Here is a collection of recipes from across the country that celebrates vegetables the Indian way-sprinkled with spices and lightly anointed with oils. There is something in here for your every mood-intriguing Amrud ki Sabzi, spicy Mirchi ka Salan, aromatic Dahi Baingan and Shahi Dhingri Matar Paneer in an opulent gravy; elaborately prepared Dhaabe ki Sabziyan; a robust Wadian Aloo, followed by a creamy Malai Makai Palak. And if that were not enough to whet your appetite, remember what your mother always said: eat up those vegetables-they are good for you.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of vegetables:
- Wash vegetables well under running water before cooking to remove any traces of insecticide. This is especially true of spinach which grows closer to the ground and has mud clinging to its leaves.
- Scrape off or peel as little of the vegetables as possible as most of the minerals and vitamins are found just under the outer skin.
- Cut vegetables into large pieces to minimise nutrient loss. Soak cabbage and caulifl ower in plenty of cold salted water to remove any insects that may be hidden between the leaves or fl orets. A couple of tablespoons of milk added to caulifl ower while cooking will help retain its whiteness.
- To freshen up shrivelled vegetables, immerse in cold water, to which a few drops of lemon juice have been added, for about one hour. Overcooking vegetables destroys their texture and the important nutrients they contain.
- Do not add soda bicarbonate to retain the colour of green vegetables while cooking.