Vegetarian food may sound bland, but it needn't be. Plenty of aromaticssuch as onions, garlic, a small amount of spices and fresh herbscan make a world of difference.
For this vegetable dish, a mini-food processor can finely mince the aromatics in no time. I find the tiny pieces of garlic and ginger yield a nice mellow flavor in little cooking time. Ultimately, the spice level in any recipe is a matter of taste, so be judicious. And always add the fresh herbs at the end.
There, oh-so-not-boring vegetarian food.
Indian Spiced Chard and Potatoes
Active Work Time: 15 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Serve this with basmati rice.
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup minced onions
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons minced ginger root
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 bunch white Swiss chard, leaves and stalks thinly sliced
3/4 pound small new potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup vegetable broth
2 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring just until they start to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cardamom, salt and cayenne. Cook, stirring, until the garlic, ginger and spices are very fragrant, about 2 minutes.
Add the chard, potatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Active Work and Total Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Look for black mustard seeds at Indian markets.
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 small dried red chile
1/8 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/8 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
Combine the coconut, red chile, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sugar and about 2 tablespoons of water in the bowl of a food processor. Process just until the ingredients are well combined and are just starting to form a coarse paste, about 15 seconds.
Toss the coconut mixture with the mangoes and chill.