The fourteenth-century Moroccan traveler and diplomat Ibn Baṭūṭah (1304-1377), in his history Travels (Rehla), described the diet of the people of India as being very dainty with a hundred different ways of cooking their food, which they varied every day.
A vegetarian meal generally consists of rice or roti, vegetables, legumes, chutney or relish, pickle, salad, and plain yogurt, followed perhaps with a sweet dessert or seasonal fruits. A dry vegetable dish is usually served with a liquid legume accompaniment, such as a dal.
This delicious recipe is from my grandmother’s kitchen and is prepared with marvelous flavor enhancers, such as turmeric, cumin, coriander, garam masala, and asafoetida and served with the main course.
Grated Carrots Sautéed with Flavor-enhancing Spices (Gajar ka Sabzi)
2 pounds fresh carrots, grated
¼ cup corn oil
1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon split black beans (urid dal)
1 large onion, peeled and chopped fine
6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
½-inch piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and chopped fine
1 green chili, chopped fine
2 sprigs fresh curry leaves
¼ teaspoon asafoetida
¾ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and split black beans and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until they change color and the mustard seeds start popping.
Add the onions, garlic, ginger, chili, and curry leaves and sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions turn soft and golden brown.
Add the asafoetida, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and garam masala and mix thoroughly for 3-4 minutes.
Add the grated carrots and salt and mix thoroughly. Cover and simmer for 6-7 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the wok.
Serve hot with basmati rice, roti, legumes, raita and cilantro chutney.
Being on friendlier terms with your stomach serves you well! Discover and share my dazzling repertoire of authentic, delicious, healthy, and easy-to-prepare recipes of diverse flavors with your friends from my cookbooks Feast of India: A Legacy of Recipes and Fables (1991, 2015) and India’s Unsurpassed Cuisine: The Art of Indian Curry Cooking (Editor’s Choice, 2016) at www.feastofindia.net.