A mid-week meal just has to be quick, like 30 minutes quick. And I have just the 30-minute vegetarian meal for you: ghee roasted vegetables — oodles of nutty, buttery, starchy flavour with the nutrition intact, in less toil and time.
Ghee roasted vegetables are quicker than the usual roasted vegetables as we’re not going to let them cook for long (except the potatoes — that does warrant longer cooking), we’re only going to bruise them lightly. That’s why we’re using beans and carrots, garlic and onions, apart from the potatoes that is (you’ll have to adjust the salt and pepper if you’re adding more vegetables). You could also add asparagus, beetroots, cauliflower and broccoli. If you want to add sweet potatoes and tapioca as well, you’ll have to boil them first, like the potatoes. Jazz them up with mushrooms and paneer if you wish (in which case, it won’t strictly be ghee roasted vegetables)!
For the uninitiated, ghee is a class of clarified butter. Clariefied butter is further boiled and simmered until the milk solids caramelise and it is then strained. It is typically used in the Indian subcontinent.
Now, why ghee? Because ghee is a staple in most Indian households, because ghee is good fat, contrary to popular belief, because we sometimes need a break from our regular oils. Ghee — good fat as it contains vitamins and essential fatty acids — has the milk solids removed (unlike butter) so it’ll go easy on your stomach if you are sensitive to dairy, and it has a high smoking point, and it has a lovely nutty aroma, that elevates your humble roasted vegetables.
Now, since we’re making this quick, we’re not going to get into the nitty-gritties of getting your roasted vegetables right. You don’t have to chop them up to the same size, you don’t have to turn them around mid way, and you don’t have to roast them for so long that they caramelise (although caramelised vegetables are heavenly — a post on that soon!). It’s going to be a breeze — you’ll see. Eat it hot 1. au naturel, or 2. top it with 2 tablespoons of chopped coriander, or 3. top with thick curds (natural yogurt) or sour cream or crème fraîche, or 4. sprinkle with blanched and sliced or ground almonds. You can see from the photos that I’ve made it a few times and each time, eaten differently. You can also serve it with a little pasta, if you wish, and a glass of wine. Enjoy! And do let me know how it turned out — use the hashtag #notjustspice on Insta, or tag me @notjustspice on Facebook or leave a comment below.
- 275 g potatoes 3-4 medium
- 150 g baby corn about 8
- 11 g garlic 4-5 thick cloves
- 200 g onions 1 big fat onion or 2 small ones
- 90-100 g beans or a big handful beans
- 200 g carrots 3-5
- 3 tbsp ghee
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 200 g paneer or cottage cheese, roughly chopped optional, and you’ll have to adjust the salt and pepper
- 150 g mushrooms, sliced thin optional, and you’ll have to adjust the salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200ºC (400ºF).
Wash and clean the potatoes with their jackets on (they taste better) and put them in a saucepan with water (enough to cover the potatoes with) and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Turn on the heat, bring to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
Use this time to wash, clean and prepare the other vegetables: chop the garlic, quarter the onion, let the beans and baby corn stay intact.
Line a big baking tray with parchment paper (for as easier clean up), or grease it with some ghee.
In a big bowl, toss the vegetables (yes, include that now half-cooked potato) with ghee, salt and pepper.
Place the pieces of vegetables on the tray, keeping some space between them, and place the tray in the oven for 25 minutes.
You could also add asparagus, beetroots, cauliflower and broccoli. If you want to add sweet potatoes and tapioca as well, you’ll have to boil them first, like the potatoes. Jazz them up with mushrooms and paneer if you wish (in which case, it won’t strictly be ghee roasted vegetables)! Equipment: A big baking tray.
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