STUFFED VEGETABLE CURRY (ringna bateta nu bharelu shak) in microwave
Vegetables stuffed with masala (spices) is one of my husband’s favourite dishes. His ultimate favourite is Undhiyu. This dish is a just a copy using a few of the vegetables readily available in my part of the World. I made this dish when my sister was visiting us and she thought I was the World’s fastest cook and couldn’t believe how fast this dish can be made in the microwave.
The recipe is not as complicated as it looks. The preparation time for this recipe is more important than the cooking part.
For the stuffing:
2 tablespoons Chickpea flour
2 tablespoons cumin powder (Jira powder)
2 tablespoons coriander powder (dhana powder)
some Indian grocery stores may sell a bag of cumin and coriander powder (Dhana jiru) which is fine.
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon chilly powder (you can increase this if you like hot and spicey food)
2 gloves of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger (optional)
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
½ cup of raw peanuts
Sunflower oil about 4 or 5 tablespoons
1 teaspoon of mustard seeds
For the actual curry (all amounts are approximate and you can experiment with any vegetables you have in the fridge or freezer):
5 or 6 small potatoes (baby potatoes are preferable but any small ones are good.)
4 or 5 chillies
mixed frozen vegetables – can also use any fresh vegetables you have in the fridge.
2 fresh tomatoes
1 cup of crushed tomatoes or passata
2 tablespoons of lemon
Fresh coriander for garnishing
Prepare the stuffing:
1. Roast the peanuts in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. Once cool rub the peanuts and remove the outer skin and grind them in a coffee grinder.
2. Mix the Chickpea flour, cumin and coriander powder, salt , chilly powder, crushed garlic, sesame seeds, ground peanuts and brown sugar in a saucepan. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and stir the mixture.
3. Transfer the mixture to a microwave dish with a cover, and cook it for a minute, stir it and microwave it again for another minute. Stir and allow to cool. (Tip: you can make this stuffing in advance and store it in the fridge for a couple of days.)
4. Prepare the vegetables: The potatoes, onions, tomatoes and chillies need to be prepared and left whole with just diagonal cuts at both ends of the vegetables (as shown in the picture below). Once the vegetables are prepared, stuff the spices in the potatoes, onions, chillies.
5. In a microwave dish arrange the potatoes first, then onions and lastly the stuffed chilies.
6. In a separate saucepan, heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of oil. Add the mustard seeds to the oil and allow the seeds to finish popping. Add this oil to the top of your vegetables.
7. Transfer the curry to a microwave and cook it for covered for 10 minutes and then check if the potatoes are cooked by pricking them with a knife. It took me 10 minutes. If the potatoes are not cooked, give it 1-2 more minutes. The chilies and onions do not take long to cook. Once the potatoes are soft, add the crushed tomatoes or passata and lemon juice to the curry. Also top this with any left over stuffing masala you have.
8. Very gently using a knife allow the tomatoes to cover all the vegetables. This is a fairly dry curry but if you wish to have a bit of gravy, add half a cup of water at this stage. Cook this for 5 more minutes.
9. Cooking in the microwave is quick and all the vegetables remain intact and whole. Your curry is ready to serve with Naan bread, rice, chappatis etc…
The amount of spices, sugar and lemon can be decided once you taste the curry. I prefer my curry to be hot and spicy with a hint of lemon – but some of you may prefer it mild and sweet so please take my ingredients as an estimate. You can also add more vegetables to the curry if you wish.