Come rains and people start to grumble that there is water everywhere!! That it is very inconvenient to travel etc etc.. Not that the rains make everyday life a bliss. It does bring havoc in certain regions. But it is the same people who would complain of the summer heat! For some it is the time to cozy up indoors during evenings, sipping hot tea. Its during this season that some local vegetables & fruits are available and some foodies like yours truly make the best of this season.
The winter makes its appearance and along comes a host of fun activities. Hot chocolate, lit fireplaces or snow activities in some places. Winters in India being sans snowfall people make the best of the cool weather. Many artists find inspiration in snow capped mountains or the winter scene in general. And remember the people I mentioned about earlier?? Your right, they try & find faults in the weather again!
But of course no season is free of havocs. The bottom line is people who call for attention by constantly nagging about the weather or the neighbors dog or the postman and so on, they will always find a way to do so how conducive the situation is!! Its not just the weather. These people are ace at finding faults in almost everything & everyone!!
And the others…well they try and make the best use of whatever is presented to them.
Now take your everyday fruits and vegetables. How a vegetable is cooked & how the same tastes when cooked in different ways.
The humble potato when boiled is soft & creamy, when thin slices are fried it turns crisp, when sauteed they turn crisp on the outside & are soft on the inside (depending on how long they are sauteed. And then there is the roasted version. It gets a nice smoky flavor & turn crisp and are even better tasting than the fried version. That is my opinion on my recent discovery.
Roasted Vegetables had been on my to-do list for a long time. But as I did not have a good recipe & a good oven then, this mission went from Mission Impossible to Mission Forgotten and now to Mission Successful!
This is one dish I know will often make its appearance on our lunch menus. After relishing these hot from the oven Roasted Vegetable, mom slowly says that she has one suggestion. That because everyone enjoyed it so much, she suggested I make it in larger quantities next time!!
Warm & spiced roasted vegetables
- 1 medium potato (peeled & diced)
- half a cauliflower (cut into florets)
- 1 firm tomato (cubed)
- 1 big red onion (cubed)
- 1 green capsicum/ bell pepper (cubed)
- 1 red bell pepper (cubed)
- 1 yellow bell pepper (cubed)
- 1 carrot (peel cut into semi thick round slices)
- 4 to 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp coriander powder (may add more as per taste)
- 1 to 2 tsp cumin powder
- 4-5 cloves garlic (peel & crush)
- 1 tsp dry mint leaf (optional)
- salt to taste
- Put the diced potatoes (potato chunks) in water (at room temp) & keep over heat & cook for 10 mins maximum to par boil. Potatoes must turn bit soft but not too soft that it disintegrates. Drain and pat dry on paper towels.
- Par boil the cauliflower in boiling water and par boil for 5 to 6 mins . Drain and pat dry.
- Chop remaining vegetables in shapes as mentioned under ingredients.
- Take a wide & shallow baking tray and put all the vegetables. Add the salt & other seasonings, crushed garlic, olive oil & mix to coat well. Arrange them in a single layer (add tomatoes last) and see that the vegetables do not overlap or not piled on top of one another.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C for 30 to 40 mins or till done. When cooked halfway, at about 15 mins, remove & mix once to ensure even cooking. When nearing done, add the tomato cubes, as they cook fatser.
- For me it took 45 mins. Some of the vegetables were ready by 30 mins. So I removed the few that were done and baked the remaining till roasted. It is done when the vegetables get few light & some dark brown spots.
- Serve hot.
May add more garlic if you like it garlic-ky.