Summertime is a great time to be cooking fresh vegetables right from the garden. No garden? Then, plan to make a regular trip to the local farmers market or produce stand several times a week for your fresh goodies. Isn’t it exciting to know that your dish is made with locally grown organic eatables that have been recently harvested? Be sure to check with each vendor to know how the veggies were raised and that they are organic.

Cuisine from India offers explosive tastes to the most basic mix of vegetables. Here are some delicious, exciting recipes to add a twist to your everyday menu. You will find these veggies are common to the majority of regions in this country.

Indian Curry Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • Head of cauliflower (1)
  • Vegetable oil (4 tbsp)
  • Ground turmeric (½ tsp)
  • Onion, minced (1)
  • Tomatoes, pureed (2)
  • Garlic powder (1 tsp)
  • Garam masala (to taste)
  • Sea salt (to taste)
  • Large lettuce leaves (approximately ½ head)

Directions

Start by preheating the oven. It should be to 350 degrees F. Remove the majority of cauliflower stem and then place the remaining entire head into a baking dish. Place this aside for later. Heat the turmeric with the oil in a frying pay. Use this oil and brush it across the cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in the preheated oven and bake it for 30 minutes. During this, saute the minced onions in two tbsp of oil in a frying pan. It should be medium heat until the onions are caramelized. Add the tomatoes and mix. From there, add the salt, garlic powder and garam masala. Simmer this for around 10 minutes. The lettuce should be placed on the serving plates with enough so that he plates aren’t showing through. From there, place the cauliflower on top and then ladle the delicious tomato curry sauce over that. This should be served hot.

Homemade Garam Masala Spice

The trick to making great Garam Masala is to buy the spices whole and roast them before they are ground. The roasting adds a deeper layer of flavor that buying pre ground spices do not offer. Making a batch at one time allows you to store some of this combined spice mixture for later use. It is best if stored tightly within a glass jar in a cool place for about 3-4 months.

Ingredients

  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Cardamom
  • Black pepper
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Nutmeg
  • Rosebud (optional)

Directions

Roast spices in a skillet in over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes or until they begin to color. Allow them to rest briefly. Grind together. You can use an extra coffee bean grinder set aside just for this purpose. Store in a glass container.

Stuffed East Indian Eggplant

Ingredients

  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Small eggplants halved lengthwise
  • Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Onion, finely chopped
  • Garlic, minced
  • Ground coriander
  • Vindaloo curry powder (optional)
  • Chili powder
  • Sea salt

Directions

Rinse whole eggplant and dry. Cut eggplant into halves. Remove the inside of the eggplant halves, while leaving 1/4 inch of flesh attached to the skin. Coarsely chop the scooped eggplant flesh and set aside. Using a large skillet (I like cast iron), warm up the ghee on medium heat. Add the minced onion and fresh garlic. Stir until the onion has become translucent and the garlic has softened – about 5 minutes. Add in chili powder, vindaloo powder, coriander, and sea salt.

Cook until you can smell the spices – around 2-3 minutes. Blend in the prepared eggplant flesh. As the eggplant softens, begin to mash it adding a small bit of water as needed to prevent burning. When completely blended, keep warm over low heat. Using a deep skillet or deep-fryer, heat the oil to 375F or 190C. Place the eggplant halves in the oil for about 5 minutes or until crisp. Remove and drain skin side out on a thick layer of paper towels lining a plate or pan. When drained, turn the halves over and spoon in filling. Serve hot and enjoy.