Sunday, October 14, 2007

Vegetarian Rogan Josh & My Life in Fours

What do you call a situation when you look at a cookbook and discover you have every single ingredient the recipe calls for?

A miracle.

What do you do when you realize, after pledging to stay true to the recipe, that it calls for deep frying?

A. Chicken out
B. Compromise: Don’t fry at all – use the vegetable directly/ bake it and then proceed with the recipe
C. Stick to the recipe in the interests of authenticity.

From the above multiple choices, I chose C.

The recipe is from The Pleasures of Kashmiri Cookery by Anu Wakhlu (Hind Pocket Books, 1995). The dish is called Parim Al Roganjosh (Red Pumpkin in Roganjosh Style). I didn’t change a thing. The introduction to the book says the oil traditionally used is mustard but that refined oil is also used now – I used one which was a mix of sunflower and rice bran.

Red Pumpkin – 500 gm
Oil - for deep frying + 2 tbsp
Beaten curd/yoghurt – 1 tbsp
Aniseed/Saunf powder – 1 tbsp
Ginger Powder (Sonthi) – ½ tbsp
Salt to taste
Red Chilli Powder – 1 tbsp
Cloves – 2
Asafoetida water – 3-4 drops
Water – 1 cup
Oil – 2 tbsp

Peel the pumpkin and cut into pieces.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and deep fry the pumpkin to golden brown (actually, mine stayed a golden yellow).

In another pan, heat 2 tbsp of oil.

Add the asafetida water and let it fry. (Careful, it splutters and sizzles like crazy.)

Add the pumpkin pieces and fry well.

Add the chilli powder and 1 tbsp of beaten curd and mix well till a red colour appears.

Add the other spices and mix well.

Add 1 cup of water and cover the pan.

Simmer for about 20 minutes till the vegetable is cooked and the gravy thick.

This resulted in a mild curry.

Sig of Live to Eat has tagged me for this meme. I wish my life was as full of travel as hers, or my meme as delightful, but here goes:

4 Places I’ve lived


4 jobs I’ve (NEVER) had

Food & travel writer
Award-winning novelist
Fat-advance-bagging novelist
Gazillionaire rich witch

4 favorite places I’ve holidayed

Matheran, Maharashtra – For the memories, the serenity in our resort, and the reservoir nearby
The UK - For its countryside
The US – for New York, for Las Vegas
Goa - For many of its quiet, isolated forts and churches

4 favorite foods

Now this is tough!

The ‘stir-fried bean sheet with vegetables/shrimp’ that I get at a Chinese restaurant down the road
Semiya payasam (Vermicelli in sweetened milk)
Jeedipappu paakam (Cashew-jaggery brittle)
Chikkudukaya koora (Hyacinth beans stir-fried), the way grandmothers/cook at home make it

4 places I’d rather be

In a home office
In a more ergonomic chair than the one I’m sitting in now
In a serene country cottage with vistas of rolling meadows
Travelling all over the world

4 bloggers I'd like to tag

Musical of Musical’s Kitchen
Sharmi of Neivedyam
Sunita of Sunita’s World
Jyotsna of Curry Bazaar


  1. hey wonderful veggie option and u did adapt it so well!! Loved reading your meme, u lived in guntur?? me too!!

  2. Now that would surely have tasted great! I totally love pumpkins! and cute meme, dear! I like the jobs part, they are all fun :). And thanks for the cute tag :). I have been doing just one kind of job, so i'll have to dream too ;).

  3. the situation u mentioned in the beginning, it happens to me many a time!!! Hope u find those jobs u have never had :)


  4. simple but looks great...and loved the part of what jobs u want than what u have...

  5. Your meme was a fun read:-)

  6. A very different and unusual recipe, since we eat a lot of Kashmiri food, a veggie roganjosh -I havent come across, but think will give it a try.

  7. I am alway on the lookout for different veggie recipes. This I think fits the bill perfectly. But do we have to deep fry? :(.

  8. What a tempting looking rogan josh! very interesting MEME. I too wish I was a fat (may be a bit slimmer) advance bagging writer! hehe

  9. oh yum... deep fried pumpkin, now that's something I've never heard of :) gravy has a great color..

    Loved the me-me... esp the jobs, first win an award, and then grab the huge advance checks, sounds like a plan :D.

  10. hey sra
    Cocum is used instead of tamarind in goan cuisine..their cocum is different from the kerala cocum...and no i have no recipes with triphal..
    More goan recipes will be blogged do visit my blog...I'm new in kind a getting a hang of it at a slow pace...

  11. The rogan josh looks very tempting...and the meme was not dull at did bring out a fond smile.Thanks for the tag, will try to take it up.

  12. Padmaja, thanks, yes.
    Musical, yes, me too, only one kind of job!
    Shn, thanks. No harm in dreaming.
    Rajitha, that was actually Sig's idea - I wouldn't have known how to handle that question.
    TBC, thanks
    Bindiya, do, like I said, it's from a Kashmiri Saraswat cookbook.
    Kamini, I really don't think so, just start with heating the 2 tbsp oil.
    Saju, naughty naughty! I too wish I was a slim fat advance-bagging writer.
    Sig, hey, never thought of it as a plan.
    Rachel, will keep checking, tks
    Sunita, tks, will look out for it

  13. so how did the dish turn out?

  14. Your 4 jobs that you never had made me laugh really hard!!! I've never had held them either. :-)

  15. Loved reading your meme, and also lovely pumpkin curry!

  16. I was enjoying this post so much till the end when I saw this surprise to see me getting tagged I smiled to myself:)
    first of all I loved the look of the gravy. would love it with some hot rice:)
    secondly I aslo lived in CBE and hybd! where and how long were you in cbe?
    I too love chikkudukaya kura my grandmom's way:) so many coincidence.
    it was real fun to read!!

