Vegetable Stew (Desi style)
September is about to end and it's still pouring here in Maharashtra! The weather gets cold at night and calls for some hot and savoury stew to be enjoyed over dinner.
This is my mom's recipe which I have modified a bit to suit my son's palate. I am not big into soups and stews and I made this one after many years wondering if my son would love it. (Husband usually has everything that I make without much fuss ;))
Stew, essentially means something which has been cooked over a long period of time with a closed lid that brings together all the wonderful flavours into the broth. Here I am adding mixed vegetables with some typical 'desi' seasonings in the stew which makes it all the more delightful. Topped with cheese it becomes irresistible :)
Mixed vegetables (like finely chopped beans, carrots, peas, potatoes, cauliflower, soaked and squeezed soya chunks) - 1.5 cups
Cooked rajma/kidney beans - 5-6 tsp ( I used leftover Rajma from my fridge)
Pureed Tomatoes - 4 to 5 (Puree it in a mixer without blanching them)
Finely chopped onion - 1 big
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves - 2
Peppercorn - 4-5
Cinnamon - 1 inch
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Maida/cornflour - 1 tbsp (dissolved in little cold water to form a thick paste)
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Sugar/Jaggery powder - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Grated cheese of your choice for the topping ( I used Mozzarella! - Optional)
Water - to adjust the consistency
Heat the oil in a deep kadhai or wok and add the bay leaf, cloves, peppercorn and cinnamon. Stir it for a minute or two and then add the onions. Fry it well on moderate heat till the edges of the onion start turning brown. To this add the mixed vegetables, cooked rajma, little water and a bit of salt to help cook the veggies faster. Cook the vegetables covered with a lid, till they are done. This will take around 8-10 minutes.
To the cooked vegetables, add the tomato puree and little water to adjust the consistency to your liking. Stews are usually thick, so it is recommended to add little water to the preparation. Add the cornflour/maida paste and stir it well.
Add salt, sugar, chilli powder as per your liking and let the stew simmer for another 5-6 minutes with a closed lid.
The stew is ready. Serve it topped with cheese.