A stunningly beautiful recipe, this restaurant style veg handi is sure to slay all your friends & family with its astounding flavor and combination of veggies!
I was not able to make the perfect mix veg curry until now. Then I came across this gorgeous dish which is found in almost all Indian restaurant’s menu – the classic veg handi. When I heard the name for the very first time, I could guess that it’s a mix vegetable curry but could have never guessed how remarkably delicious it is until I tried my hands on it in my own tiny home kitchen! And after trying this, I can shamelessly say that I love myself! I truly love myself for creating such an amazing restaurant style veg handi at home which could easily beat any of my chicken dishes at any given day! You see the quantity of this veg handi in the step-by-step slideshow below? That was only for two of us! And believe it or not, we finished it within a day! Our lunch and dinner consisted of only this incredible veg handi or whatever fancy name you could give it which anyways can’t do enough justice to this delicacy.
There are ample veg handi recipes available on net and after going through almost infinite number of such recipes, I chalked out mine. Mostly veg handi contains paneer but I skipped it in mine for couple of reasons – firstly I love paneer when it doesn’t get overpowered with anything else and in veg handi there is no one ingredient which dominates – it’s an amalgamation of all veggies creating a perfect harmony. Secondly, the veggies I used, like baby corns, cauliflowers, carrots, potatoes etc are mostly hard and I was worried that the soft cubes of paneer will get crumbled under them. So, I simply played safe. Trust me you will not miss paneer in this veg handi; but if you do, you can check out my matar paneer recipe to curb that irresistible craving of paneer at the moment!
I am not sure about the origin of veg handi but what I am sure about is that it’s not a familiar dish in Bengali households. I had never heard of it during my childhood; but that’s really a bad miss, I must say! This recipe has so much to offer in terms of taste, flavor and nutrition all in a single dish – this would be a perfect treat for those who are not veggie lovers. Wondering how? All the veggies in this veg handi get an ultimate makeover and transform themselves to something so incredibly delicious that the supreme veggie-hater will also get hooked to it and that’s a guarantee from me! I have witnessed the same myself when I watched my hubby relishing this super-addictive veg handi with utmost excitement even when he is much more inclined towards non-vegetarian delicacies! So just be assured that this restaurant style veg handi will be loved and enjoyed by all.
The mushrooms I used in this recipe are button mushrooms which is our favorite type of mushrooms among all. But as you all too might have faced similar situations like me with mushrooms, I thought of sharing an important piece of information which I have learnt very recently and have helped me save tons of mushrooms from getting spoiled. Once you get the fresh mushrooms from market, take them out from the pack they come in and rub off all the dirt using a damp kitchen towel. Then store them in a brown paper bag and lightly close the top; do not pack them tightly. Put this packet of mushrooms in the refrigerator and it will be good for at least 5 days guaranteed. Doesn’t it sound like magic? It really is and I am happy now that I won’t be wasting any more mushrooms from now on. Hope this helps you too! On that note, I will leave you for the day with the classic recipe of restaurant style veg handi. Do let us know how it turned out in your home kitchen in the comment section below!
- Mustard oil – ¼ cup
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Bay leaf – 1 or 2
- Onion – 2, large
- Ginger paste – 1 tbsp
- Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Green chili – 2
- Tomato puree – 1 & ½ cup
- Baby corn – 200 gms, about 8-10, cut into 1 inch long pieces, steamed until ¾ done
- Carrots – 2 to 3, cut into 1 inch long pieces
- Potatoes – 2, medium, cubed
- Button mushrooms – 200 gms, halved lengthwise
- Cauliflower florets – 1 cup
- Fresh green peas – ½ cup
- Turmeric powder – 1tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 2 tsp
- Coriander powder – 2 tsp
- Garam masala – 2 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Unsalted butter – 2 tbsp
- Yogurt – ¼ cup
- Fresh cream – ¼ cup
- Kasroori methi – 2 tsp, crushed
- Fresh coriander leaves to garnish
- Cut one onion into thin slices. Cut the other onion into dices and separate the scales. Set them aside.
- Heat the mustard oil in a kadhai/wok. Once the oil is hot, temper it with cumin seeds and bay leaves. Sauté them for few seconds.
- Next add the sliced onion and fry them until they turn golden brown.
- Next add the ginger & garlic paste and green chilies. Sauté them for couple of minutes until the raw smell is gone.
- Then goes in the tomato puree and cook it on medium-low heat until the moisture dries up and oil starts to release.
- Now add the powdered spices – turmeric, red chili, coriander and garam masala. Also add the sugar and mix everything well.
- After all the spices are incorporated, add the butter and let it melt into the masala. Keep stirring during this time to save the butter from burning.
- Now goes in all the veggies one by one – steamed baby corns, diced onion, diced carrots, cubed potatoes, halved button mushrooms, cauliflower florets and fresh green peas. If you are using frozen green peas, do not add it at this step.
- Stir all the veggies together to combine with the spices and sauté them on medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes. This will build the flavor; so, do not skip this step. Keep stirring in between to ensure spices do not stick to the bottom of the kadhai.
- Then add about 2 cups of water and season with salt to taste. Bring the water to boil on high heat, then simmer and cover the pan. Let all the veggies cook completely. This could take anywhere between 20 to 30 minutes. Check the doneness of the veggies in between by poking some pieces with the edge of a wooden spoon.
- While the veggies are being cooked, mix the yogurt and fresh cream in a bowl and add a pinch of salt. Whisk them well.
- When the veggies are all cooked as per your liking, pour the yogurt-cream mixture on top. [Also add the frozen peas at this stage before adding the yogurt-cream.]
- Sprinkle the crushed kasoori methi and mix everything well. Check and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Finally adjust the consistency of the gravy as per your liking – if it’s too thick add some more water and bring it to a rolling boil. If the gravy is too watery, boil off the excess until you reach your desired consistency.
- Garnish the restaurant style veg handi with freshly chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with plain rice or paratha. Enjoy!