Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Of Amrapali and Baked Vegetables

Tucked away in between a small flower shop and some houses, but right off the ever popular F.C. Road in Pune, is a punjabi restaurant - Amrapali. I've such fond memories of eating at this place. Just thinking about it makes me smile.
Vaishali (for the uninitiated - again a restaurant on F.C. Road ) being the favorite joint of students and the locals alike, is just a few steps away. A post on Vaishali some other day.
All the years that I went to Amrapali with my family, I never once deterred from my two favorites out there - Baked Vegetable & Palak Paneer. Yes, as is customary with almost everyone, I tried to duplicate that taste at home time and again. Never did it reach the zenith that I had tasted in the Baked Veg out there and my attempts continue......
The white sauce gravy was just the right consistency, not too thick nor too runny, it had a slight sweetish tinge and was BLISS! One bite into it was enough to melt away your blues (well at that time not being given a rose by someone you secretly admired on the college rose-day was one of the biggest "tension's" of life!!!). Food was always served with small onions in sirka(vinegar), ooh gives me the goose bumps. The naan, fresh out of the tandoor was light and flaky.
If anyone out there knows the exact recipe of this dish please send it to me and I'll forever be indebted to you :-)
Now to my recipe-
1 carrot, 1 potato, 10 beans, 2 cauliflower florets - chopped
1/4 cup peas
1 onion sliced
1 tbsp chopped green bell pepper
salt & pepper as per taste
1 tbsp all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2tbsp butter
3 tbsp grated cheese
Steam potato, carrot, beans and cauliflower till done, but not mushy.
Heat butter, add onion & saute a minute. Add bell pepper and saute till cooked but still has a crunch. Add all purpose flour & cook till raw smell disappears. Reduce flame and add milk, stir and cook till thick on medium flame. Add cooked vegetables, salt & pepper. I add some sugar for a little sweetish taste. I know of some friends who add finely chopped green chilly to the butter, that's entirely up to you. Bake it in a 350C oven till cheese is bubbly.
Enjoy Baked Vegetables with garlic bread!
The picture does not do justice to this dish, but nonetheless, it was quite good.
I've not been to Amrapali in quite a few years now, but hope to visit it on my next trip home and hope that they still have that magic in their Baked Veg!!!


Asha said...

It sounds like veggies in Bechamel sauce Richa.
Sounds good but I never heard of it in India though.I make Italian Pasta or Pizza topping with Palak like this.Good one,thanks:)

Richa said...

hmm, palak with white sauce on pizza, gotta' try that.
do you chop or puree the palak?

archana said...

Richa, I have not been to Amrapali, but have gone to Vaishali, and Khyber in Pune.

Your white sauce needs along with black pepper , a pinch of grated nutmeg. You will find the difference in taste instantly. Also if possible add few pineapple cubes.

Thats how I they served in Khyber. I also add chinese green chilli sauce which you get in bottles. Add this just a little so that it does not overpower the taste :)

I also put some grated cheese inside the white sauce and then some on top :)Try it and tell me whether you liked it:)

Richa said...

thankyou so much archana, i'll definitely try this. i luv baked veg and am ever ready to improve upon it. btw do u hv to cook the pineapple before you put it in? also can you please tell me your proportion of maida & milk?
thanks yaar!!!

Latha said...

Oh Did I tell u I love the thali in your profile!
I am so hungry!

Richa said...

thanks latha.
welcome to my blog.

Coffee said...

Now that looks super delicious!!!!!!

First time here richa. :) And you have a lovely blog there!!!!! Tried commenting on palak puri but it didn't go through. Hope you get this one. :)

archana said...

For 2 cups white sauce-
2 tablespoon butter, 2 Table spoon flour, 2 cups milk.
I generally take one and half cup (1 1/2) milk plus 1/2 cup water which is left over after boiling vegetables :)
If you don't like nutmeg try adding little mustard. But I add nutmeg only :)
I take tinned pineapple. If you are using raw fresh one cook it in some sugar and water before using it :)

Richa said...

welcome to my blog coffee!
thanks for your compliments.
I heard from other bloggers about commenting problem, i guess it is ok now.
thanks for visiting.

Richa said...

hi archana,
thanks a ton for the info, will try it and get back to you. I really appreciate you taking the time to give me the tips. I can see your passion in cooking.
take care

Sia's corner said...

what a colourful dish richa. and guess what? i have all the ingredients here.

bee ( said...

i'm totally trying this dish. it's simple and yummy looking.

Richa said...

sia, yes it is colorful, isn't it?
as you know from my post i just luuuuuuuuuuuuuv baked veg, do try it.


Richa said...

bee, for all it's simplicity it is amazingly yummy! i used fresh veg & steamed them, for such dishes i don't prefer frozen ones 'coz the taste of the veg has to come thru


Swapna said...

Nice new look and intro on ur blog..I have visited Vaishali..Amazing place..This recipe looks cool.

Sharmi said...

I have never tasted it before dear sorry but your recipe looks yummy to me though. you have got some nice memories to relish dont you?


Richa said...

hi swaps, yeah vaishali is a lot of fun, spdp is so good there.

thanks for ur compliments.

Richa said...

hi sharmi,
so glad you liked it,
yes it does have a lot of memories attached to it.

just for fun said...

Thanks for visting my blog Richa. You have a nice collection of recipes. Will visit you often

Richa said...

thanks jff and welcome to my blog

musical said...

Eh recipe taan ikdum hit e. Weekend te lunch vaaste zarur banavaangi. Haan, Archana di suggestion vi bahut vadhiya e.

This and spicy toast/focaccia-heaven!

shery said...

hey Richa.... this receipe reminds me of my mom's baked vegetables. The only thing she did different is heat milk for the white sauce with a medium sized chunk of onion(!!), 1 bay leaf and 2 cloves. These would be removed and the milk let to cool before being added to roasted flour. Onions make the milk slightly sweet and the whole spices infuse a welcoming aroma. YOu amy wanna try it....

Richa said...

welcome to my blog, shery.
I really appreciate you stopping by with your mom's tip. Will definitely try it.
Thank You.

Vaish said...

hmmm.....this revives some good memories for me too :)...there is one more joint on FC road which used to have a similar baked dish... I have attempted this quite often on similar lines as yours. However, I make the white sauce first separately and on indulgent days saute all the veggies in little butter..brings out the flavour

Adit said...

Richa - this has brought memories of my days as a student in FC.

Of course we always frequented Vaishali...but will try your Amrapali recipe.. of old times sake.


Shweta Garg said...

Hi Richa,
I was looking for baked vegetable recipe n came accross ur blog..Ohhh god u really made me emotional. I went to amprapali rite since I was a lil kid n ate all the stuff u mentioned. I really miss both amrapali n its food. I love ur recipe. I will try it and hope that it is half as good as stuff we gotto eat at amrapali:) Thanks again...

Shweta Garg.

Reshma syed said...

after reading pune's "Amrapali" i will surely make this baked vegetables tonight coz Richa even i have loads of old memories in vaishali amrapali & FC road....ooops!! now i want to go to pune but cant go im in dubai.....