In March I had rushed to be by my mothers side when her recovery post a double knee replacement surgery which was supposed to give her a new lease on life went badly wrong.
She was put on a very strict diet and asked to avoid more food stuff than she could eat, besides the heat in Pune was killing and the numerous medicines made her terribly hungry and moody. Not to mention the times when she was in so much pain I regularly went in the room next door and sobbed my guts out into a pillow…
On one of the better days when she really wanted to eat something tasty and refused all the options I gave her my maushi (that’s we call mum’s sister in Marathi language – my mother tongue) saved the day by making her this simple yet delicious vegetable which was packed with flavour in-spite of having on onion,no garlic and no tomatoes which mum was not allowed at all…If you have someone at home who is being given blood thinner medicines to avoid blood clots you may be asked to avoid foods that contain Vitamin K which is a natural blood coagulant.
Since this was only for one person we took a handful of each ingredient and used spices as we thought appropriate to suit her taste buds dead with all those medicines. Please feel free to amp up the spice if you wish.
Serves 2 as a side or 1 as a main
Preparation of veggies and Cooking Time:45 minutes
- Cauliflower florets 150 gm
- sweet corn 50 gm
- carrots chopped into tiny cubes 50 gm
- green peas 50 gm
- Paneer cubes/Cottage Cheese 50 gm
- 2 bay leaves
- salt as per taste
- a pinch of red chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin and coriander powder mix
- a small pinch of ground clove powder
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- Finely chopped fresh green coriander leaves -just enough to garnish.
- In a pan take 1/2 tbsp of olive oil and sautee the bay leaves, clove powder and cumin and coriander powder for about 30 seconds.
- Add the sweet corn and cook for about 3 minutes with spritz of water on a very low flame with lid to allow the corn to cook well.
- Add the chopped carrot cubes and add water and cover an allow to steam for 2 -3 minutes on a low flame.
- Reason for cooking the sweetcorn first and then the carrots is that they will take longer to cook than the cauliflower and peas which will become mush in the vegetable if all these are added at once. To save time you could used boiled sweetcorn and carrot. Avoid canned and ready to eat variety.
- When carrots are almost cooked add the cauliflower florets ,green peas and season with the turmeric and red chilli powder and salt.Mix Well.
- Add very little water just enough to allow the veggies to cook well.
- When they are almost cooked after not more than 5- 8 minutes , add the soft paneer cubes and mix well and serve hot with a chapati fresh off the pan.
- Garnish with a tiny bit of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped.Ensure they are washed thoroughly to ensure no muddy bits are hiding between the delicate leaves.
Needless to say aai loved the bhaji and after almost 15 days of bland food she was really upbeat. Soon after she really began to recover at a desirable pace and was coming up with many of her own ideas to make delicious food with less oil, minimal spices and without any tomato. Cheers to you aai , you are a very brave person to have come out of such a bad health situation only a few months ago, to a point where you are 100% independent and cheerful as ever.God bless all those that stood by us and the few special people who came to help me in the hour of need, no questions asked, you know I love you people tons right ?:)
Disclaimer: Please note this is a true account of what my mum had to eat with her many food restrictions and is not meant to be treated as a medical advice for anyone following a diet where they have been asked to stay off Vit K .Please always consult your doctor before eating anything that is out of the ordinary for your condition.