Fall’s bounty – vegetable medley with paneer

I get a veggie basket every week and it is sometimes challenging to find time for cooking. Today was a good day. I came home with my basket and set to work immediately! Ended up with a great tasting vegetable medley that used up almost all the veggies in the basket.

Major ingredients:
2 leeks – the white parts chopped
1 large onion – peeled and chopped
2 zucchini – cut into cubes
1 large eggplant – cubed
3 bell peppers – sliced
2 large tomatoes – chopped
7 tomatillos – chopped
several assorted peppers including jalapeno – sliced
1 packet paneer – cubed
1 can cooked kidney beans – washed and drained
1 can tomato sauce

For cooking:
5 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon paanch phoran (equal amounts of fennel seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed, onion seed,fenugreek seed) In a pinch simply mustard seeds will do
3 whole red peppers
1 large tablespoon hot red pepper powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 tablespoon Garam Masala (you can buy this mix from a food coop of Indian grocery store; if not then equal amounts of cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, bay leaves, cloves can be ground to a powder in a dry grinder and stored for use)
Lemon juice to taste
Salt to taste

Method: Let the seed mix pop in hot oil and then add whole chillies, turmeric, chilli powder, cumin and coriander and half the garam masala powder. Stir and fry until fragrant, add onions and continue to fry. Next add the zucchini and eggplant and quickly mix in with the spices. The eggplant will soak up the oil and the mixture will be quite dry. Continue to stir and fry fr a few minutes then add the salt so the veggies start to wilt and release water. Next add the zucchini, bell pepper and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes until the veggies are half done. Then add the chopped tomatoes, tomatillos, and tomato sauce, kidney beans and paneer. Cover and cook until the veggies are done, turn over once or twice to mix well. To finish off stir in the remaining garam masala and lemon juice, mix and turn off the heat.

Best served with rice or pita bread/chapatis, but I also love to eat it by itself.


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