American Vegetables in Indian Food: We Give You 6 Recipes!
posted by Toka Box Editorial Team , October 24, 2018
Add some American vegetables to your Indian food and see how beautifully two cultures merge to form a fabulous dish! Leeks, endives, and more - be adventurous in your food and introduce your child to world flavors in an Indian dish!
1. Leeks Sambar
Leeks sambar is yet another a simple sambar recipe prepared with leeks and homemade sambar powder. Instead of grinding the coconut, I sautéed it along with leeks to enhance the flavor. This is a perfect side for rice and also for tiffin like idly and dosa.
Leeks are vegetables that belong to the garlic and onion family. It is basically a larger version of green onions.
Even though it has lots of Folate, Vitamin K and Vitamin B, I guess because of its relatively localized availability, it didn’t reach the mass like onions and garlic and became a regional vegetable. It cannot be eaten raw like onions and garlic but once cooked, it has a mild onion flavor with a slight hint of sweetness. It perfectly fits in sambar and is a great onion replacement.
How To Use Leeks
Buy leeks which have dark green leaves with a white bottom. Yellow ones are not that good. Basically, like green onion, we use only the white and pale green part.
- Chop the top layered part and wash them well in cold water.
- Remove the bottom edge too.
- Then either chop them length-wise or in rounds.
- For this sambar, I chopped them in rounds.
Now coming to sambar, usually we grind coconut or use coconut milk in sambar. But in this version, I just sauteed it along with leeks and it turned to really good.
- Leeks – 2 cups
podi/powder – 1 tbsp heaped approximately 1.25 tbsps
- Toor dhal – 1/4 cup
- Turmeric powder – 1
- Coconut – 2 tbsps
- Tamarind paste – 1 tbsp (leveled) or 1 small gooseberry size
- Water – as needed
- Salt – 2
- Rice flour – 2
- Chopped Cilantro – for garnishing
- For tempering:
- Oil – 2
- Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
- Methi Seeds – 1 tsp
- Hing – ¼
- Curry leaves – 1 strand
- If you are using tamarind, soak the tamarind in lukewarm water for about 30 minutes and extract 1 cup of juice. If you are using paste, mix 1 tbsp of tamarind paste in 1 cup of water and set aside.
- Pressure cook ¼ cup of
toordal with 2 cups of water and once it is cooled down mash it well and set aside.
- Mix the sambar
podiin 1 cup of water and set aside. Mixing with water and adding ensures that there are no lumps.
- Clean and chop the leeks as mentioned above.
- Heat the pan or
kadaiand add oil.
- Once the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds and methi seeds and
- As they start to splutter add the curry leaves and chopped leeks.
- Sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Now add the 2 tbsps of grated coconut and mix well. Sauté for a minute and then add the tamarind water/extract.
- Add salt and mix well. Let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Then add the sambar powder mixed water and mix well. Let it simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the mashed
toordal mix and add 1 cup of water depending upon the consistency.
- Bring it to a boil and check for salt at this stage. If you need thick consistency, mix 2
tspsof rice flour in 2 tbsps of water and add it to the sambar and bring it to boil. If you need thin consistency, add more water and bring it to a boil.
- As it starts to boil, turn off the heat. Garnish it with cilantro and serve hot with rice or any tiffin items.
- Grated coconut is completely optional. But it adds nice flavor and texture.
- You can add veggies of your choice.
- A small piece of jaggery can be added. As I didn’t add too much spice, I skipped the jaggery this time.
- Also while tempering you can add a couple of red chilies.
Image credits: Vidhya
Endives were something I had frankly never seen till it came in my farm box. When I googled for what to make with it, all the recipes were for eating them raw. Endive boats filled with something or the other. Now for a regular weeknight dinner, endive boats and stuff are too fancy for our family and we did not have a dinner party planned anytime soon. So this is the recipe that I came up with to use it up. We loved it! The Endives are sweet like cabbage with a hint of bitterness when cooked, nicely offset by the shredded carrots in the recipe.
Looking for Endives? Trader Joe’s has a 3-pack.
1 can of chickpeas
3/4 shredded carrots
1 tbsp Avocado Oil
2 Garlic Pods
Half an Onion
Less than a handful of Cilantro
1 tbsp of Pav Bhaji Masala
1/2 tsp of Cayenne Pepper
- Heat a pan with Avocado oil. Toss in Garlic and Onion and let them roast.
- Cut the Endives length-wise and toss them in as well. Cook everything until translucent
- Open and wash a can of Chickpeas. Toss them in as well, I usually don’t use the brine that it was in.
- Add shredded carrots
- Add Pav Bhaji Masala and Cayenne Pepper.
- Cook till everything blends together
- Serve with Naan or Farro.
Perfect with some White wine and some House of Cards binge-watching!
Image credits: Preethi