1) us moving to another city in a corporate accommodation with a kitchen that was furnished with just the minimum necessities, and
2) us purchasing a small amount of grocery only for the 2 weeks I was there before I flew to Asia.
So all we bought was:
6 basic spices - cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder, and coriander powder
5 most used vegetables: tomato, spinach, potato, onion, and carrot
4 pantry items: sona masoori rice for dinner, flatted rice (poha) for breakfast, toor dal, and peanuts
3 pastes that I couldn't make on my own (because there was no grater, grinder, blender): garlic paste, green chili paste, and ginger paste
And of course the basic necessities: ghee, oil, sugar, salt, and milk.
And I pretty much did most of my cooking with just those items in the first week. That's when I learned how to make use of the minimum number of ingredients to cook stir-fry dishes (I couldn't make a gravy dish because there was no grinder)...
|Aloo Palak Stir Fry|
|aloo aur palak ki sookhi sabzi|
Dry Aloo Palak Subzi Recipe
What you need:
2 cup parboiled, drained, diced potatoes
4 cup packed, chopped spinach
1 Tbsp oil
2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder or lemon juice
red chili powder/chopped green chilies/green chili paste to taste
salt to taste
Parboil diced potatoes in a pot on stove-top for 15 minutes or in a microwave-safe bowl for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle a little salt when parboiling. Insert fork to check if potato nice n tender. If you don't parboil, you have to saute chopped, diced potatoes in oil and cover every once in a while so that it cooks in its steam. And keep an eye so the potatoes don't stick to pan or burn at the bottom. It's a lot of work, so I prefer just parboiling instead.
|how to cook palak aloo ki subzi|
2. Add potatoes, saute for a minute or two.
3. Add chopped green chilies if you have or skip this step and just add red chili powder later, or a combination like here. (You could even add any of the green chili/ginger/garlic pastes at this point.)
4. Add turmeric powder. Keep stirring to avoid potato sticking to pan. Ah, so much better to use nonstick.
5. Add spinach, mix.
6. Add red chili powder (if needed), coriander powder, and dry mango powder (or lemon juice), mix well. And if using nonstick you could add the spice powders (except dry mango powder/lemon juice) in oil and saute along with cumin seeds. But this steel pan sucks and spice sticks, so I add it all in the end.
Sprinkle some salt, mix well, cover the lid and take off the heat. Let the flavors get absorbed, then enjoy your Aloo aur Palak Sabzi with warm chapathi.
|Palak Aloo Subzi - Dry spinach and potato stir fry|
There's no fixed recipe; take the basic idea and keep going from there.
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