This is the vegetable dish I promised to post for Mermaid some time ago. It is made with the five spice mix and is a wonderfully fragrant dish. Labra is a staple in Bengal, a vegetable dish often served when family gathers or when guests are present. The ingredients can be varied to what is available that day in the market or even what is available in your refrigerator.
Vegetable oil - 2tbs
Bay leaf - 1
1 teaspoon sugar
Five Spice "Panch Poran" 1/2tsp
Minced ginger - 3tbs
Turmeric - 1/2tsp
Ground cumin - 2tsp
Salt - 3/4tsp
Cubed potatoes - 1/2cup
Peeled and cubed sweet potato - 1 cup
Cauliflower, cut into floret - 2cup
Sliced green beans - 1cup
Cubed eggplant (brinjal) - 2cup
Red chili powder - 3tbs (or to taste) or fresh green chilies to taste
Cooked green peas or frozen- 1/4cup
Chopped tomatoes - 3/4cup
Water - 1/2cup
Garam masala - 1/2tsp
Heat half the oil and add sugar. Fry for a few seconds. Lower heat and add bay leaf and five spice. Sauté for a few seconds until seeds begin to pop then add ginger, turmeric, cumin and salt. Add tomatoes, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, I like to brown the vegetables slightly, now you can add water, Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add cauliflower, beans, eggplant and red chili powder or chopped chilies. Simmer till done (vegetables should be soft and a bit mushy). Sprinkle some hot water for thick gravy. Add peas, mix well and simmer for a while. Remove from heat and sprinkle Garam masala and serve hot.