Kolhapur is an ancient Indian city with a rich and vibrant history. It is located in the south western corner of the state of Maharashtra. The city was settled by the Marathas (Hindu warrior class) who had a love for mainly non vegetarian food but the vegetarian dishes from this region are also equally delicious.
Kolhapuri cuisine is well known for its bold and aromatic dishes. Traditionally, the food is spicy and full of robust flavors. My Kolhapuri Style Mixed Vegetables is a delicious example of what Kolhapuri cuisine has to offer. The versatility of this dish knows no bounds, so feel free to use your family’s favorite vegetables when making it. I often make this dish using seasonal vegetables combined with my favorites. This dish is spicy, so feel free to adjust the spiciness to suit your palate.
KOLHAPURI STYLE MIXED VEGETABLES
2½ cups mixed vegetables of choice (see below)
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 large tomato, finely diced
3-4 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
2-3 small green Thai chilies, to taste
½ tbsp white poppy seeds
1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
¼ cup toasted unsalted peanuts
pinch of smoked Spanish paprika
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
1½ tsp kala or goda masala (or you can use garam masala)
salt & pepper, to taste
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
toasted sesame seeds for garnish
Trim & prepare all the vegetables accordingly. If possible, cut them into equal size pieces so they will cook together evenly. You can boil the vegetables, lightly steam them or just microwave them for a few minutes on medium power – but cook them until they are just barely tender.
Using a mixer or food processor, combine the garlic with the ginger, green chilies, poppy seeds, sesame seeds and peanuts – grind to a smooth thick paste using a little water as needed. Set aside until needed.
In a large deep skillet or wok, add the oil. When hot, add the onions and sauté until golden brown. Then add in the ginger/garlic paste and sauté for a few minutes before adding in the tomatoes. Let cook until the tomatoes have completely softened & broken down. This will take about 6-8 minutes, keep stirring every so often. Next, add the spices (paprika, turmeric, red chili powder, kala masala, salt & pepper) and let them cook for a couple of minutes. Lastly, add in the vegetables & gently mix well to combine. Then add about ½ cup or so of water, bring to a low boil, cover, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 5 minutes or until all of the vegetables are tender. Garnish with the cilantro leaves & toasted sesame seeds, serve with fresh phulkas & fragrant Basmati rice.
Feel free to use baby potatoes, cauliflower/broccoli florets, baby spinach, shredded cabbage, baby carrots, mushrooms, green beans, baby corn, green peas, edamame, bell pepper varieties, root vegetables, various leafy greens, zucchini, various squashes & pumpkins...
You could also add some lightly fried paneer cubes, tofu or soya nuggets for a more modern twist.