This dish is cooked in a slow cooker for about five hours so that the flavour of the sauce and the meat permeates the vegetables, making a hearty meal by itself. A great dish for family dinners, especially in winter.
Sausages 10-15, diced
Potatoes 2 large, peeled and diced
Capsicum 2, diced
Carrots 3 large, peeled and diced
Spring onions 8, diced
Milk 1 1/2 cups
Water 2 cups
Fresh cream 1 cup
Salt to taste
Italian herbs 2 tbsps
Cayenne pepper 1 tsp
Pepper powder 1 tsp
Tomato pasta sauce 4 tbsps
Cheddar cheese 250 g, duced
Coriander leaves, a large bunch, roughly chopped
Add all the ingredients to the slow cooker and cook for 4-5 hours till the potatoes are cooked.
I could never understand how much time my aunt would spend on making Vegetable Pulao, ensuring each piece was of the same size, blanching and frying each kind of vegetable separately and then bringing it all together to make the final dish. Till the Covid-19 pandemic locked us in our homes. I found myself enjoying the care in cooking and the precision of each step in the making of a dish. I learnt to enjoy the magic of botany and chemistry in the process of cooking.
Basmati rice 2 cups
Cauliflower 1 cup of florets, each 1” thick
Carrots 1 cup of 1” cubes
Frozen peas 1 cup
Potatoes 2 medium, cut into 1” cubes
Onion 1 medium, sliced
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Cinnamon 1” piece
Ginger 2” piece, crushed
Bay leaf 1
Peppercorns 1 tbsp
Oil 5 tbsps
Soak the rice for 20 minutes and drain.
Boil a pan of water with 2 tablespoons of salt and blanch the vegetables separately. Don’t blanch the peas.
Heat the oil in a iron pot — I use Le Creuset — and fry the onion slices till they are brown and keep aside.
Fry the blanched vegetables separately and keep aside. Don’t fry the peas.
Add the cumin seeds. When they stop sputtering, add the bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns.
Add the crushed ginger and sauté for a few minutes.
Add the peas and the drained rice. Add the fried vegetables and salt to taste.
Mix well and add enough water to cover the rice and 1” above.
Bring to a boil, reduce the flame, cover and cook till the rice is cooked and the water is completely absorbed.
Cooking Carrot Halwa or Gajrela will fill your kitchen with the most comforting smells. The aroma of grated carrot boiling in milk takes me back to my childhood, my son’s childhood, and winters in Delhi. For a healthier version, I use less sugar and skimmed milk.
Carrot halwa is good to have in winter as the combination of sugar and ghee helps to prevent chills. Carrots are full of Vitamin C, which can help boost immunity, something that is immensely useful during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Boil it with the milk on low heat in a heavy bottomed pan. I used Mother Dairy Toned Milk as I wanted to make a lighter version. In Singapore and Australia, I used Paul’s Fresh Milk. In the UK, I preferred to use Ivy House Farm.
Once all the milk has evaporated, add the sugar. Keep stirring after adding the sugar so that the carrots do stick to the bottom of the pan.
Once all the liquid has been absorbed, add the ghee. This will give a lovely glaze to the halwa.