Parsi Sweet and Sour Vegetable Ishtoo

Food writer and author Mallika Basu shares the perfect recipe for special occassions. This delicious Parsi Sweet and Sour Vegetable Ishtoo is inspired by a stew, served by India’s Parsi community at weddings. This dish enhances the root vegetables and their delicious sweet, sour and spicy flavour. 

Parsi Sweet and Sour Vegetable Ishtoo

4 tbsp. vegetable/sunflower oil

Handful of Cashew nuts

Handful of raisins

1 medium onion, chopped roughly

1 inch ginger, peeled and grated

2 garlic cloves, peeled and grated

1 tsp chilli powder

Half tsp turmeric powder

3 medium tomatoes, chopped roughly

1 tbsp. dark brown soft sugar / jaggery

400g potatoes, peeled and cubed

2 medium carrots, peeled and cubed

400g sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 tbsp. vinegar

Handful of frozen peas

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

Salt to taste

Fresh coriander to garnish

  1. Bring the oil to heat in a sauté pan on the boiling plate and fry the cashew nuts and raisins with a tablespoon of the oil until golden and plump. Remove with a spoon onto a plate for later.
  2. In a lidded casserole pan, bring the rest of the oil to heat on the boiling plate. When it’s hot, add the onions, ginger and garlic and stir until it starts taking colour. Mix in the chilli and turmeric powders until well incorporated. Next add the tomatoes, using your wooden spoon to loosen any spices or ingredients that are stuck in the pan. Mix in the sugar.
  3. Add the tomatoes soften, stir in the potatoes and carrots. Stir well for five minutes until you see the potatoes turning translucent on the edges. Now mix in the sweet potato and vinegar, and place lidded in the roasting oven.
  4. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven to mix in the peas and the Worcestershire sauce. Add salt to taste now. Place back in the oven until the vegetables are soft – this should take another 10-15 minutes.
  5. Finish topped with cashews, raisins and coriander leaves. I love making wraps with this but it’s equally delightful as a vegetable side on a festive table.
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