Vegetable stocks are great to have around, in the fridge or the freezer, for soups, risottos, cooking rice, gently cooking vegetables in stock and olive oil. We have a couple of other stocks, and often we will make an instant stock by infusing spices, herbs and a few vegetables before making the particular dish.
This stock recipe is suggested by Meenakshi Ammal in her series of books Cook and See – technically speaking it is by the author of the fourth volume, Priya Ramkumar, but the series of books are so associated with Meenakshi Ammal that most refer to her as the author of the fourth volume as well.
It is a light stock – just barely infused with flavour, so as not to overwhelm the final dish. his stock uses vegetables not usually included in stocks, but as it is infused rather than receiving a long boiling, it is so well suited to Indian soups. Feel free to use it in other ways too – as the base for miso soup, for example, or simply use as it is, floating some finely sliced mushrooms, spring onions and/or broccoli florets in it.
Stocks are great to make when you have a spare moment in the kitchen – while some tomatoes are baking in the oven, or the pumpkin is roasting. Or while the potatoes cook, or while the dishwasher is working away. They take little work apart from preparing vegetables, and this one is so easy that you can make it while you iron the cloths or draft a strategy for work.
A Light, Infused Vegetable Stock/Broth – Indian Style
1 carrot, chopped
2 – 3 spring onions, chopped
1 clove garlic
0.5 cup cabbage, chopped
0.5 cup chopped celery
1 bay leaf
salt to taste
1 potato, peeled and cut into chunks
0.5 cup cauliflower, chopped
Place all of the ingredients in a large saucepan with 2 litres of water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 3 minutes, stirring a few times.
Remove from the heat, cool and then strain. Discard the vegetables. Keep the stock in the fridge and use as required. It can also be frozen.
recipe notes and alternatives
The vegetables can be used in other vegetable dishes rather than being discarded. In fact you can continue to steam them until tender and serve with butter or a sauce or gravy.