Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Kacchi Haldi Sabzi

I know winters are on their way out, but there is still time to make the most of the abundant produce. While summers are for light, fresh flavours, winters are for decadent indulgence. Eat seasonal all the nutritionists say. So when you gather all those vibrant veggies and dollop everything with fresh ghee, you are basically doing your health a service!
There is truth in it. Indian cooking has always been influenced by the change of seasons and local produce. We have our aamras and jaljeeras in summer. And our til, jaggery and saags in winter. When the veggies are fresh and the body needs extra calories to fight against the harsh weather.
Fresh turmeric or kacchi haldi is a winter essential up north, though relatively unknown as you move to warm and milder south. You will find my entire fam sipping turmeric steeped warm water as the weather gets progressively colder. Or snacking on this delicious Turmeric pickle as the weather oscillates with the onset of spring. 
Another fabulous dish to introduce more of this miracle spice is this lip smacking stir fry. The Kacchi Haldi Sabzi or Fresh Turmeric Stirfry is a little known dish from the state of Rajasthan. It is a fairly traditional preparation that is hard to find in restaurants. And though it involves some laborious prep, I can wholeheartedly say it is worth every second of the effort. 

Kacchi haldi sabzi

Fresh Turmeric                    250 gm
Carrots                                 80 gm
Peas                                     50 gm
Cauliflower                         50 gm
Ghee                                    150 gm
Curds                                   250 gm
Red chilli powder                1 teaspoon
Coriander powder                1 teaspoon
Green Chillies                      2, chopped
Ginger, grated                      1 teaspoon
Heeng                                   a pinch
Cumin seeds                         1 teaspoon
Black Cardamom                 4
Bay leaf                                1

Method: Peel the turmeric and carrots. Chop finely into small pieces. You can also choose to grate them, but I personally like the slight crunch from the whole pieces. Chop your cauliflower florets into small pieces as well. Add the spice powders and salt to the curds, whip lightly and keep aside. Heat the ghee in a heavy bottom pan. When hot, add the turmeric and lightly fry till golden. Drain and keep aside. Repeat for the rest of the vegetables, frying each separately. Lower the flame, add the heeng, bayleaf, cumin and cardamom to the ghee. Once it sizzles, add the curds. Mix well and add the ginger and green chillies. Once the curd thickens and the ghee starts to separate, add the fried turmeric and vegetables. Mix well, adding a splash of milk if the masala starts to stick to the pan. Continue to cook on low heat till the vegetables are cooked and the starts to leave the sides of the pan. Serve warm, garnished with fresh coriander leaves. Tastes best with Bajre ki rotis!