Rajasthan is India’s largest state and is located in the northwestern part of the country. The cuisine of Rajasthan is as varied and distinct as its inhabitants. From the royal dishes of the kingly Rajputs to the strict vegetarian dishes of the Marwaris, Rajasthani cuisine offers an endless variety of dishes to please every palate.
Jaipuri Mixed Vegetables is a wonderful example of Rajasthani food at its finest. This delicious & hearty vegetarian dish is comprised of different vegetables simmered together gently until just tender. There is no right or wrong here, but I highly recommend using local, seasonal vegetables along with your family’s favorite vegetables or whatever vegetables you happen to have on hand ☺.
JAIPURI MIXED VEGETABLES
3½ to 4 cups vegetables* (peeled, trimmed & chopped into roughly equal size pieces)
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato, roughly chopped
5-6 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1” piece of ginger, peeled & roughly chopped
¼ cup freshly grated coconut
¼ cup toasted unsalted cashew pieces
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp white poppy seeds
1 stick of cinnamon (about 2” in length)
3-4 black cloves
5-6 black peppercorns
½ tsp smoked Spanish paprika
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp red chili powder, to taste
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
salt & pepper, to taste
1 tbsp good quality, prepared tomato paste
2-3 tbsp heavy cream, optional
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
*You can use potatoes, sweet potatoes, parsnips, pumpkin, acorn/butternut squash, zucchini, mushrooms, baby corn/corn kernels, green peas, cauliflower florets, green beans, carrots, lima beans, edamame…
Gently boil or steam all of the prepared vegetables together until just tender. Set aside until needed.
Using a blender or food processor, grind together the onion along with the tomato, garlic, ginger, coconut & cashew pieces into a fine paste. Set aside until needed.
In a small dry skillet on medium heat, lightly toast the dry spices (cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon stick, black cloves & black peppercorns). Let cool slightly & then grind into a fine powder using a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder. Set aside until needed.
Now in a large deep skillet or pot on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, add the oil and the ground onion/tomato paste. Let fry until lightly browned and then add in the finely ground spices. Mix well & let cook for a few minutes before adding in the smoked Spanish paprika along with the turmeric, red chili powder, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Also, add in the prepared tomato paste. Stir well & let cook for a just couple of minutes and then add in the cooked vegetables. Mix gently to combine all of the ingredients, cover, reduce the heat to low & cook for just 5 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle. Finish the dish with a little heavy cream & garnish with the cilantro leaves. Serve with fresh warm rotis & fragrant Basmati rice.