This is a very traditional dish to our family's hometown in South India. It is so flavorful and warming from the inside out due to the slow heat of the spices. It's a perfect dish to enjoy in the fall and winter, when squash is abundant!
- 2 cups chopped vegetables (squash, eggplant, or okra)
- Pearl onion (if available)
- for the base:
- 1/2cup grated coconut
- 2 teaspoons roasted split chickpeas
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- 1 teaspoon red chili flakes (or 2 whole red chili)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seed
- 2 teaspoons turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons tamarind concentrate
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or jaggery, if available)
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup packed cilantro
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil, plus 2 teaspoons
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 3-4 curry leaves (if available)
- Add 2 teaspoons of oil to a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat
- Once the oil is hot, add the chopped vegetables and stir fry for a few minutes
- Add water to cover the vegetables, and boil until partially cooked (5-10 mins)
- Add all of the ingredients from "base" to a blender and grind
- Add the ground base to the boiled vegetables, along with brown sugar and salt
- Add 1-2 more cups of water to the pot (depending on how thin you prefer the stew)
- Lower the heat and simmer until vegetables are fully cooked (another 5-10 mins)
- Taste and adjust salt, sugar, and chili as desired
- Simmer for another 5 minutes and turn off the heat
- In another small saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of sunflower oil
- Once oil is hot, test by adding 1 mustard seed - if it crackles, the oil is ready
- Add mustard seed and cumin seed, then curry leaves (rub between your fingers before adding to oil to release natural flavors).
- Once all of the seeds have popped (15-20seconds), remove from heat. Let cool for 1 minute, then pour hot oil mixture on top of the stew (be very careful as the hot oil can splatter)
- Stir well, let rest for 10 minutes, then serve!
Leave us a comment if you've recreated a dish after one of our classes!