Vegan Aloo Sabzi
First the lesson. In looking for delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes you are forced to learn the language. As said previously, the most spectacular vegan dishes are Indian. The richness of flavour and the complexity of taste layering is an expedition. Also, Indian cooking is so diverse, it is almost impossible to not find something you love.
In a previous recipe I made a simple language mistake. In making a broccoli version of a Makai Palak, I inadvertently used “Palak”, which means spinach. Makai means corn – so this was right. But a broccoli corn spinach dish where the broccoli replaced the spinach? Oops.
So why the academics? For you to learn that Aloo means potato and Sabzi means to cook vegetable in gravy (sometimes sabji is used which means curry). Nice. So let’s put together a quick dinner.
I always start with the fridge, not the recipe. This way, I get to try things and see if they owrk or not. I know very little people that have a recipe in hand and then charge down to the greengrocer for all the ingredients. And, as a well-stocked fridge of veggies is easy, it is not always specifically what you need.
I was looking for some green beans to go with my potato and found a nice punnet of mange tout. Well, almost the same, I thought, and definately vegan. So I used it. The potato and onion is always stocked up (called the king and queen of cooking – the foundation of many meals).
Then comes the spices. A good larder requires many different types, but a good start is to always have cumin (seeds and powdered), red chilli (I buy the most delicious Kashmiri red chilli powder), turmeric, coriander (seeds and powdered), mustard seeds (black and yellow), asafoetida and coconut (canned cream, milk and dried shredded). If you can find jaggery – how blessed you are! I use brown sugar (or moscavado) as a replacement.
So here goes:
Vegan Aloo Sabzi
- Pan with (preferably) glass lid
- 2 medium potatoes
- 300 grams mange tout snap peas
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp red (Kashmiri) chili powder
- ½ tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp coriander powder (make you own)
- 1 medium onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil¼ extra virgin
- ½ tsp yellow mustard seeds
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ asafoetida (asafetida)
- salt to taste
- 2 tbsp coconut cream
- ½ tsp brown sugar or muscovado
- 1 tbsp dried shredded coconut
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into cubes the size that you like them. The smaller the cubes, the quicker the cooking time.
- Wash and trim the mange tout and roughly chop them into 2cm pieces.
- Put them in a bowl, add the powdered spices, the onion, and the potatoes.
- Heat the oil in your trusty pan with a glass lid.
- Add the seed spices (mustard, cumin) with that wonderful thing called asafoetida (asafetida) that makes the spices pop with flavour!
- When the cumin changes colour and the mustard starts to pop, add the vegetables.
- Add the salt and the sugar and cook for 1 minute.
- Then add about 150ml of water. Scrape the pan well, as the spices would stick to the bottom. Get them into that masala.
- Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes, depending on your type of potatoes. Add the coconut cream and stir in. I now cook it for another 2-3 minutes to let the cream infuse the dish and thicken the gravy.
- Add the shredded coconut and stir through so that they stay crunchy.
You can serve it on rice or have it as is.