Panchmishali (Bengali style mixed vegetables)
Khichuri and Panchmishali is an important part of any Bengali festival. Panchmishali is a medley of vegetables slow-cooked with spices. Very simple, humble festive food that tastes best when served with Khichuri.
Panchmishali translates to a mixture of five vegetables. But in most cases, the number of vegetables used is much more than five. Here, I am using eggplant, beans, potato, carrot, peas, radish, pumpkin, spinach, and tomato. These are the vegetables that are used traditionally in this dish. You can choose any vegetables to create this medley.
To make Panchmishali (Bengali style mixed vegetables), I first clean, peel, and chop the vegetables. I then individually fry the vegetables and set aside. You may skip the frying of individual vegetables to save time, however, the end result won’t be as tasty. I then heat oil and add whole spices along with panch phoron (which is the Bengali five-spice mix). I then add potatoes, eggplant, spinach, radish, and beans.
Adding vegetables in the order of the time they take to cook is important, else they will over-cook and turn very mushy. However, it is also important to add spinach in the beginning as this binds the entire dish together. I then add the rest of the vegetables and cook everything completely. I finish it off with some ghee, garam masala, roasted peanuts, and fried coconut slices. The peanuts and coconut slices add a nice crunch and nuttiness to the dish.
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