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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Veggie Sizzler

This is a fun way to serve the stir fried sizzling veggies and Paneer on bed of noodle or rice, surrounded by caramelized onions, french fries and veggie cutlets. You can get creative and vary the ingredients as desired. You can make it fruity by adding pineapple to it, you can make it nutty by adding cashews to it. You can make it decorative by adding stuffed green or red peppers or stuffed tomatoes. And all the meat lovers you can add grilled chicken strips or any desired variety of meat to it.

I made it for my family so I used a large sizzler dish, but if you have time you can make each individual servings for two in small sizzling dishes.

I will give you my basic recipe. I usually use bed of noodles instead of bed of rice, but you can serve this with side of white rice. I wouldn't put rice on the sizzling plate as rice will quickly become dry and chewy.

The very first time I tried the veggie sizzlers was at "Kobe" restaurant in Mumbai about 30 + years ago when I was just a child then, I fell in love with it. I was very much puzzled when the waiter brought out the sizzling plate to the table. Entire room was filled with aroma of sizzling onions and veggies in special sauce. To this day I have no idea, how they make theirs, but I tried to prepare this dish based on my memory of the taste.

I first tried making this about 10 years ago and now with all the ready made sauces available here, I have modified my own recipe over all these years to perfection :)

So, like I mentioned in my previous post, whenever I make cutlets, I always make veggie sizzler as my second meal and everyone loves it. This recipe take long time to make. Therefore I try to use ready made items as much as I can and prepare the things required ahead of time so that just before serving all I have to do it put it together.

This recipe yields about 8 servings. Takes about an hour to prepare. (not including the time to make cutlets)


* 12-15 veggie cutlets patties already fried (previous post)

* 1 (15 oz) pack of thick country style french fries (half baked) or you can make them from scratch (recipe on this blog: Crispy seasoned fries)

* 1/2 a pound of spaghetti noodles of your choice (I usually use Hakka noodle, but I did not have them so I used wheat spaghetti noodles)

* 1 (16 oz) pack of stir fry vegetable (from freezer section which consists of baby corn, sliced carrots, broccoli and cauliflower florets, sweet pea pods, crunchy green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts and bamboo shoots) or you can use all of these fresh vegetable or from can separately. However I find this easy, this way you don't have to worry about buying them separately or opening a can and not be able to use the entire can.

* 1/2 cup of cashew halves

* 1 slab of Paneer (14 oz)

* 1 red onion sliced (chunky)

* 1 green / red or yellow pepper thick slices

* 2 tablespoon of chat masala

* 1/3 cup of fresh lime juice

* 6-8 garlic cloves thinly sliced

* 2" piece of ginger thinly sliced

* 1 large yellow onion sliced in to onion rings to place it on the sizzler

* Another onion sliced to stir fry with veggies

* 1 (8 oz) pack of sliced mushrooms or Portobello mushroom slices

* 1 bunch of green onions chopped with green part intact

Ingredients for Sauce:

* 1 cup of spicy chili garlic sauce (I use Sambal Oelek Brand available at most oriental stores)

* 1/2 cup of Chinese hot and sweet chili sauce

* 1/2 cup stir fry sauce

* 1/4 cup Teriyaki sauce

* 1 cup of Ketchup

* 1/3 cup of soy sauce

* 1/4 cup of black pepper sauce

* 1/4 cup of Chinese 5 spice sauce

* 1/4 cup of Louisiana hot sauce (paste style)

* 1 cup of peanut butter

* 1/2 cup of apple cider vinegar

* 1/4 cup of corn starch

* 1 cup of water

* 1/4 cup of rice vinegar

* Olive oil to stir fry veggies, and to coat paneer and to coat the sizzler plate (all together ~ 1 cup)

Method to make sauce:

* Mix corn starch and water, set aside.

* Mix all the sauces, apple cider vinegar and peanut butter whisk everything together.

* Add corn starch mixed with water and heat until everything is well blended and bring to boil, stir constantly.

* Set aside.

Method to prepare all the ingredients:

* Cook noodle or spaghetti in boiling water until not too soft. (El Dente style)

* Drain water and run cold water on them so they stop cooking, toss them in 1/4 of the prepared sauce and set aside.

* Bake french fries per instruction on pack or if you have already made from scratch, set aside.

* Cut paneer in to small rectangular cubes.

* Brush some olive oil on the paneer pieces, add green peppers, and red onions slices, sprinkle chat masala and lime juice and broil in oven for 5 min, (do not over cook), set aside.

Method To prepare stir fry veggies:

* First heat one tbls spoon of oil in pan and add onion rings saute them for few seconds and take it out on a plate and set aside.

* Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in same stir fry pan.

* Add cashews, saute until brown, add garlic and ginger saute for few seconds and add 1/2 of green onions.

* Add sliced onions (not the rings) and saute for 30 sec then all all the vegetables, saute for few seconds and add 1/4 of the prepared sauce. Toss the veggies so t all the veggie are coated evenly with sauce and turn the heat off.

* Now in the heated broiler oven place the sizzler plate, heat evenly.

* Carefully take it out of oven and place it on hot plate.

* Place some oil or butter in center.

Now here you can be creative and arrange all the prepared items however you like. Here is how I do it.

* I arrange cutlets on the sizzler plate as an outer layer.

* In middle over oil or butter, I place the bed of noodles coated with sauce.

* Around the bed of noodles I arrange onion rings (these are sauteed separately) so they are in direct contact with greased pan.

* Top the noodles with veggies with sauce and top with paneer. Spread everything evenly so everything is visible and exposed to be cooked in broiler.

* Around the inner border just inside of cutlets and outside of onion rings I place the french fries.

* I sprinkle sauce and rice vinegar on the entire creation and broil it for few minutes until the vinegar sizzles, and onion rings are caramelized. Again do not cook it for too long. Since everything is already cooked, you just have to place the items in broiler for the sizzling effect and not for cooking purpose.

* Immediately take it out of oven and serve hot with side of remaining sauce, garnish each plate with remaining green onions.

You don't have to add any extra salt to this recipe as everything, all the sauces, and chat masala that you added here has plenty of salt and sodium in it.

This spicy saucy crunchy blend of veggies along with el dente noodles, textured paneer and cutlet with hint of lime and vinegar with all the spices is just out of this world and worth all the time it takes to prepare this dish.

And Yes !! I must say that this one, I make it better than the restaurant where I first tried it for the first time in Mumbai, but I do thank Kobe for inspiring me to learn to prepare this item.

Enjoy :)

Photographs and recipe by Surekha


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