Winters is a time for indulgence in food ! The abundance of fresh vegetables in the market has always tempted each one of us to cook different forms of cuisines. Today I am sharing with you my recent discovery of a Kolhapuri dish. Thanks to my Kolhapuri friends who always motivate me and appreciate my efforts.
This Kolhapuri mix veg is a different form of mix veg than the one we usually make in north India. It has strong west flavors of Javitri, Jaiphal, coconut, til , poppy seeds etc. I had made some paneer with fresh home-made curd /dahi. So made this Kolhapuri paneer mix veg in dinner. Now I have learnt a different form of serving paneer in my family to the “Paneer Patrons .” 😀
I hope this dish would incite new ideas in your mind and you would try it out your way too .
For Kolhapuri Masala :
1. Poppy seeds (khuskhus/poshak dana) – 2 tsp
2. Cloves (Lavang/laung) – 6 whole
3. Cinnamom stick (Dal chini) – 1/2 inch stick
4. Peppercorns/ whole black pepper (Kali mirch sabut) – 8 whole
5. Fenugreek seeds (methi dana) – 1/4 tsp
6. Black sesame seeds – 2 tsp
7. Fennel seeds (saunf) – 1 tsp
8. Mace (Javitri) whole – 2 whole
9. Nutmeg powder (Jaiphal ) – 1/2 tsp
10. Black Cardamom (badi elaichi) – 1 whole
11. Green cardamom (chhoti elaichi) – 4 whole or 1 tsp
12. Dessicated coconut flakes or powder (sookha khopra) – 4 tbsp
13. Coriander seeds (sabut dhania) – 1 and 1/2 tsp
14. Whole red kashmiri peppers ( sabut lal mirch) – 7 to 8 small round
For Mix veg :
1. Cooking oil (groundnut oil) – 1 tbsp
2. Unsalted or salted butter – 3 tbsp
3. Cumin seeds (jeera) – 1/2 tsp
4. Bayleaf (Tej patta ) – 1 whole
5. Asafoetida (hing) – 1/4 tsp
6. Turmeric (haldi) – 1/2 tsp
7. Salt – 1 and 1/2 tsp or to taste
8. Red chilli powder (Lal mirch) – 1 tsp
9. Cauliflower florets blanched (phoolgobhi) – 1/2 cup
10. Carrots blanched (Gajar) chopped into batons – 1/2 cup
11. Snapeas ( Matar ke chhilke)or french beans or (guwar fali)papdi blanched – 3/4 cup
12. Capsicum/green bell peppers (shimla mirch) chopped lengthwise – 1/2 cup
13. Peas (matar) washed- 1/4 cup
14. Tomatoes chopped roughly – 1.5 to 2 cups
15. Ginger (adrak) chopped roughly – 1/2 to 1 inch
16. Cottage Cheese (paneer) cubes – 1 cup or to your taste
17. Fresh cilantro/coriander leaves (dhania) – 1/3 cup (for garnishing)
| Preparation time : 15 mins | Cooking time : 30 mins | Passive time : 5 mins | Serves 4 people |
Preparing Kolhapuri Masala :
1. We start with preparing the masala for this dish. You may use the store bought kolhapuri veg masala too. But the home-made tastes better anytime. For this we dry roast all the spices in a wok(kadhai). Add khuskhus, til (white) or sesame seeds , laung, kali mirch, javitri, dalchini, methi dana in a kadhai at medium or low heat.
2. When the above spices started changing color and turn aromatic, add the whole dry red peppers, coriander seeds ,fennel seeds and stir them well and roast again on medium heat.
3. Roast them on medium to low heat until they change color and then allow them to cool to room temperature. Grind it to a powder form using a dry grinder or mixer. Kolhapuri dry spice is ready to use now.
Parboiling vegetables :
4. Now boil at least 4 cups of water in a pan or a wok(kadhai). Add salt to it and bring it to a rolling boil.
5. Add the chopped vegetables like Cauliflower, snapeas(or french beans) , carrots in it and allow them to boil on medium heat for 4 to 5 mins. (The snapeas are split in just halves or one-thirds .)
6. Once they are par-boiled i.e. soft to touch but not mushy( cut with slight pressure with spoon) turn off the heat and strain them through a colander and wash them under cold tap water. This stops them from getting overcooked . This is called blanching vegetables.
Final cooking and assembling :
7. Slice the paneer cubes in equal size. Cut long thin strips of green bell peppers. Make tomato and ginger puree by blending 4 large tomatoes and an inch-size ginger together.
8. Heat oil in a wok(kadhai). Add butter and allow it to melt.
9. Next add jeera, hing and bayleaf. Stir them well for a minute.
10. Add the peas, capsicums now. Continue stirring on medium heat.
11. After about 3 to 4 mins , when the vegetables are cooked, add the tomato paste or puree made . Stir it until well combined and cover the wok partially .
12. Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder . Stir it and allow it to simmer till the oil starts separating.
13. When 90% water has evaporated , add the kolhapuri masala. Give it a good stir. If you need to cover , cover only partially for quick evaporation of water.
14. Also add the parboiled veggies and mix them well in the gravy.
15. Lastly add the paneer cubes and toss them gently with the other veggies so that they get coated in all spices. I added some later for garnishing . Cover and let it cook in the steam on low heat for 2 to 3 mins.
16. In the end garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot. Adjust the spice level according to your family’s taste. This dish is although on the spicier side.
So if you want to enjoy a hot and fiery main course on a cold blue day, this is the perfect fit. I have made it without onions and garlic. But you may go ahead and add some to suit your palette.
Till then keep cooking..