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Vegetables and Legumes in Balti Cooking ======================================= Baltistanis are definitely not vegetarians and they would never serve a meal without meat, poultry or fish. there is no reason, however, why you can't serve vegetable only Balti dishes. You can still mix and match, in true Balti style, to create your own interesting combinations such as aubergine and carrot with mushroom, or dhal with brocolli. In this chapter, i have looked at vegetables individually, vegetable by vegetable, and given single portion recipes which serve one person. If you want to make more portions, simply double or quadruple all quantities as required.
Lentils require rather more time consuming preparation and cooking, but as they are used a lot in Balti combinations, I've provided ten portion recipes, with the idea that you use what's needed and freeze the rest to use later.
Vegetable-only Balti Dishes
The idea is to select your vegetables and prepare and cook them as instructed in the AtoZ of Vegetables, and then combine them with the Balti Spice Base. (The recipe for these follow - IMH) You can combine any vegetables with any variation of the spice base - the choice is yours.
For _each person_ you will need 6oz (175g) raw vegetables (weighed after peeling etc) and 1 portion of Balti Spice Base.
Cooking Vegetables for Balti
There are three generalised methods for cooking vegetables for Balti ~ by boiling, by steaming, or by microwaving.
Method 1. Boiling
1 Boil ¼ pt water in a saucepan.
2 Dice the vegetables into bite-sized pieces 3 Boil for 3-4 minutes or until as you like it. Some vegetables, such as potatoes, turnips and parsnips may take longer.
4 Strain and use as required.
Method 2. Steaming
You can use Chinese bamboo tiered steamers held above a saucepan containing boiling water, a double saucepan, or, cheapest of all, a strainer simply placed above the pan.
1 Boil ½ pt (300ml) of water in a saucepan or double-boiler base.
2 Dice the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
3 Put the vegetables into the steamer tray, upper half of the double boiler or the strainer. Place over the boiling water, put the lid on and steam until just tender - or cooked to your liking.
Method 3. Microwaving
This is one of the best uses of a microwave. In no time at all, the vegetable is piping hot, yet minimal flavour is lost due to minimal water being involved in the cooking process.
1 Dice the vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
2 Place 2 fl oz (50 ml) cold water and the vegetables into a suitably sized, wide lidded non-metallic bowl.
3 Run the microwave for 1½ minutes. Test and continue until the vegetables are as you want them. A little water may be needed if it dries out.
Recipe - Balti Curry Cookbook - Pat Chapman ISBN 7499 1342 8 Submitted By IAN HOARE On 05-09-95