I don’t know many people who don’t like South Asian food, and for vegetarians and vegans it is almost a necessity given the prevalence of vegetarianism in India. Even outside of India, in Bangladesh and Pakistan the cuisine is very reliant on fruits and vegetables which grow in glorious abundance in the region’s diverse agricultural zones. When I lived in Bangladesh, where there are very few vegetarians, it was always easy to find a good meal since most Bangladeshis maintain a halal diet and, for most, meat is a costly luxury.
Working at the farmer’s market for the largest organic farmer in Austin means that we, and many of our friends, have an abundance of vegetables on hand. These two ingredients, friends and excessive vegetables, are the essential ingredients for some great potluck dinners. This week, we met up with some friends on Sunday night to share some South Asian inspired dishes and clear some space in the produce drawers. James used tomatoes and peppers to make a great saucy Chana Masala and our friend Clayton, who works at the JBG market downtown on Saturday, made Baingan Bharta, a tasty roasted eggplant dish that was enhanced with the addition of sweet yellow Ringo peppers. I made a sweet and savory Brown Rice Pilau and, for desert, Sweet Potato Bread with walnut streusel. These dishes were accompanied by other offerings including salads, red beans and rice, and more side dishes. Everyone left the table very full and all of our fridges had a little more room for new fresh veggies!