Five Spice Veg

5 spice veg

This was one of the first things I tried from my coveted Indian Vegetarian cookbook. I absolutely adore it, but I don’t make it very often. It takes a little more prep time than I’m accustom to lately. Lots of ingredients and spices that have to be prepped and ready to go before starting. That being said….it’s totally worth it. It’s even better with garden fresh tomatoes in the summer, but canned is more than ok to accommodate having this as a winter treat.

Five Spice Veg
Serves: 4-6
  • 4 TB mustard oil
  • 1 large potato diced
  • 2 carrots diced
  • ½ small cauliflower broken into small florets
  • ½ small cabbage sliced thin
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes (or two tomatoes cut into chunks)
  • 1 jalapeno or thai chili pepper minced
  • ½ bunch cilantro chopped
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt, to taste
  1. Add 2 TB mustard oil to large pan heated to medium. Wait for oil to smoke. Reduce heat to medium low. Add potatoes and carrots. Stir fry for a few minutes. Add a small amount of water, approximately ¼-1/2 cup, cover and cook around 5 minutes. Remove potatoes and carrots to separate bowl. Add cauliflower to pan and cook for a few minutes until beginning to be tender. (Don't overcook.) Remove cauliflower from pan. Add remainder of mustard oil, 2 TB. Wait until smoking at medium heat. Add all seeds. Cook and stir until sizzling and beginning to pop, just a minute or so. Add all other spices and minced pepper. Stir and cook for a minute. Add potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and tomatoes. Cook until vegetables are desired tenderness. Add cabbage and peas. Cook for 1-2 minutes until peas are heated through. Serve topped with cilantro.

The reason this was one of the first recipes I tried was that I was intrigued to try the mustard oil. Good stuff! When it reaches the smoke point it smells like dry English mustard. Tasty. Any plain oil could be substituted, but the mustard oil is well worth trying. I never could find nigella seeds. I had to ask someone at the Indian grocer. I’m still learning words for things, and my helpful grocer pointed me to Kalonji seeds, another word for nigella.

This dish makes really tasty pot liquor. (Yes, I’m southern!) Definitely a requirement to have bread for sopping up that goodness.

This one also leaves me with leftover ingredients like the half cabbage and half cauliflower. Usually not an issue, but something to plan for. This time I used the cabbage for a mint salad. I threw the cauliflower into a kind of bubbles and squeak with potatoes and carrots. Easy tasty single meal when Dizzle was traveling.

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