This week’s new members to the Vegetarian Monday pledge are the staff of the fabulous Ambika Khaman House, an East Indian catering company. Their extremely talented chefs have provided us with a very delicious and authentic East Indian meal we can’t wait to get our forks into!
AMBIKA KHAMAN HOUSE
The Ambika Khaman House is a family owned and operated East Indian catering business serving customers throughout the GTA. Their primary focus is on recipes from the State of Gujarat, giving customers the opportunity to indulge in authentic recipes from Gujarat and bring back memories of the “taste of Gujarat”. Ambika provides catering services for small parties of 5 up to large parties of 300 to 1000+ guests. Although they are a catering business, they also conveniently provide takeout on weekends for those who would like to enjoy a quick and delicious lunch or dinner.
Click here for a small description about Indian Food and Flavours.
Please feel free to call Ambika Khaman House at 905-463-1166. They are open Wednesday through Sunday and located at 175 Advance Blvd., Unit 6, Brampton, ON.
LAYERED VEGETARIAN BIRYANI
This rice dish features mixed vegetables, a tomato sauce and spices typical to East Indian dishes. It is also great for followers of a gluten free and/or vegan diet.
1 cup or 350 grams Basmati or any long grain variety
Oil – 3 Tbsp vegetable, canola or olive oil (not extra virgin)
Crushed Tomatoes or Basic Tomato Sauce – 1 1/2 cup
Diced Green Pepper – 1 pc.
Diced Red Pepper – 1 pc.
Diced Red Onion – 1 pc.
Cracked Black Pepper – 1/2 tsp.
Red Chilli Powder or Paprika – 1/2 tsp.
Garlic and Ginger Paste – 1 tbsp. (or grate 3 cloves of garlic and 1 inch piece of ginger)
Salt – 1 tsp. or to taste
Cloves – 4 to 6 pieces (whole)
Black Peppercorns – 4 to 6 pieces (whole)
Bay Leaves – 2
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp.
Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp.
Zucchini – 1 medium sized sliced into thin segments (1/2 cm to 1cm in thickness)
Eggplant – 5 to 6 small eggplants (Indian Eggplant). Can substitute with cauliflower.
Sliced Green Chillies – 2 to 3 (add more or less according to spice tolerance)
Mixed Vegetables – 1 cup (carrots, corn, green beans or whichever available)
Oil – 2 Tbsp vegetable, canola or olive oil (not extra virgin)
Boil rice – once done set aside. Can be made the typical way, 1 part rice 2 parts water or the rice can be simply boiled in a pot of water and strained when cooked. This will allow for a loose/fluffed end product, as it will be split into 3 portions and spread out into a baking/casserole dish.
Heat oil in a saucepan at low to medium heat, add garlic and ginger paste and sauté for 20 seconds, careful not to burn it. Next, add diced green peppers, red peppers and onions and sauté until soft or desired texture of vegetables is achieved (less if enjoyed crunchy). Turn heat up to medium-high then add paprika, crushed tomatoes, salt and heat thoroughly (approximately 1-2 minutes or until sauce begins to sputter). Once heated through, set aside.
Take small eggplants and slice into quarters making sure not to cut through the stem (simply for ease of turning).
Heat frying pan to medium heat, add oil and pan fry eggplants until browned, remembering to turn them, as the skin will burn. Remove from pan and set aside.
Next, add the mixed vegetables and zucchini and stir-fry until soft or desired texture is achieved (want to brown the outside slightly).
Next, add the whole cloves, peppercorns and bay leaves and heat through for approximately 30 seconds. Lastly, add the cumin seeds, turmeric powder and mix until the cumin seeds are toasted (they will slightly plump up and give off an aroma). Turn off heat and set aside.
In a 3″ X 10″ glass baking or casserole dish add a layer of the basmati rice (approximately 1/3). Spread the sauce evenly over the rice and add another layer of the rice. Next, spread the sautéed vegetables and eggplant (at this point you can cut the eggplants through the stem) over the second layer of rice, keeping few pieces of eggplant and zucchini aside to top the last layer. Lastly add the third layer of rice and top with remaining eggplant and zucchini. You can add sliced green chillies and pomegranate as a garnish.
Serve at room temperature or heat in oven for 10 minutes at 350 degrees just so it’s warmed through. Can be served with a small bowl of yogurt on the side (vegans can skip the yogurt).
Serves approximately 4 to 6 people.