Cooking with Auntie and Pria: Auntie’s Jaipur Vegetable


Something particularly impressive about Auntie’s cooking and teaching skills, is that she managed to communicate everything across in spite of her knowing minimal English and me knowing absolutely no Hindi at all. When this recipe began, I asked the name and what told “Vegetable”. “Vegetable what?” I enquired. “No, Vegetable. Just Vegetable.”

“Vegetable curry?” I pushed

“No!” I was told sternly “Not curry! Vegetable!”

A loving, patient and wise woman, I thought better than to question this name further. So, without any more delay, here is the recipe for

Auntie’s Jaipur Vegetable


  • Two large bottle gourds (this is an Indian vegetable which you may not find in your own country, so in lieu of this you can use 6 or so courgettes)
  • Two large (or four small) onions
  • Two tomatoes
  • Half teaspoon of cumin
  • Two teaspoons of ginger paste
  • Two teaspoons of garlic paste
  • 100ml of tomato ketchup
  • Heaped teaspoon of salt
  • Heaped teaspoon of chilli powder
  • Heaped teaspoon of turmeric
  • Two heaped teaspoons of coriander powder
  • A little water
  • A little oil

How to make Vegetable

1. Peel and dice your bottle gourd…


2. And the onions…


3. …And dice the tomatoes


4. Pop a large pressure cooker over a medium high heat, and add a few table spoons of vegetable oil (remember to decrease this amount if you are not cooking enough Vegetable to feed a hostel full of volunteers)


5. Add the cumin to the oil and allow it a minute to become hot, then add the onions. Keep them moving.

6. Once the onion has browned, add your dice tomatoes and about 75ml of water. Stir.


7. Next add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric and coriander powder. Stir.

8. Now add your bottle gourd


9. Stir so everything becomes covered in tasty spices.

10. Finally, blob in the ketchup and add a splash more water. Stir for a couple of minutes.


11. Seal the pressure cooker for approximately 15 minutes


And now we play the waiting game…

12. Serve and enjoy with tasty rice.


How do I make the tasty rice?

1. Boil and cook some rice, then drain and leave to one side

2. In a large wok, chuck a little vegetable oil, two or three cardomoms, a teaspoon of biryani masala, a teaspoon of turmeric, and a friendly fistful of peas. Stir.

3. Add the rice. Stir.

4. Serve.


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