This easy Vegetable Balti is a really delicious way to get the family to eat healthy veggies like bell pepper and cauliflower, as the Balti Spices add a fantastic Indian flavor to them. Glutenfree Soyfree and Nutfree!. Serve it with rice.
Meet vegetable balti! An easy veggie-forward weeknight dinner made in one casserole!
What is Vegetable Balti and how is it different from other curries
Balti translates to “bucket” in Hindi and refers to the style of cooking used for this dish. The food is cooked in an iron pan with two handles that looks a bit like a bucket. This style of cooking is said to have originated in a Pakistani restaurant in Birmingham, back in the 1970s.
The now-famous balti curry has become a restaurant favorite as it is flavorful yet mild! My Balti spice blend really takes mere moments to make and lends such an incredible depth of flavor to the vegetables. While there are balti spice pastes available, the homemade spice blend is far superior to anything found in bottles or ready-made pastes.
What is Balti Flavour?
Balti sauce is a fragrant Indian sauce based on garlic, onions and ginger and a blend of Indian spices. Fresh whole spices are ground and used for the best flavor. They add umami flavor to the sauce. Balti sauce is generally not creamy but you can easily add coconut milk or cashew milk instead of water. Balti gosht is eaten in Pakistan and North India, as well as other parts of the world, such as Great Britain.
More veggie-forward dishes to try
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For the spice mix:
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds or use ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds or use 1 teaspoon dried onion flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds or use ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek leaves or 1/8 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne use less for less heat
For the curry:
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 cup (160 g) thinly sliced red onions
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1/2 inch (4 g) ginger minced
- 1 red bell pepper sliced or use a mix of red and green
- 1 cup (100 g) cauliflower florets
- 1 cup (140 g) cubed sweet potato or butternut squash
- 1 cup (96 g) sliced mushrooms
- 2 tomatoes chopped small
- 8 ounce (226.8 g) tomato puree canned also called tomato sauce depending on the brand. Use unseasoned
- 1 cup (250 ml) water
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Grind the spices in a spice grinder or blender with 2 blade, and set aside.
- In a baking dish, add the oil, onion, garlic, and ginger and the spice mix and mix well, and spread it around.
- Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (205 c) for 9-11 minutes or until the onion is translucent.
- Then add in the veggies, tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, and water and mix well.
- Then put the dish back in the oven to bake for 35-45 minutes.
- Cover the dish after the first 20 minutes so that the edges don't burn too much. Check if the cauliflower and sweet potato are cooked to preference at 35 minutes. Otherwise, bake a little bit longer.
- Remove from the oven. Garnish with cilantro and lime juice and serve with Roti flatbread, naan or rice. Drizzle some non dairy yogurt or vegan cream before serving to tame the spices if needed.
- To make this on stovetop: Heat oil over medium heat in a large skillet. combine onion garlic ginger and spices and cook until golden. Add tomatoes and cook for a few mins until tender , add the purée, salt, veggies and 1/4 cup water. Cover and cook until veggies are tender (14-17 mins) . Stir occasionally. Taste and adjust flavor. Add more water or some creamy milk to adjust consistent if needed, bring to a boil then take off heat.
- the Balti spice mix is a blend of coriander, nigella seeds, cumin, cardamom, fenugreek, cinnamon, pepper, paprika, and cayenne
- just like with most of my vegan Indian curries I use red onions, garlic, and minced ginger to form the base of the vegetable dish
- sliced bell pepper add some color and natural sweetness
- cauliflower florets for some bite
- sweet potato or butternut squash add a nice creamy texture
- mushrooms up the umami of this vegetable balti
- for that savory balti gravy, we use a blend of fresh tomatoes and tomato puree (canned) also called tomato sauce
Tips & Variations:
- To make this a creamy veggie curry, you can use 1 cup of full-fat coconut milk instead of water.
- You can also add in protein like cubed tofu or chickpeas. Replace some of the veggies with the chickpea volume so you have enough sauce.
- This is a dish that tastes even better the next day when the flavors have had a chance to sit together and meld.