Meals of memory

Veggie delights

Are you getting bored with your vegetable dishes? If you are, maybe it's because you are cooking the same vegetables the same way every time. Let's go over the different methods of cooking vegetables and pick up some new recipe ideas along the way.



4 medium sized carrots

1 medium sized capsicum

½ small sized cauliflower

½ small sized cabbage

100gms French beans

4 tbsp roasted peanuts

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp lemon juice

¾ cup thin coconut milk

100g bean sprouts

Salt to taste

For red curry paste —

4 inch stalks of lemon grass

2 medium sized onion

4 cloves garlic

8 red chillies whole

4 tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp cumin seeds

6 peppercorns

Salt to taste


Wash and peel carrots and cut into 1cm by 3cm long sticks. Wash capsicum, halve, deseed and cut into 1cm by 3cm long pieces. Wash and cut cauliflower into small florets. Wash and cut cabbages into 1cm sized pieces. Wash and string French beans and cut into 3cm long pieces. Crush roasted peanuts coarsely. 

To make red curry paste — wash lemon grass, chop onion and garlic. Mix whole red chillies, lemon grass, coriander and cumin seeds, peppercorn, chopped onion and garlic, salt and a little water, grind into a fine paste. Heat oil in a non stick pan and add carrots, cauliflower, French beans and half a cup of water. Let it cook on medium heat for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add cabbage and capsicum, mix well. Add red curry paste, stir well.

Cook on high heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Stir lemon juice and salt. Mix well and add thin coconut milk. Simmer for two minutes and stir in bean sprouts and crushed roasted peanuts. Serve hot with steamed rice.



1 medium sized cabbage

1 medium sized carrot

8-10 French beans

3 medium sized springs onions

1 medium sized capsicum

Salt to taste

¼ cup refined flour

¼ cup cornstarch

2 tbsp oil (to deep fry)

Sauce —

3 green chillies

1 inch piece ginger

4-6 cloves garlic

2 inch stalk celery

3 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp oil

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp tasting salt

Salt to taste

2½ cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp vinegar


Trim, wash and grate cabbage. Peel, wash and grate carrot. String French beans, wash and finely chop. Clean and finely chop spring onions. Reserve spring onions green for garnish. 

Wash, deseed and finely chop capsicum. Chop green chillies, celery, ginger and garlic. Blend 3 tbsp cornstarch in 1 cup of water. Mix grated cabbage, carrot and chopped French beans in a bowl and thoroughly rub in one tsp of salt. 

Add spring onions, capsicum, ¼ cup of cornstarch and refined flour. Mix thoroughly. Shape into lemon sized balls. Heat sufficient oil in a wok and deep fry the vegetable balls in small batches for 3 to 4 minutes on medium heat or until golden brown. 

Drain and remove onto an absorbent kitchen towel. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a wok and stir fry chopped ginger and garlic briefly. Add the chopped celery, green chillies and stir fry briefly. Add soya sauce, sugar, tasting salt and salt to taste. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Stir in blended cornstarch and cook for a couple of minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken, stirring continuously. Add the fried vegetable balls, vinegar and mix well. Serve hot, garnished with chopped spring onions greens.



4-5 medium sized Bitter gourd 

2 medium sized onion

1 inch piece ginger

5 cloves garlic

4 red chillies whole

1 tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1½ tsp oil

1 tsp white sesame seeds

¼ cup tomato puree

2 tbsp grated jaggery

2 tbsp tamarind pulp

Salt to taste


Wash, scrape and cut bitter gourd in half, length wise. Remove seeds and thinly slice. Apply salt and leave aside for 10-15 minutes. Wash with plenty of water, drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop onions. Peel garlic, and ginger and grind to a fine paste. Roast whole red chillies, coriander and cumin seeds, sesame seeds on a medium hot wok till light brown, stirring continuously. Cool the spices and then grind to a fine powder. Heat oil in a non-stick pan and add sliced bitter gourd and stir fry for 4-5 minutes or till slightly browned. 

Add chopped onions and stir fry for 3-4 minutes; add ginger-garlic paste and stir fry for 1-2 minutes; add tomato puree and cook for a few minutes; add ground powder, grated jaggery, tamarind pulp and salt. 

Stir well and add one cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat, cover and simmer for five minutes. Serve with boil rice.



400g tender ladyfingers

3-4 green chillies

1 inch piece ginger

½ tsp peppercorn

1½ skimmed milk yoghurt

1 tbsp Bengal gram flour

1 ½ tsp oil, 2 dry whole red chillies

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tbsp coriander powder

½ tsp turmeric powder

Salt to taste


Select tender and small okras. Wash and wipe them dry with an absorbent kitchen towel. Trim the stem and the tip. Slit the green chillies. Grind ginger with peppercorn to a fine paste. Whisk skim milk yoghurt.  Roast Bengal gram flour in a non-stick pan on low heat. Stir continuously until it gives a roasted aroma. Keep aside to cool. Heat oil in a pan, add whole red chillies, cumin seeds and stir fry briefly. Add green chillies, coriander powder, turmeric powder, gram flour and stir well. Add trimmed ladyfingers, salt to taste and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently for five minutes. Stir in the ginger and peppercorn paste. Reduce heat and add the whisked yoghurt, mix well and cook covered for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally or until okras are completely cooked.

Photo: Collected



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