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Parsee-Style Wedding Stew – Khattu Mitthu Lagan Nu Stew

We Parsees are not known for our vegetarian dishes. Eggs, yes. Vegetables, no! I know many that will not even touch a green pea and in many cases we destroy  the very element of a vegetable by cooking it to death. So this is a rare and yet flavourful dish, which used to be served often at weddings, hence the name ‘wedding stew’. Enjoy with some chapattis. 

 

Serves 4 

Jaggery or raw cane sugar 100g (31/2oz) (or dark brown sugar 50g (2oz)) 

Cider or cane vinegar 150ml (5fl oz) 

Sultanas 2 heaped tablespoons 

Seedless dates 8–10, chopped 

Oil 150–200ml (5–7fl oz) 

Carrots 2–3, peeled and cubed 

Sweet potatoes 2, peeled and cubed 

Potatoes 3, peeled and cubed 

Yam 1 small, peeled and cubed (or turnip, swede or tapioca) 

Tomatoes 4–5, roughly chopped 

Onions 3–4, roughly chopped 

Ginger & garlic paste  1 tablespoon 

Ground turmeric 1 heaped teaspoon 

Ground cardamom ¼ teaspoon 

Red chilli powder 1 heaped tablespoon 

Curry leaves 15–20, preferably fresh, shredded; if using dried, soak in water 

for 10–12 minutes, and dry thoroughly before shredding 

Grated nutmeg ¼ teaspoon 

Green peas 200g (7oz), fresh or frozen, blanched if fresh

White pepper 2 teaspoons 

Chopped fresh coriander 2 heaped tablespoons 

Salt 

 

1 Soak the jaggery or sugar in the vinegar along with the sultanas and dates. 

 

2 Heat the majority of the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. One vegetable at a time, fry the carrot, the sweet 

potato, the potato and the yam until nicely browned, then transfer to a tray lined with kitchen paper to let drain. Frying 

will stop the vegetables from becoming too mushy and soft. 

 

3 Place the tomato and onion in a blender and blitz to a purée, or chop as finely as possible. 

 

4 Add the remaining oil to a casserole dish placed over a medium heat. 

 

5 Put the ginger & garlic paste in a small bowl, add the turmeric, cardamom and chilli powders and a few tablespoons 

of water and mix to form a paste. When the oil in the pan is reasonably hot, add this paste with the curry leaves and 

sauté until the paste dries out and starts to release more oil. 

 

6 As soon as that happens, add the onion and tomato pulp and continue cooking for 8–10 minutes, until the pulp becomes thick and sticky. Use a flat spatula to stir regularly and scrape the bottom of the pan. When little bubbles of oil appear, add the sultana and date mixture along with the nutmeg and cook for 3–4 minutes. 

 

7 Add a little water, if needed, to keep the mixture from drying out completely. Stir in the fried vegetables and the peas and add the pepper and some salt. If the vegetables are not quite cooked through, cover the pan to create some steam in order to cook further. Cook until the vegetables are done and still have some crunch. Fold in the coriander and serve. 

 

This recipe is from Simple Spice Vegetarian by Cyrus Todiwala