Sabzi Recipes

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Indian Style Black Eyed Pea Rice (Pulao Recipe) Recipe

Feeding a vegetarian crowd isn't as difficult as it may seem. I usually pair a legume with rice, which is the perfect balance for a vegetarian diet. I've been getting fresh black-eyed peas (also known as "cow peas") at the local stand, and instead of serving them as a boring bean salad, I incorporated them in a rice dish, flavored with Indian spices. I've made this dish in the past; it's called "pulao". Our family loves the burnt rice at the bottom of the pot, called "kurchan".

First, I sautéed black-eyed peas in onions, garlic, cider vinegar and red chili powder. They're very firm, so they take slightly longer to cook then the parboiled dried variety. I let them simmer until tender, then finished cooking them with steamed basmati rice and baby spinach.


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Pulao Recipe (Indian Vegetable Rice) Recipe

Pulao is an Indian rice dish filled with sabji ("vegetables" in Urdu). In this version, I flavored the rice with only three vegetables: lima beans, carrots and green peas. Lima beans are packed with protein and are very filling. The combination of lima beans and rice makes a perfectly balanced meal for a vegetarian diet.

I served this one-dish meal family style with raita or chutney on the side. This weekend, we prepared a large pot and everything was gone at the end of lunch time! My favorite is the fried "burnt" rice at the bottom of the pot, called kurchan.


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Indian Sabzi Recipe: Spicy Butternut Squash Recipe

Spicy butternut squash sabzi is an Indian vegetable dish made with cumin seeds, fennel seeds, ground coriander, turmeric, fenugreek, sweet and sour ingredients (mango powder, lemon juice and sugar), butternut squash and its skin. I know what you're wondering. Yes, butternut squash skin is edible; it's just a matter of taste. I discovered this while learning to cook Indian food with Baji, my husband Lulu's late grandmother. If the skin is cooked long enough with a generous amount of water, it becomes soft and tender. The skin also helps prevent the squash from falling apart and turning all mushy.

Butternut squash sabzi is traditionally served with puri (fried flat bread). Baji tried teaching me how to make puri and all sorts of Indian flat bread, which I always failed at miserably. I find kneading and folding the dough very tricky, so usually I ask Lulu's aunt, Sheerin Auntie to make them for us. She was over recently so we got to enjoy a nice meal of puri and sabzi. Everyone should have their own Sheerin Auntie!


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