The "E" of Indian Vegetables
The letter E inspired 11 exotic Indian flavors!
To start off, one E vegetable and seven preparations, all showcasing the beloved eggplant, that purple beauty of a vegetable, cooked and relished in a hundred different ways in India.
First up, eggplant chutney, a spicy combination of eggplant, tomato and onion to be devoured with idli and dosa, shared by Priya of Aahaar. See the recipe here.
Next, eggplants-stuffed, a cherished family recipe for baby eggplants stuffed with nutty and mild daliya powder, contributed by Suma of Veggie Platter. See the recipe here.
Then, two eggplant recipes by Pinki of Come Cook With Me, the traditional Bengali begun bhaja or eggplant fritters fried to a crisp, and a lovely stuffed eggplant dish.
Next comes a mouth-watering eggplant in coconut gravy, a curry made with the sweet long Japanese eggplants by a *huge* eggplant fan (see her post for proof), Pavani of Cook's Hideout. See the recipe here.
Bilbo from Smorgasbord comes up with a quick and easy guide to eggplant stuffed to the gills! Click here for the recipe.
Finally, the ever-creative Linda of Out Of The Garden sings well-deserved praises of the "incredible edible eggplant", along with links to her favorite eggplant recipes, and creates a one-of-a-kind recipe for eggplant with jackfruit seed gravy! It looks amazing, and you can find the recipe here.
E also represents a traditional Kerala curry, erissheri, also spelled as erissery! We are lucky enough to have two versions of this regional festival dish in the round-up.
First up, Bee of Jugalbandi relates an engaging account of the beautiful harvest festival of Onam and presents a delectable family recipe for erissheri: a combination of golden pumpkin, coconut and spices. See the post here.
Next, Asha of Aroma Hope made an unusual and delicious version of erissery using cauliflower instead of the more traditional root vegetables and gourds. See this version here.
Finally, as every kindergartener knows, E stands for egg! While not a vegetable, the "incredible edible" egg is used in combination with vegetables in many Indian dishes.
First up, spicy egg pakodas, a hearty snack by Swapna of Swad. See the recipe here.
And finally, I combined eggs with loads of vegetables and some left-over rice to make egg-fried rice.
E is for Egg-Fried Rice: Rice and Vegetables
A typical vegetarian meal in an Indian home is likely to contain three components: a carbohydrate (rice or rotis or both), a protein (usually in the form of dal) and a tasty vegetable dish. Indian cuisines have come up with many innovative ways to mix and match these components into an array of dishes; for instance...
rice + vegetable = pulao
rice + dal + (vegetable) = khichdi
roti + vegetable = stuffed paratha
dal + vegetable = sambar...
to name just a few combinations that are possible!
My friend Laureen has a sign on her desk that says...
"Quick. Good. Cheap. Choose Two"
How very true for most of life's situations! But rice-and-vegetables dishes such as pulaos and khichdis and fried rice are quick and cheap and very very good. In my eyes (those of a home cook who is always looking for quick, economical and nutritious dishes), the combination of rice and vegetables is a life-saver on busy weeknights.
For the vegetable-and-rice segment, I chose an unlikely candidate, egg-fried rice, from the hundreds of dishes possible, for three reasons:
1. I love eggs, and the combination of rice and eggs is something I have enjoyed ever since I was a kid.
2. I wanted to give a nod to Indian-Chinese fusion cuisine at some point in this series. It is such a beloved cuisine in India now (even in really tiny towns!) and it would be a shame not to acknowledge that.
3. This is a great dish to use up leftover rice and the odds and ends from the vegetable crisper for an economical meal.
Egg Fried Rice
3 cups cooked rice (from 1 cup raw rice)
3 cups mixed vegetables, sliced fine (I used snow peas, mushrooms and carrots, but the other veggies that work well in this dish are peppers, cabbage, bean sprouts, peas etc.)
3-4 scallions, green and white parts sliced separately
1 tsp ginger-garlic sauce
Low-sodium soy sauce
Hot sauce (I use sriracha red chili-vinegar sauce)
Toasted sesame oil
1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a saucepan on medium-high heat. Stir in the white parts of scallions and ginger-garlic paste until fragrant.
2. Add the mixed vegetables and stir-fry for a few minutes.
3. Add soy sauce, sriracha sauce and fresh ground pepper (all to taste). The soy sauce is salty enough that extra salt is not generally required.
4. Stir in the rice and fry until steaming hot.
5. Add a few drops of toasted sesame oil and the green parts of scallions.
6. Whisk the eggs with some salt and pepper. Make omelets with the egg and cut them into thin strips. Mix half the strips into the rice and use the other half as garnish. Serve the rice hot!
Variations on a theme
1. Use noodles or brown rice instead of the white rice.
2. For a vegan version, simply leave out the egg or use some mock-chicken strips instead for a protein boost.
Delicious vegetable-rice dishes from fellow bloggers:
Three combinations of pulaos (rice and veggies)...
Peas Pulao from Hooked on Heat,
Vaangi Bhaat or eggplant rice from Masala Magic,
Carrot Rice from Food-In The Main
Two one-dish-meal khichdis (rice and dal and veggies)...
Bisi Bele Huli Anna from Luv Bites
Vegetable Pongal from Mahanandi
Previously on the A to Z of Indian Vegetables...
A is for Aloo Gobi: North-Indian Stir-Fry
B is for Bharli Mirchi: Stuffed Vegetables
C is for Carrot-Cashew Payasam: Desserts
D is for Dum ki Arbi: The "Dum" Method of Cooking