SSI Case Manager Sanj Virk volunteered her time and skill at cooking traditional Indian cuisine at SSI’s Community Kitchen Diwaili celebration, recently.
Sanj said Diwaili, or Deepavali, was to India what Christmas is to Australia.
“It is an ancient Hindu festival celebrated in the northern hemisphere’s autumn each Year,” she said. “Since 1619, Sikhs also celebrate Diwali to mark the release from Prison of Guru Hargobind Singh Ji and 52 other princes with him. The festival marks the biggest celebrations in India."
For the occasion, at Community Kitchen, Sanj cooked a traditional Aloo Gobi Gajar, a traditional Punjabi main dish made out of potatoes, cauliflower, carrots and Indian spices.
Sanj comes from the Panjab Province in Northern India. She said she learnt to cook this dish by helping her mother while she was still at school.
“This is a traditional dish made with many variation in many households all over India and it is one of the dishes that my daughter likes best,” Sanj said.
Aloo Gobhi Gajar
2-4 Potatoes (depending on size) peeled and diced
2 fresh long carrots (diced)
1/2 a cauliflower (cut into small pieces)
2 medium-sized Spanish onions (diced)
1 big tomato or 2 small, medium diced
Garlic and ginger paste
1 tbsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1-2 tsp MDH Kitchen King Masala
Salt and pepper to taste.
Green coriander finely chopped for garnish and flavour (optional)
2-5 tbsp cooking oil / butter or ghee
Fresh ginger diced for flavour (optional)
Fresh green chili diced (optional)
Red chili to taste (optional)
Cook and prep time approx: 30 minutes
Dry roast the cumin seeds slightly in a pot or open pan. Add the oil, butter or ghee (minimum 2 tbsp). Add the diced onions and lightly stir until they caramelised. Add 1 tbsp of garlic and ginger paste to the mix and stir.
Once the mixture changes colour, add the chopped tomato. Add the turmeric, salt and pepper to taste and mix it in and continue to stir occasionally until the paste starts sticking together.
Add the potatoes and carrots and mix. About 1 tsp of ghee can be added on top or a diced cube of butter to give extra flavour to the vegetables.
Cover the pot with a lid for 5 minutes on a medium heat. Steam will help cook the potatoes and carrots so no water required but 100 ml can be added if gravy is desired.
Mix the cut cauliflower in and add 2-3 tsp of the MDH Kitchen King (or similar) Masala to the mix, along with the diced ginger and green chili. Cover the pot, lifting the lid to stir every 5 minutes for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Take the pot off the stove and sprinkle finely chopped coriander before serving.