This recipe immediately takes me back to my childhood memories of attending Indian weddings. Tawa sabji is always a stable for any wedding menu.
Coming to Bangkok, this one thing I miss the most: Indian weddings and a widespread buffet with it!! I cannot really recreate the complete extensive menu at home but also try to remake some of them. One of such recipes is Tawa sabji: assorted grilled vegetables served with spicy, thick and flavorful gravy.
I tried a couple of recipes available online and tried my variations on them. One of the best recipe I came up with is shared here:
You can use seasonal vegetables available or vegetables of your choice. I used following:
Eggplant/ Brinjal (small, cut in half. if its very small, you can use it as whole): 5
Karela/ bitter gourd: 5
assorted capsicum: 1/2 cup
small onion: 4 ( I couldn’t find smaller ones so I cut 1 bigger into 4 smaller pieces)
Baby Potatoes (peeled): 4 (again I couldn’t find baby potatoes so cut 1 in cube sizes)
Baby corn (cut in 3 pieces): 4
Paneer/ cottagecheese (cubed): 1/2 cup
Oil/ butter for pan grilling
Now, it has 2 steps,
Red chili powder: 1 Tbsp (make it 1.5 if you like spicy)
Coriander powder: 1 Tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1/2 Tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 Tbsp
Fennel powder: 1/2 Tbsp
Garam masala: 1 Tbsp (make it 1.5 if you like spicy)
Cinnamon powder: 1 tsp
Cardamom powder: 1 tsp
Mace and nutmeg powder: 1 tsp
chat masala: 1 tsp
hing (asefoetida): pinch
For wet gravy:
Oil: 1 Tbsp
Butter: 2 Tbsp
Ghee (optional): 1 tbsp
Cumin: 1 tbsp
Onion (finely chopped): 1 cup
Ginger garlic paste: 1 Tbsp
Tomato (finely chopped or puree, I used puree): 1 cup
Curd: 1/2 cup
cream/ half-half/ milk: 1/4 cup ( if using cream use lesser quantity)
Kasuri methi (optional but highly recommended): 1 Tbsp
Take all the vegetables and cut in same sizes. Heat the pan and add some butter or oil. I used oil for grilling. Grill all the vegetables one by one till they are cooked and color turns golden brown.
This is how my assortment looked when all vegetables were done:
Now, for gravy, first of all mix all dry ingredients. Generally, we don’t buy dry powder for spices like mace and nutmeg or cinnamon etc. Even I don’t. I prefer making it fresh as required in my mortar and pastle. Mix all dry ingredients and keep aside. You can make it in bulk and save some for later.
Make powder for elaichi, mace, nutmeg etc.
Add other dry powders
This is what it looks like :
We’ll need around 1/4 cup of this mixture so if it comes out more than that, you can save it for your next feast!
Coming to the main gravy,
Heat pan and add butter to it. You can also use oil but I recommend butter as it adds to the flavor.
Add cumin and saute for a minute. add ginger garlic paste and onions.
Saute for 2-3 minutes till onions get cooked and turns slightly translucent. Now add tomatoes.
Mix and cook for a minute. Add curd to it, If you’re adding milk, add now. If using cream, add it later.
Cook it well till most of the water is evaporated. then add our magic powder. We didn’t add this powder in the beginning as we don’t want to cook it much else it will loose its flavor and taste.
Mix it well and let it cook for few minutes. add cream. Cook it for some more time. Add ghee and kasori methi.
Cook it for a minute and see if it has your desired consistency. You can add some water if its too thick.
Serve it over a hot pan with the grilled vegetables.
Add some butter/ ghee to the heated pan before placing gravy and vegetables for an extra aroma!
Serve it with home made tandoori rotis or naan!