Broccoli Potatoes And Peas In Spicy Almond Gravy

This year began with lots of nostalgic memories for me.  I was able to connect to my friends and many family members whom I knew well during my childhood.  It was after my wedding, I lost connection with everyone and they moved to different parts of the world.  It was amazing to find them and see all the changes that each one of them had gone through. Thanks to facebook for bringing back and knitting the relationship together like a golden strand that carefully connects all the precious beads of memories in your life. 

Few weeks ago I got a phone number from my parents; it was the phone number of my friend who is a little sister to me and also my Dad's cousin's daughter .   They asked me to call her and informed me that she moved to US with her family.   We were connected through Orkut and later lost touch.  It took 16 years for us to get back in touch.  The first call to her was exciting and thrilling as seeing her in person. 

We talked for more than 2 hrs over the phone.  We shared lots of college memories together.  She used to give me ride on her bike and kinetic honda (a scooter) during college days.  I was her local guardian when we went to two different professional colleges at the same place.  I used to visit her and we sometimes had the train journey together back home.  She was good at cooking and experimented Biriyani once and invited me to have lunch with her.  Since we were also neighbors back home, I used to hang out with her in the weekends.  She was probably few among the ones I used to talk as I was very picky and choosy making friends.  I am so happy to be connected back to my little sister and friend.

It’s the Great Lent season, so all my focus is on vegetarian dish that is appealing to the eyes of my kids.  My kids are not too bad in eating veggies.  My youngest one is a veggie lover; he will eat veggies in their raw form or steamed form.  Hope he continues the good habit as he grows up.  The change in eating habits is noticed during the Teenage years.  I hear most of the parents say that kids prefer meat over vegetables during this period.  Broccoli is well received in my family by everyone.  So I decided to give a nice North Indian touch to broccoli this time.  This is my second experiment and I did put an effort to click some pictures to post the recipe.  Everyone loved the dish and I served it with Chapathi.  You can substitute cauliflower for broccoli if you like.  The lightly spicy and tangy thick gravy holds the north Indian flavors well and complements the cruciferous vegetable like broccoli or cauliflower.

3 cups - Broccoli florets
2 cup - potatoes cubed
2 - tomatoes pureed
1 cup - green peas
25 - almonds
2 - green chili splits
1 tsp - Kashmiri chili powder
2 tsp - coriander powder
1/2 tsp - turmeric powder
1/2 tsp - dry mango powder
1 - red onion finely chopped
1 tbsp - ginger garlic paste
1 1/2 cup - water
1/4 cup - cream/milk

4 tbsp. - oil

Whole spices
1 - bay leaf
1/2 - star anise
1 - small piece of cinnamon
4 - cloves
1/4 tsp - cumin seeds
1/4 tsp - fennel seeds

1 tbsp - chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp - dry fenugreek leaves/Methi leaves

  • Blanch the almonds by microwaving the almonds with 1/2 cup of water for 1 minute.  Let the water cool and remove the skin by just slipping the almond between your fingers.  Make a paste out of the blanched almonds by grinding with 1/4 cup of water.
  • Take a non-stick pan and fry the potatoes with 1 tbsp of oil and a pinch of turmeric powder and salt to taste.  Cook them till they are well done and attains a golden yellow color; remove from pan.  Like wise fry broccoli for 2 minutes with a closed lid and remove.  Now cook the green peas for a minute and remove from the pan.
  • In the same pan, add 1 tbsp of oil and splutter fennel and cumin seeds.  Lower the flame and add the whole spices and roast for 1 minute.  Add the chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and salt and cook till well sauteed.  Add all the powders and cook for another 2 minutes.  Now add the tomato puree and cook till the raw taste goes away.  Its time to add the almond paste and water.  Adjust the salt and cover with a lid and let it simmer for 5 minutes.  Add half of the vegetables into the gravy and mix well.  Cover and cook for 1 minute.  Turn off the flame and add cream/milk, chopped cilantro and mix well.  Top the curry with rest of the vegetables .  Rub some dry methi leaves between your palms and add it to the curry.  Enjoy it with any Indian flat breads.

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