February 25, 2009
Cleaning the fridge with labra
You know how it happens, I buy a bunch of different vegetables, cook a few and there is just a little bit of it sitting in the fridge for the next few days. Before I know, there is a little bit of pumpkin, radish, potatoes, eggplant etc in different bags. I was in one of my cleaning moods and wanted to get rid of these little bags. So I decided to make labra.
Labra is a classic Bengali dish which is a mix of different vegetables delicately flavored with panch phoron, little bit of ginger and really brings out the flavor of the vegetable. I think it is a great way to use these leftover vegetables and if you ask me "you can make labra with anything you have in your fridge".
Ingredients: (serves 2-4)
1/4 pumpkin - chopped
2 potatoes - skinned and chopped
3-4 radish - chopped
1/2 eggplant - chopped
2 medium carrots - chopped
1/4 medium cauliflower - chopped in small florets
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 tspoon panch phoron (panch phoron is a mix of five spices: fenugreek, mustard, cumin, nigella and fennel seeds)
1 1/2 tspoon ginger - grated
1 green chilli
1 dry red chilli
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tspoon cumin seed powder
1/4 tspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 tbspoon oil
up to 1/4 cup water
bunch of cilantro - chopped for garnish (optional)
Take a deep bottomed ban in which all the vegetables will fit. Heat oil and temper it with panch phoron, ginger, bay leaf and the chillies. Then add all the vegetables one by one and saute it for 2-3 minutes.
Then add the turmeric powder, cumin seed powder, salt and water and let it cook on medium low heat on closed lid for 10-12 minutes. Add more water if needed. Keep mixing it every 3-4 minutes to check. The water should all evaporate and the vegetables should all mix together.
Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rice, khichuri or rotis. You can also add boris for added crunch.