Monday, June 12, 2006

You can Bake and Broil veggies too

Well, yes, yes, yes, I agree, It's high time I started blogging again. :) Here we are, in Toronto, slowly settling down. Moving to a new country is almost like starting your life, from scratch, all over again. Toronto is nice, it's much more crowded than what this I-prefer-suburbs-anytime girl is used to, but I guess it's ok in it's own way! :)

So, what's cooking in Kay's kitchen these days? Hmmmm... same old comfort food - idli, dosa, sambar, rice, dal, subzi, sambar, rasam, roasted fish etc etc....I love fresh rotis but I guess I have to do with store bought rotis for the timebeing. Anything new to share here? Yep... On one of those sudden whims to experiment, I came upon this neat way to make subzis.

Just like bake-and-broil works for meat and seafood like fish and shrimp, I tried it with vegetables. That too, frozen ones! and it worked. What I do is thaw a packet of frozen whole lady's fingers/bhindi (Shana brand) for 1/2 hr. I then line a baking tray with foil and grease it very lightly with oil. Spread the bhindi and bake for 5-10 mins. Then I sprinkle some chilli powder and salt and toss the bhindi with one more tbsp of oil and broil for 5-8 mins (Watch like a hawk while in broil mode; It just needs one unmonitored second to get charred!). Tada! you get bhindi which looks and tastes almost like fried bhindi.

I assume this would work for stuffed bhindi as well.

This bake-and-broil method has so far worked on
- frozen whole bhindis (shana brand)
- frozen sliced bhindis (shana brand)
- frozen gherkins/Tindora/Kovakkai
- Raw green plantains/Vazhakai (I half -boiled thickly sliced plaintains with a pinch of turmeric powder and then broiled them with chilli powder, some black pepper powder, salt and oil; no baking here! and it turned out very nicely)
- potatoes (put them in boiling hot water and left them for a min; then dried these in paper towels for 15 mins and then baked for 5-10 mins and broiled with necessary seasonings)
- Cauliflower (I used fresh cauliflower florets and followed the same method as above)
- Tarro root/Cheppankilangu(?) (Similar to raw green plantains)

The seasoning is usually red chilli powder, salt and 1 tbsp of oil. I've also tried garlic salt, pepper powder, lemon juice etc to pep up. These dishes go great with rice and dal as a sidedish or even with rotis. I'll post a picture, the next time I bake and broil some vegetables.

I'm yet to experiment with other vegetables like green beans, cabbage, etc... This bake-and-broil saves so much time and with a oven timer, you can't go wrong. I use the timer to monitor baking time as well broiling time. The first 5 mins broiling time require no monitoring but after that, you might want to hover in your kitchen and watch the stuff like a hawk, till it's done. Trust me! Charred stuff is neither tasty nor healthy!