Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth: Season One: Julie Sahni's New York
- Active time:1 hr
- Start to finish:1 3/4 hr
For masala paste
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white poppy seeds
- 6 (1 to 2-inch) Indian or Thai green chiles, coarsely chopped with stems discarded
- a 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
- a 4-inch piece fresh tumeric, peeled and coarsely chopped
- 6 very small (1 1/2-inch) potatoes
- 1 small (6- to 8-inch) bitter melon, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 1 ripe (brown or black) plantain, peeled, cut into 2-inch lengths and quartered lengthwise
- 6 small (2-inch) purple eggplant (1/2 lb total), trimmed and quartered lengthwise
- 6 (3-inch) tindola squash, halved lengthwise
- 6 small okra
- 4 (2-inch) oval parval squash, partially peeled in stripes and halved lengthwise
- 4 yard beans, cut into 4-inch lengths
- 1/2 cup (1/2-inch) cubes pumpkin (or butternut or acorn squash)
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon panch phoran whole spice blend
- 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/3 cup whole milk
- 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (3/4 tsp fine salt)
- 2 to 3 tablespoons ghee, optional
EquipmentLarge stone grinder or mortar and pestle, a karhai (wok like pot with 2 handles) wok or large deep skillet
Make masala paste
Soak poppy seeds in 2 tablespoons water in a cup 1 hour.
Put poppy seeds, including water, chiles, ginger, and tumeric in a mortar and pound until ground to a paste the consistency of pesto.
Boil potatoes in a small saucepan with cold water to cover until just cooked through, about 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle peel and halve.
Put potatoes and remaining vegetables in a large bowl.
Heat oil in wok over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add panch phoran spices and cook, stirring, until they stop spluttering, about 15 seconds. Add cumin and masala paste and cook, stirring, until little oil bubbles are visible, 2 to 3 minutes. Add vegetables and stir-fry, stirring and tossing with 2 spoons or spatulas, to distribute spice mixture evenly on vegetables, about 3 minutes.
Add brown sugar and salt and stir to distribute, then add milk and cover pan. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook gently until vegetables are crisp-tender, 10 to 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until vegetables are evenly coated and any liquid is evaporated. Stir in ghee, if using, and serve.