Root Vegetable Stew

Picture credit:

Picture credit:

What do you do when you plan to eat seasonably, but do not want the same century old taste over and over again? You look for new recipes! And that is what I did, after a trip to the farmer’s market.

I had carefully checked the seasonal produce calendar for our region and bought home only those which were in season. I had turnips, carrots, parsnips and beets at hand, but did not want to repeat a recipe of traditional curry for an umpteenth time. I was craving for something different; something, which was nutritious and, of course, quick and easy. I am one of those people, who like to spend ‘less’ time cooking and cleaning, and more time enjoying it. I crave home-cooked food because I know what’s in it, it’s budget-friendly and cooking to me is a therapy.

With red, orange and off-white colours at hand, I was thrilled for trying out a new recipe. I went on Google to look up for some turnip recipes. The search results that it offered were not appeasing for my taste buds. But I wasn’t to give up. I then typed winter recipes. And an array of soups and stews options was delivered to me. Root Vegetable Stew… hmm… that seemed interesting… and so I was hooked. It was all vegetables (a treat for a veggie lover), and I had all the ingredients at hand.

Rarely do I follow a recipe as it is. I have to make some tweaks, because sometimes, something is completely off our dietary guidelines; and sometimes, the sugar or salt content is too high. Having said that, I now present the root vegetable stew recipe – with a twist!


1 cup carrot, peeled and diced

2 cups turnips, peeled and diced

1 cup parsnip, peeled and diced

5 plum tomatoes, peeled and diced; or 2 cans of diced tomatoes

¼ cup tomato paste

4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 bay leaf

4 teaspoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon chopped thyme

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar

1 ½ quarts vegetable stock (if store-bought, then look for low-sodium options)

1 cup millet or ½ cup couscous

½ cup coconut oil (or any other cooking oil)

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Take a wide deep pot, and heat the oil in it over medium-high heat. Add the root vegetables and turn them three or four times, until they are completely glazed giving out a rich colour. Season them with salt and pepper and add garlic as well. Keep the seasoning low at this point and adjust it later, if the need be.
  2. When it starts releasing its fragrance, add tomato paste and coat the vegetables. Stir for a few minutes and add diced tomatoes and thyme. Allow it to cook for 3-4 minutes, then add vinegar and bring to a boil. The heat should be medium-high.
  3. When nearly all of the liquid has evaporated, add the bay leaf, cumin, coriander, and crushed red pepper. Stir in the vegetable broth and adjust salt. Bring the liquid to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the millet or couscous, bring to a boil over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the vegetables are soft and the millet or couscous is tender, but still retaining its shape).
  5. Your root vegetable stew is ready to serve. Serve it with croutons or grilled cheese sandwiches.

This was the first time I added cumin or coriander to a soup. And I realised, it was not a soup but a stew. The tangy flavour of spices and the warmth of flavourful vegetables make this stew a welcoming meal.

Note: You can use the same recipe to turn this into a soup by not drying out much liquid. After step 3, keep the heat medium-low, add in millet or couscous and cook until the vegetables and grains are soft.

(Recipe adapted from Leite’sCulinaria)

Steak and onions with fried tomatoes

Image courtesy

Image courtesy


  • 3/4 lb. steak meat (beef)
  • 2 big tomatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • Salt, pepper and vinegar
  • 2 ozs. fat (oil or ghee) for frying


  1. Wash and slice the meat into four pieces.
  2. Beat them with knife on both sides.
  3. Put them into a bowl and pour 3 dessertspoons of vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and 1 teaspoon of salt. Mix them altogether and keep for 1/2 or 1 hour, so that they become soft and tasty.
  4. Slice the onion into thick round pieces and fry till they turn brown. Cut the tomatoes into two and fry. Sprinkle some salt and pepper on the fried tomatoes.
  5. Then fry the pieces of meat (all together) in the same Ghee. Turn them over after some time. If the water boils off but the meat is not ready, put some more water. Cover the frying-pan. When it is completely ready, and there is no water remaining, take it off. (Don’t discard the little liquid that has remained.)


Spread the pieces with liquid. On top of them, keep onions and tomatoes.

Cooking Fish

fishFreshness check: The fish should be stiff, eyes should be bright and the skin should be firm.

Method (skinning and filleting fish): Cut off the head and slit from the stomach right down to the tail. Turn it over, so that the skin inside is up and the bone is along the centre. Press on the bone to loosen it. Then turn it up the other way and take out the bone easily.

Three types of coating for the fish (to-be-fried):

  1. Beaten egg and brown bread crumbs.
  2. Flour and milk (first dip in flour and then in milk.)
  3. Dip into a coating of butter.

How to fry: Butter, olive oil or Kimbo should be used for frying.

Two methods of frying:

  1. Deep-fat frying.
  2. Shallow fat frying.

Large quantities should be fried in deep-fat frying, but care must be taken to see that the fat is never over-heated. If the fat is over-heated and is heating on an open flame, it can burst into flames and cause accidents.

In deep-fat frying, the fat should be made very hot, so that the fish fries easily and quickly. Butter is not suitable for deep fat frying, as it burns too easily. Small quantities of fresh fish should be fried in shallow fat, but better results are obtained from deep-fat frying.

