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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- 1 medium eggplant cut into cubes
- 2-3 tbsp coconut slices
- 1 large potato cut into cubes
- 1 medium carrot cut into 1-inch long piece
- A handful beans cut into inch piece
- ½ cup peas
- 1 small radish cut into 1 inch thick disc
- 1 cup pumpkin cut into large cubes
- ½ bunch spinach roughly chopped
- 1 small tomato
- 1 tbsp panch phoron see notes
- ½ inch ginger grated
- 1-2 green chilli slit lengthwise, or as per taste
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 2 bay leaf
- ½ tsp sugar
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp ghee
- 1 dry red chilli
- 1 tsp garam masala
- A few peanuts fried, skin removed and crushed
- Heat a frying pan or kadhai and add 1 tbsp oil. Add eggplants and saute for a few minutes until golden. Set aside
- In the same pan add carrots and potato. Saute for few minutes and set aside
- Next, saute pumpkin and set aside
- Saute coconut till golden brown and set aside
- In the same pan, add remaining oil. Add panchforan, bay leaf, dry red chilli and saute for a few seconds until it splutters
- Add ginger and saute for a few seconds
- Add potato, carrot, beans, radish, eggplant, spinach, green chilli, coconut, tomato, turmeric, salt, sugar. Mix well
- Cover and simmer for a few minutes
- Once the potatoes are almost done, add pumpkin and peas. Cover and simmer until all the vegetables are completely done and water dries up
- Add garam masala and ghee and mix well
- Garnish with peanuts and serve hot
- Panchforan is mustard seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds mixed together in equal quantities
- You may also add jackfruit seed, potol/parwal, fried daler bori (lentil dumpling), ridge gourd etc. based on availability
- You may skip the frying of individual vegetables at the beginning to save time however the end result won’t be as tasty
- Adding pumpkin later is important as it cooks very fast and can turn mushy
- The moisture from spinach and vegetables should be sufficient to cook them. But if it turns too dry, add ½ cup warm water