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Indian Ratatouille with 5 Spices
Panch phoran, the signature five-seed blend used in Bengali food, is magical. Versatile and easy to use, its distinctive flavour is perfect in both Indian and non-Indian dishes.
2 dried Indian red chiles, broken in half
2 bay leaves
1 tsp panch phoran
2 tbsp oil
1 lb eggplant, cut into (5 cm) pieces
1 lb potatoes, peeled & cut into (4 cm) pieces
8 oz butternut squash, cut into (5 cm) pieces
2 to 3 tsp chopped green chiles
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp salt or to taste
1⁄2 tsp granulated sugar
1 cup frozen peas
In a small dish, combine red chiles, bay leaves and panch phoran.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat until very hot. Stir spices into hot oil and sauté until seeds stop popping, 30 to 40 seconds. Immediately add eggplant, potatoes and squash and mix well.
Add green chiles, milk, salt, sugar and 3⁄4 cup (175 mL) water. When mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to medium. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add peas and simmer until water is absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve hot with an Indian bread.
Excerpted from Easy Indian Cooking, 2nd Ed. by Suneeta Vaswani © 2013 Robert Rose Inc. www.robertrose.ca Reprinted with publisher