For deep-fat frying, fat should be heated till a thin blue smoke rises from it. Pan should be 2/3 full of fat. The method of testing, whether the fat is hot, is to drop a small piece of bread into fat – if the bread goes golden brown almost immediately, then the fat is ready to be used.

The instructions for clarifying fat: The fat should be kept very clean and should be strained and clarified after every occasion. Put the fat in a large bowl. Pour over 1 kettle-full of boiling water and leave until the fat is cool and set or hard swimming on the water. When the fat is set, cut and scrape deposits from the underside. All the dirt remains at the bottom.

Potato Soup

Photo credit: Carolannie---eyewitness / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

Photo credit: Carolannie—eyewitness / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


  • 1 lb. of potatoes
  • 11/2 pint stock or water
  • 2 small onions
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 ounce fat (ghee or butter)
  • 1/2 an ounce of sago
  • 1/2 a pint of milk


  1. Peel and slice potatoes in thin slices.
  2. Peel and cut the onion into thin slices.
  3. Bring fat to boiling and cook the slices of onion in the fat for 5 to 10 minutes (make sure they do not discolour). Add the slices of potatoes and cook. Add stock or water and cook slowly for 1 to 2 hours, until reduced to a pulp.
  4. Rub the pulpy soup through a sieve or blend in blender until smooth.
  5. Bring milk and sago to boiling. Mix in the blended potatoes and onions and cook till sago is transparent. The soup should be the consistency of thick cream.

Option: You can use rice, instead of sago as well. In such case, follow this procedure: 20 minutes after stock has been added to onions and potatoes, add in rice. The rest of the recipe remains the same.

Potato Chops with Tomato Sauce



  • ½ pound mutton chops
  • 1 pound potatoes.
  • Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 1 oz butter
  • 1 oz milk
  • Oil for frying
  • Bread crumbs


  • Beat the chops until flat and boil in water with some ginger and garlic.
  • After they are boiled do NOT throw away the extra water.  Leave at least 1 cup of this stock.
  • Now take out the chops from the water and marinate them with vinegar, salt and pepper.
  • Put enough of each to make sure each chop in properly covered.
  • Boil the potatoes and mash them. Add the butter, milk and salt to taste into the potatoes.
  • Now cover each chop with the mashed potatoes leaving the bone of the chop uncovered.
  • Now dip these chops into an egg( salt and red chilli powder added) and coat with bread crumbs. Deep fry the chops until golden brown.

For the tomato sauce


  • Stock (left over after boiling the chops)
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 1 oz dried plums
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • Red chilli powder, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon ginger.


  • Take the stock left over after boiling the chops. Cut very small pieces of the tomatoes and add into the stock.
  • Now add in the dried plums along with vinegar, sugar, salt and ginger and the chilli powder.
  • Keep this mixture on a low flame to boil until the tomatoes become really soft. Now strain this mixture, and squeeze the tomato sauce leaving behind the peel.
  • Pour this sauce over the chops and serve hot.

Daal and Meat Curry



  • 1 cup yellow lentils (chana daal) (soak overnight)
  • ½ pound meat (with bone)
  • 4 cloves
  • 5 pods of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon ginger
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 table spoon curry powder (zeera,  dhanniya, crushed dry red chilli)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil.


  • Boil the meat in some ginger and garlic.
  • Cut the onion, ginger, garlic and chilli very finely.
  • Heat the oil and fry the onion in it until brown.
  • Now add in the ginger, garlic, chilli and curry powder.
  • Add in some water.
  • Add in some cloves.
  • Now mix in the meat with the spices.
  • After the meat is coated with the spices, put in the daal followed by a pint of water.
  • Leave this to cook over a medium flame until the daal is cooked.
  • 20 minutes before removing from the stove, add in salt and chilli powder according to taste.

Shepherd Pie

048 turkey shepherd pie


  • ½ pound mutton
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 tablespoons Worcester sauce.
  • 1 tablespoon oil.
  • 2 tablespoon ginger
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste.


  • Boil and mash the potatoes, add in salt to taste.
  • Mince the mutton.
  • Chop the onion very finely, and fry it in oil until brown.
  • Add in meat and fry for 5 minutes.
  • Now add in the ginger into the meat and onion. Keep stirring with a wooden spoon.
  • Now add in the pepper, salt and Worcester sauce into the meat.
  • Cook the meat until it is ready.
  • Grease the pie dish, Place the cooked meat at the bottom.
  • Now cover with a layer of mashed potatoes.
  • Make two holes in the centre and place into a moderately hot oven.
  • Bake until the potato layer is golden brown. It will take about 20-30 minutes.

Brain Cutlets



  1. 1 Brain (goat)
  2. 1 onion
  3. 1 green chilli
  4. 2 oz flour
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Pepper to taste
  7. 1 slice of bread
  8. Bread crumbs to coat.


