my grandmother, dadi, is an innovative cook. this recipe makes a vegetable-filled coconut stew, redolent of cinnamon, curry leaves and cardamom. we eat it with thin rice noodles. the key to this simple stew is to let the vegetables marinate for a few hours.
2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup green beans cut diagonally into 1\" pieces
3/4 cup carrot sticks (1\" long, 1/2\" wide)
1 cup chopped onion (1\" pieces)
2 fat sticks of cinnamon
1 small potato, raw, peeled and cut into sticks (same size as carrot)
2 cardomom pods, very lightly pressed, so the pod splits open but the seeds remain inside.
6 sprigs curry leaves (about a handful of sprigs)
1 long green chili, slit down the middle but still whole, seeds intact (you can remove them if you can\'t tolerate any spice, but with just 1 chili it\'s not too spicy)
1 tablespoon salt
1/2 tablespoon turmeric
2 teaspoons (Kashmiri if you can find it) red chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons dhania powder- powdered corriander seed
2 cups water
1 cup coconut milk
1 handful chopped cilantro (optional)
Step 1Put all the vegetables in a bowl (cauliflower, green beans, carrots, potato and onions).
Step 2Add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods, curry leaves, green chili, salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, and dhania powder to the vegetables and mix well, making sure the vegetables are coated with spices.
Step 3Cover the bowl and let the vegetables marinate in these spices for at least 2 hours. Four hours is preferable.
Step 4When ready to eat, put the marinated vegetables in a pot. Add 2 cups of water, or just enough that the water line sits below the vegetables. Bring to a boil, and then simmer, until the potato is soft. Add more water if necessary.
Step 5Once the potato is soft, add 1 cup coconut milk and bring to a boil once again, and turn off the gas. The stew should taste velvety. You can add more coconut milk if you would like the stew milder- but I think 1 cup is just right. Taste for salt. Stir in half the cilantro.
Step 6Prepare some rice noodles. In a bowl, put the noodles, ladle the stew on top, and top with more cilantro leaves. Enjoy!