Simple Vegetarian Meal: Nimona, Rotis, Dahi and simple onion-salad dressed with lime juice, salt and finely chopped green chillies.
Nimona is one of those quintessential dishes from Varanasi/ Benaras. It is also made in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. It varies slightly from region to region and every family has its own preference. There are different verisons of the same dish made according to occasion: removing some and adding another.
My version is courtesy G's mother. I have used onions and ginger-garlic paste in this recipe and omitted a couple of other like garam masala. My other favourite version is from Sangeeta's Banaras Ka Khana. This recipe goes to Priya's Bookmarked Recipes-Every Tuesday Event. Have done both versions here: one with a tempering of red chillies, onions and cummin seeds and the other with just heated ghee, slit green chilli and a pinch of asafoetida.
One can reduce the 'heat' and 'spicing' in this dish by removing the black pepper powder. This version is reduced to a thick texture, perfect for a rotis; add more water to serve along with rice.
Simple vegetarian thali: Nimona, Onions and Tomato salad, thick yogurt, rice and rotis.
2 Cups of frozen, thawed, Green Peas
2 small hot green chillies, chopped
1 tsp Cummin seeds
1/4 tsp fennel seeds
A pinch of Shahjeera/ black cummin seeds
1/2 Cup of onions, chopped
2 small tart tomatoes/ 1/4 cup of chopped tomatoes
1 scant tbsp of ginger garlic paste
1-2 tbsps of ghee/clarified butter
1 tbsp of coriander powder
1tsp of black pepper powder [optional]
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Fresh chopped coriander for garnish
1 tbsp of ghee
1/4 tsp of cummin seeds
pinch of asafoetida
1 tbsp of finely chopped onions
Heat 1 tbsp of ghee
Temper cummin, fennel and shajeera
Add the green peas and chopped green chillies,
Cook for 5 minutes.
Take the peas out.
Coarsely pulse for a second or so.
There will be whole green peas in the mix.
Keep the paste aside.
Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in the same pan,
Immediately add the chopped onions and saute until soft
Add the ginger garlic paste and coriander powder,
Saute until the 'raw' smell goes
Add the tomatoes and cook until soft.
Switch off the heat and let it cool for a bit,
Grind to a smooth paste
Add the paste to the coarsely ground pea mixture,
Add 1/2 Cup of water or less/ more according the desired consistency
Simmer, covered on medium to low heat for 5-8 minutes.
Season with a tempering of cummin seeds, 1 tbsp finely chopped onions, pinch of asafoetida in ghee.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves
Optional: Add another tablespoon of ghee.