  1. Clean the brain, wash it and boil it in water.
  2. Soak the slice of bread into water.
  3. Finely chop the onion and chill.
  4. Now remove the bread from the water and squeeze out all the water.
  5. Mix this bread into the brain.
  6. Then add the onion and chill.
  7. Now add the flour to combine the mixture together.
  8. Lastly add in the salt and pepper according to taste.
  9. Add an egg to the mixture only if you feel the mixture is not sticky enough.
  10. Take the mixture into the palm of your hands and form cutlets.
  11. Then coat these cutlets with bread crumbs and beaten eggs (salt and red chilli added).
  12. Now deep fry the cutlets and serve with ketchup.

Chicken-Potato Sticks


What you need

  • Chicken (boiled and cubed) – 2 cups
  • Potatoes (boiled and mashed) – ½ kg
  • Mustard – 1 tbsp
  • Chicken cubes (melted) – 2
  • Salt and pepper – 1 tsp each
  • Butter or margarine (melted) – 4 tbsp
  • Ice-cream sticks or soup sticks – as needed
  • Eggs (beaten) – 2
  • Bread crumbs – 2 cups

What you do

  1. Mix chicken, potatoes, mustard, cubes, salt, pepper and butter/margarine.
  2. Cover half of the soup / ice-cream sticks with the mixture.
  3. Dip in beaten egg and bread crumbs.
  4. Put in a fridge for half an hour.
  5. Take out and fry till golden brown.
  6. Serve with garlic sauce.

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Ginger Snap


  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of golden syrup
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 3 ½ cups of flour
  • ½ teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
  • 2 tablespoons of ground ginger


Take 1 cup of syrup and boil it in a sauce pan. Then add butter in it, and stir till the butter dissolves. Sift the flour into a bowl and put ginger, soda and sugar in it. Now, pour the mixture of the butter and syrup in the dry ingredients, until the mixture resembles a dough. Keep kneading it till it becomes soft. Do not put water. Then roll this dough and cut into any shape you prefer. Place these cut out shapes on a greased tray and place into a moderately hot oven. Bake it for 10 to 15 minutes, until you do not see them swelling a little. When they have turned to a light brown colour, take them out of the oven and allow to cool. Store in air tight containers.


American Cheese Cake


For Crust:
1/3 cup butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups finely crushed graham crackers (about 18)
For Cake:
3 eggs
1 can of condensed milk (not evaporated)
3 packs of cream cheese
2 tsp of vanilla exact

Melt butter, stir in sugar.
Add crushed crackers. Toss to mix well.
Spread evenly into a 9 inch pie plate.
Press onto bottom and sides to form a firm, even crust.
Chill about 1 hr or till firm.
Cheese Cake:
Mix all 3 packs of cream cheese together until smooth.
Then add condensed milk slowly while mixing.
Add eggs and vanilla and mix well until smooth.
Then pour it in the pan.
Preheat the oven at 350 degree and bake it until light brown.

Deep Dish Brownies


  • Butter, melted: 235 grams
  • White sugar: 415 grams
  • Vanilla extract: 2 tsp
  • Eggs: 3
  • All-purpose flour: 130 grams
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder: 60 grams
  • Baking powder: 3/4 tsp Salt: 3/4 tsp

  1. Preheat oven to 350F/175C.
  2. Grease a square pan.
  3. In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar and vanilla.
  4. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  5. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and gradually blend into the egg mixture.
  6. Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes, or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
  8. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares.



Vegetable Pakoras

Ingredients:veg pakoras

1 cup Baisan
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup waterVEGETABLES
1-2 green chilies, chopped
1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
1 potato, sliced 1/4 thick
1 small cauliflower, broken into very small florets
1 cup spinach leaves, torn
1 1/2 cups onions, halved and sliced

1. Boil the potato slices until *just* tender, being careful not to overcook.
2. Mix batter ingredients well. Beat in a blender for 4-5 minutes to incorporate air (this will make the batter fluffier). Let batter rest 1/2 hour in a warm place.
3. Add the vegetables and mix in evenly.
4. Deep-fry in oil until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately.
5. Serve hot with cilantro or mint chutney or cucumber raita.
(Source: – Recipe by Mrs R. Khan)

Minced Beef with Eggs

Ingredients:mincedbeaf and egg

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 40 g butter
  • 450 g minced beef
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 6 eggs
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Sweat the onion in the butter for about 10 minutes, until starting to caramelize.
  2. Add the minced beef and continue to cook, stirring, until the meat browns.
  3. Stir in the green pepper and diced tomato. Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Mix in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Cover the pan and simmer for about 8 minutes.
  6. Make six holes in the meat in the pan and break an egg into each space.
  7. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes, until the egg whites are cooked through. Serve hot.


Black Beans Salad

Ingredients:beans salad

15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained.
8 ounces can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained.
8 ounce can whole kernel corn, drained.
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup red onion
1/4 cup salad oil
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 clove garlic, minced,
shredded salad leaves
Tortilla Chips (optional)


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine black beans, kidney beans, corn, green pepper, and onion.
  2. For dressing, in a screw-top jar combine oil, vinegar, lime juice, sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic. Cover and shake well.
  3. Pour dressing over the beans mixture.
  4. Toss lightly to coat. Cover and chill for 4 to 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. To serve, line beans salad with salad leaves.
  6. Serve with Tortilla Chips (optional).