  17. Love both ur meme and the pumpkin recipe..:D looks gorgoeus.. n even I wud have opted for Option C.. hehe..:)

  18. Oh veg roghan gosh good one indeed i don't know that we can deep fry pumpkin. Surely would have tasted heavenly.

  19. Sra, Zagillionare witch I would like to be one too , well just made stir fry bean chinese resturant style, that one will be dedicated for you on my blog when I manage to post it.Wish I had the same jobs that you choose too. This meme reminds me that I need to write my which you tagged a while ago.

  20. very fun to read abt your fours!..and pumpkin looks rich..

  21. Bee, it was very mild, thanks to all that oil, will update the post now.
    Thomas, wish I could laugh too! I sigh instead!
    Padma, thank you.
    Sharmi, I was there just for two years, late '80s, early '90
    Siri, thank you, welcome.
    Ramya, I tasted the deep-fried pieces before putting them into the curry, with a little salt, they would be nice.
    Sreelu, Sreelu, it's not beans, it's bean sheet, a kind of flat, broad noodle made of soya.
    Srivalli, thanks. it better look rich, with all that oil I poured into it! LOL

  22. Nice recipe to try with red pumpkin..Thanx for trying and sharing with us..:))

  23. have pumpkin, will try!!

  24. Mmm ... rogan gosh! *so* good! And it can only get better with pumpkin :)

    Ooo ... food and travel writer - that is a dream job! I'll take it any day!

  25. I have pumpkin lying in my fridge - will give this a try - but I am wondering if the deep frying would actually kill the taste of pumpkin - somehow I don't think pumpkin and deep frying can go together.

  26. yum recipe. pic looks gr8. thanx 4 sharing

  27. i would so like to try this dish :) wonder how fried pumpkin tastes! nice meme!

  28. Pumpkin Rogan Josh looks yum!! Should have saved this for Kashmir RCI!
    LOL @ the jobs you never had! Like the last one!!HeHe!

  29. sra.....liked ur pumpkin rogan josh dear....and an interesting meme....loved reading it....hey so u were in hyd native is hyd........
    hope u liked that place :-)

  30. Chicken out is an interesting choice for a vegetarian meal. ; ) Sra, pumpkins are one of the most versatile and healthy veggies you eat. OK, so you deep fried them this one time.

  31. what a nice recipe, never had the dish..

    Loved the meme too...

  32. I love your jobs Sra. If you get one of them recommend me for the other 3 :)

    Veggie Rogan Josh !!!! definitely new and loved that color

  33. hey there, nice meme... and the rogan josh... doesnt the pumkin go all squishy after deep frying it?

  34. Hi Raks, it's a nice, v mild dish, try it!
    Raaga, so have you tried it?
    Kaykat, yes, that's a real dream job.
    Lakshmi, actually the deep frying gave it a mellower taste, but all in all, I wouldn't deep fry it again
    Swaroopa, welcome, and thanks.
    Richa, it tastes mild.
    Asha, didn't think of RCI - Kashmir, is there one?
    Sirisha, er ... I didn't like it much. Sorry.
    Susan, that wasn't intentional. Maybe unconscious, but not intentional.
    Seena, thank you.
    Sandeepa, (al)most certainly will
    Rachna, yes, it becomes soft, but if you're careful to turn it from the bottom when you're mixing it, it doesn't.

  35. Sra, hmm attribute that comment of mine to my ADHD,what is bean sheet? never ate/heard of it ?

  36. LOL "A miracle". But I know exactly what you mean. I hate when you need to buy some random ingredient that you know you'll never use again. It does look lovely though...

  37. I've been in numerous situations like that too....and yup, I end up sticking to the recipe too for sake of authenticity.

  38. 'a miracle'. i know what you rarely happens that i have all the required ingredients and in the appropriate quantities.
    would love to try the veggie version of this classic dish.
    looks good.

  39. Pumpkin rogan josh sounds yummy! And perfect for fall!

    And, a great meme! I love Matheran, too! Itused to be very idyllic. I've heard that it is not like that anymore. :-(

    And right after such a great meme, you've been tagged for yet another one. Play along whenever you can!

  40. did u say pumpkin???? thats one thing we get in abundance at this time of the yr and i just love it:)
    Gazillionaire rich witch eh???? wish i was the one;)

  41. Skipped the deep frying and made this with Ash Gourd (ash gourd oozes so much water, it would be insane to deep fry) - loved the taste.

  42. I'm always hesitant to fry as well, but sometimes, you just gotta. :) And I NEVER have all the recipe ingredients.

  43. Sra, when it comes to foods you like to eat and places you'd rather be... I think we're in sync. Not totally but mostly :)

  44. Hi Sra,
    Iam back... veg rogan josh looks great... I too would have chosen the choice c and good u made that too.
    nice meme too.

  45. Sra, I found Pomelo in the grocery store last week, I would not have paid much attention if you had not blogged about it, it is different from grape fruit for sure more tart than bitter.

  46. Yes, it is a miracle when all the ingredients are at hand!

  47. Sreelu, Mallika, Nabeela, The Cooker, Manisha, Sia, Indo, Cynthia, Prema, Lakshmi, Susan, BC, thank you all for the comments - can't reply individually as am having problems with Internet connectivity.

  48. Loved your meme!:) Pumpkin recipe is good!:))

  49. Sra,

    I just had to try this recipe (sort of) and then of course I just had to blog about it.

    Just posted my entry, and of course linked back here with due recognition.

    Thanks for the inspiration!


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