Indian food is very aromatic and this dish uses “Panch Phoron”, a classic spice mix of fenugreek, fennel, black mustard, cumin, and nigella seeds. The spicy and aromatic mixture of seeds may be used whole or ground.
Our globe eggplants, carrots, and green beans are abundant now, so we are using them in this recipe. We added carrots for their sweetness, to balance the spiciness of this exotic and flavorful dish. You can, of course, use other veggies. Just pick veggies that will hold up to roasting, like acorn or butternut squash, bell peppers, Spring onions, scallions, or even turnips.
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4 – 6 (as a side)
- 1 large globe eggplant
- 2 – 3 medium to large carrots
- 1/2 lbs green beans
- Indian five spice (panch phoron) whole or ground (see photo below)
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds or ground cumin (more common)
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
Note: In the case of the Indian five spice mix above and the mustard oil below these portions may not seem like a lot but with both a little goes a long way.
- 2 tbsp mustard oil
- 3 tbsp sunflower or safflower oil
- Kosher salt to taste
- Fresh or dried chilis to taste (optional)
(Patch Phoran, in the center bowl above, clockwise starting at the top: fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, ground cumin, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds)
- Preheat the oven to broil, place a rack on the topmost level.
- Grind the five spices together, including the ground cumin.
- Wash the green beans, drain, trim any discolored tips; place on roasting tray.
- Wash the carrots well, peel, cut off and discard the leaf tip, then depending on the size and thickness of the carrot, cut lengthwise so that the widest part is no wider than 1 inch (see photo above); place on roasting tray with the onions.
- Wash the eggplant, slice into 1 inch thick rounds, place on roasting tray with carrots and onions.
- We normally do not peel our eggplants before cooking, but it is a matter of personal preference.
- Drizzle the veggies with the vegetable and mustard oil, sprinkle kosher salt and the ground Indian five spice mix over all the veggies, mix to coat all the veggies in the oils, spices, and seasonings; set aside.
- Place the roasting pan with the oiled and seasoned veggies on the topmost rack, roast for 8 minutes, using heat-proof tongs carefully turn over the veggies to roast the other side, roast another 5 minutes or until nicely caramelized, remove the tray from the oven and serve.
This dish is vegan, but if you’re not, these veggies pair well with wild Florida Tilapia, pan-fried in mustard oil and Indian five spice, and a side of roasted Spring onion, heirloom cherry tomato, and pine nut chutney!