Down, but not out!
This offering is perfect for those cold days when every inch of your body is succumbing to the outside cold (well not much of that has been happening in the recent past, but you get the gist), and you want something to warm you up all over.
A large cup of hot chocolate with soy milk would be nice, but we do have other alternatives don’t we? This dish was prepared on one of those rare cold winter days this year, and goes great with bread, or over some basmati rice.
And the kicker? An absolutely low-fat and sugar-free vegan dish!
6 cups diced mushrooms
1 large red onion diced
½ red bell pepper diced
½ green bell pepper diced
16 large fresh basil leaves (12 of them chopped fine)
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp dry Italian seasoning
Salt to taste
2 ½ tsp oil
5 small tomatoes diced
1 tsp cayenne pepper
¼ cup warm water
I would recommend having all the ingredients in one place before starting the cooking process, so that you don't miss out on any of them.
Note: All the vegetables have to be diced into ¾ - 1 inch size pieces, and set aside in different bowls.
1. In a wok on medium heat add 1 tsp oil and saute the onion until it is translucent and sweet. Now include the tomatoes and continue sauteing until cooked.
2. Empty the contents of the wok into a blender and blend to a fine paste. Keep aside.
3. Add 1 ½ tsp oil now to wok on medium heat. Add the Italian seasoning, cloves, black pepper, turmeric powder, basil leaves, and cumin powder and stir for 15 seconds or so, till the spices get cooked and impart their flavor to the oil.
4. The mushroom, green pepper and red pepper go in next with the salt. Saute continuously for a few minutes on high heat and then mix the blended onion and tomato paste to this, cayenne pepper and ¼ cup water. Reduce the heat to medium.
5. Cook until everything is mixed well and vegetables are just done (crunchy but cooked).
6. Garnish with the rest of the fresh basil leaves.
7. Serve hot!
Enjoy this spicy and tasty dish, surrendering yourself to the Indian and Italian flavor fusion.