No matter how busy I get, I really like to cook something every night during the week. I try to make it fast and easy, but at the same time nutritious, full of flavor and pleasing to the eyes. Today I am posting recipes for some jhatpat subzis that you could easily make in minutes. Serve them with rotisraita salads or rice and you will have a hearty weeknight dinner. In these recipes, I have used very simple ingredients to create unique flavors that will satisfy your growling stomach in no time!

Chilli Pepper Cauliflower

Inspired by the desi-chinese flavors of chilli pepper chicken/shrimp, I came up with this recipe for  a cauliflower subzi. Tiny cauliflower florets are sautéed with red chilli flakes and ground black pepper with a hint of freshly grated ginger. The heat from the chilli flakes and the black pepper powder and the freshness from the earthy ginger will tickle your taste buds!

Serves 2

1 cauliflower, cut up into tiny florets.

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 tsp black pepper powder

1 inch length piece of ginger, skin scraped and minced

2-3 tbsp oil, canola/ vegetable/ sunflower

1 tsp mustard seeds (rai/mori)

1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

salt, to taste

fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped for garnishing

Soak the cauliflower florets in water (to remove any dirt or worms). It is important that you make very tiny florets so that they absorb all the flavor of the basic ingredients, chilli, black pepper and ginger.

Heat oil in a pan or kadhai. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the pinch of asofotida. When the seeds splutter, add the cauliflower florets. Stir fry for a couple of minutes.

Add the red chilli flakes, black pepper powder, minced ginger, salt and mix well. Cook uncovered on medium-high for 10 mins stirring occassionally. The cauliflower should be al dente, cooked but it should still have a crunch to it.

Garnish with cilantro and serve warm with rotis

Another way to enjoy this yummy concoction is to use it as a stuffing for parathas.


Bhindi Elaichi Masala

(Cardamom Spiced Okra)

This is one of the recipes handed down to me by my mom. To please my sister, who would eat bhindi or bhendi (orka) anytime, she came up with several recipes: simple stir fried with no spices, with tangy yogurt curry, cut into thin strips and made crispy with spicy garam masala or paired with other vegetables. One of my favorites was when mom made it this way….thin strips of okra, potatoes, tomatoes and onions are stir fried in the usual tadka (oil, mustard, jeera, asofotida and turmeric powder) and then spiced with elaichi (green cardamom).

Elaichi is a wonderful spice. It adds great scent and flavor to any recipe. A lot of Indian cooking calls for adding the whole cardamom pods to a vareity of dishes, especially rice dishes like pulavs and biryanis and some desserts too. In this recipe, a little amount of crushed elaichi seeds are added in the end and it just gives this everyday subzi a brand new makeover!

Serves 4

1/2 lb orka (bhindi/bhendi), cut into thin strips (see picture)

1 medium red or yellow onion, cut into thin strips

1-2 medium red or white potatoes, cut into french fries-like strips

1 medium tomato, cut into thin strips

2-3 tbsp oil (canola, sunflower, corn, vegetable)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai/mori)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

salt, to taste

1 tsp red chilli powder (use 1/2 tsp if you don’t like it that hot)

1 pinch sugar (for that Maharashtrian touch)

4-5 green cardamom seeds (elaichi), crushed

fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped for garnishing

Heat oil in a pan or kadhai. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and pinch of asofotida. When the seeds splutter, add the vegetables. Stir fry for a few of minutes. Season with salt and red chilli powder and add a pinch of sugar. Traditional Maharashtrian cooking calls for a little sugar in all savory recipes to bring out the flavors.

Cook covered for 10-15 mins on medium low heat, stirring occassionally, till all the vegetables are well cooked. Add crushed elaichi and mix well. Let it simmer for 5 more mins on low heat.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rotis.


Kobi Kaanda

(Cabbage Onion Stir Fry)

This is a typical Maharashtrian quick stir fry of shredded cabbage (kobi/gobi) and thin long slices of onion (kaanda/pyaz). With a just little seasoning of salt and red chilli powder and no other spices added, this recipe brings out the natural flavors of the vegetables. The onion when stir fried becomes soft and silky and releases its natural sugars which perfectly complements the firm and crunchy cabbage, which does not have its own flavor but takes it up from the spices or other vegetables used with it. Try it and I guarantee you will love it!

Serves 2

1/2 large cabbage, shredded

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

2-3 tbsp oil (canola, sunflower, corn, vegetable)

1/2 tsp mustard seeds (rai/mori)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 pinch asafoetida (hing)

salt, to taste

1 tsp red chilli powder (use 1/2 tsp if you don’t like it that hot)

fresh cilantro/coriander, finely chopped for garnishing

Heat oil in a pan or kadhai. Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and pinch of asofotida. When the seeds splutter, add the onion and sauté for a few of minutes till translucent. Add the cabbage and season with salt and red chilli powder. Cook covered for 10-15 mins on medium low heat, stirring occassionally, till the cabbage is almost cooked, but still has a little crunch to it.

Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with rotis.

Some other variations of this recipe are just cabbage or cabbage paired with potatoes or green peas.

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11 thoughts on “jhatpat subzis

  1. Hey V, nice veggie subzis…I make the cabbage subzi in exactly the same way…sometimes I add soaked chana dal after the initial seasoning…for more protein and to give a nice bite 🙂 The okra preparation sounds very exciting ! I have okra growing in my backyard and I will try this out as soon as I have a handful ! !

    Yeah, my mom also makes cabbage with chana dal! I totally forgot about that!!
    I wanna come visit your home garden with all the herbs and veggies. Keep up the good work!!
    ~Vasanti

  2. Jhatpat is the operative word for weeknights! These sound yum and are so much a part of everything that spells home!

  3. Hi Vas!, these cool simple ways of cooking interesting veggies. will surely try them as they r quick. so less time in the kitchen.

    Yeah try them and lemme know how they turned out!
    ~Vasanti

  4. Just wanted to let you know that I tried out the Cauli dish and it was really good and quick. I just added a dash of soy sauce and chilli sauce to kick it up a notch…

    Nisha , That’s an awesome idea! I’ll try it the next time I make it….
    ~Vasanti

  5. Hey Vas- one more down for me :)…I tried the chilli pepper cauliflower….wow…this was really quick and easy, and still extremely flavorful. I did modify it a bit and added some garlic and green chillies before adding the cauliflower to the pan…as I add garlic and green chillies to almost everything that comes out of my kitchen! Its a great dish for a quick, healthy, yet extremely delicious, weeknight meal. kudos to you again!

  6. The Chilli Pepper Cauliflower was actually a ‘jhatpat’ dish to make. I tried it a couple of weeks ago and it turned out awesome. I am gonna be using this recipe from now onwards to make my Cauliflower subzi as am bored of my own recipe 😛

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