger & garlic paste, chillies, red chilli powder and the rest of the spices and spice powders. Mix with a wooden spoon, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
- Add chopped tomatoes, Stir and let it cook till it becomes a paste (5 mins).
- Then add all the vegetables, fold in with the spice paste in the pot, sprinkle ¼ cup of water, stir, cover and let it cook till veggies are half done (10 mins).
- Add coconut milk, salt to your liking, 1-2 cups of water (depending on how thick or thin you want the gravy), 1 tsp of sesame seed oil, stir, reduce heat to medium low and let it cook till vegetables are done.
- Turn stove off. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves. Cover and let it simmer for a few more minutes in the heat within the pot, before serving.