Vegetables are a large part of any Indian meal. They are healthy, nutritious and always delicious. Pan fried vegetables is a typical Maharashtrian side dish but can also be eaten as an appetizer. This is also a great way to get your kids to eat their vegetables and even ask for seconds.
Alternatively, you could use this same basic recipe for fish fillets or even paneer.
PAN FRIED VEGETABLES (KAAP)
1 small potato
½ sweet potato or yam
1 small zucchini or yellow squash
¼ pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash
1 cup rice flour
½ tsp turmeric
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
salt & pepper, to taste
oil as needed, vegetable or canola
Prepare all the vegetables just before use. Slice all the vegetables in ¼ inch thick slices. The potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes and eggplants can all be sliced into rounds. If the rounds are too large cut them again in half. The zucchini, yellow squash, carrot and plantain can be cut into 2 inch pieces initially and then cut into ¼ inch planks. As far as the skins or peels are concerned, definitely peel the carrot, plantain, pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash. The skin or peel on the potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, zucchini and yellow squash are optional. I personally don’t bother to peel these particular vegetables. The pumpkin, butternut or acorn squash are all uniquely shaped vegetables that can be cut into whatever shape is the easiest but just make sure they are all ¼ inch thick in size.
In a shallow baking dish, combine the rice flour with the spices (turmeric, ground cumin powder, red chili powder, salt and pepper). Mix well to combine and dredge all the vegetables so they have a light and even dusting of the seasoned rice flour. Shake off any excess flour.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Cast iron skillets are absolutely perfect for this recipe, so if you have one, by all means, use it. When hot, add a tbsp or so of the oil and swirl it around so the bottom of the skillet is evenly coated. Carefully add a few of the vegetables in a single layer. I also highly recommend cooking a single type of vegetable at one time since cooking times vary among different vegetables. This may need to be done in batches. Cook each vegetable for a few minutes on one side, then carefully turn the vegetable and let it brown on the other side. You can add a little oil if needed. Then using a tight fitting lid, cover and let the vegetables cook for another 2-3 minutes. The outside should be golden brown and slightly crispy while the inside should be soft and tender. Remove the vegetables from the skillet, drain well on a paper towel and sprinkle lightly with a little salt while the vegetables are still warm. Serve hot as a side dish or serve them as an appetizer with your favorite chutneys and sauces.
Try this dish with green tomatoes or tomatillos for a lovely tart & spicy flavor.