Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Minerstone vegetable - desi style (Mixed vegetables with a twist)

Do you know the miner stone soup story?  As a kid it always fascinated me, that a stone could make such a tasty meal.  

The story goes like this..  A miner went from village to village during times of hunger and need.  He would ask the villagers for the largest cooking pot in the village, he told them he had a magic stone that created delicious soup, all he needed from each villager was a bowl of water and a small amount of edible ingredient they had stored away when times were good.  As expected, they had a variety of ingredients like dry roots and beets, dried corn and beans, some spices, hot peppers, some grains, etc..  He asked them to add it into the pot, he then added the magic stone and salt from his bag.  It cooked and he stirred and he tasted...  Finally, he asked them to bring their bowls and they all sat around the fire and ate their fill, saving the rest for another meal.  He took the stone, washed and polished it clean, then safely put it back in his bag and went on his way, he was happy the villagers would sleep with a full stomach that night and maybe learn something valuable from the experience.  Some did some didn't..  Did you? :)

Tonight,, we had my version of the minerstone vegetable minus his magic stone.  Its my go to recipe when I'm all out of dinner ideas or ingredients.  With 'Fall' in the air, all we got at the Sunday market was raw green tomatoes, heirloom colored bell peppers and large green bell peppers. Found some sorry looking carrots lost in the back of the refrigerator. In the freezer found a bag of frozen cut cluster beans and another of green pigeon peas.  So here goes..  it was delicious so I had to share.

Minerstone vegetable a la carte
with puffed paratha, dal and yogurt OR with steamed rice blended in
Vegetables used today
- 1 large Green Capsicum(bell pepper)
- 6 colored peppers the long variety used for salads
- 3 green (raw) tomatoes
- 3 sorry looking carrots
- 3/4 cup frozen cluster beans
- 3/4 cup frozen lilva tuvar (pigeon peas)
- 1/2 to 1 cup of water

 For Tadka(Saute)
- 1-2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp store bought ginger garlic paste (as I did not have fresh ginger which I would normally add grated or chopped fine)

For Seasoning
- 1 tsp red chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- a pinch each of cumin and coriander powder(force of habit)
- salt to taste

  1. Wash and cut the vegetables into small bite size pieces (~square or long doesn't matter)
  2. Take oil in a deep wok/pan with a lid, add jeera, cover and keep in medium heat until it splutters.
  3. Add the ginger garlic paste or grated ginger, cover and let it cook for a couple of minutes on a medium heat in the hot oil.. It imparts good flavor to the vegetable..
  4. Add the beans first, then the peppers, then the softer and easier to cook vegetables in that order.
  5. Add the frozen cluster beans and pigeon peas..  stir fry for a few minutes(3-5) till its thawed
  6. Add chopped peppers and stir well
  7. Add chopped green tomato and carrots, stir well.
  8. Add the seasoning(red chilli powder, turmeric, cumin and coriander powder) and mix well
  9. Add a cup of water, less if you have juicy vegetables like zucchini or ripe tomatoes, it allows the vegetables to cook evenly and create the yummy gravy.
  10. Cover and cook on high heat, when the water starts boiling
  11. Reduce to medium heat and cook covered, stirring occasionally until the beans are soft and crunchy(8-12 minutes).
  12. Cook without the lid for a few minutes longer(4-6). 
  13. Mix in some steamed rice or eat as a side dish with roti, paratha or naan.
This is my dysfunctional cooking a la miner style..  our sumptuous dinner was minerstone vegetable a la carte.  Kids choice, with 'Kawan' brand puffed paratha, tadka dal and plain desi yogurt.  Grownup's choice, we took it a notch higher, adding steamed rice to the vegetable with a touch of red chilli powder and a pinch of salt..  On the side, we had spicy mango pickle and plain yogurt.   

Do mix and match vegetables on hand to create your own special blend of 'minerstone' vegetable or soup.   I have tried a combination of the above vegetables, and also, bean sprouts, zucchini, frozen green edamame peas, frozen Chinese beans,... whatever is readily available in the kitchen.

Today's tip: Cook by taste and soon you will be creating delicious concoctions you can share with the world


  1. Absolutely YUMMY! I don't know when I will try this out but I did make 'Tomato rice'!
    Whenever I need a new recipe, I will be going thru your posts. :D

    1. Thank you! You are always welcome... try it out when you just have a handful of this or that or you have the miners stone handy! :)

  2. Yummy......Mix & match veggies always turn into something exotic!!!!!!! Yours looks delicious with rice or as a side dish.