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  • Sushma Saksena

Baked Vegetables in White Sauce

I am publishing this recipe on a request of Rahul – who is a very dear friend of my daughter and who adores my cooking and is himself an excellent cook. Currently, he is working abroad. Needless to say, he is starved for desi food. When he was studying in NID, he came to my place and had Baked Vegetables. He loved it. Sometime ago, he had asked me for the recipe for Baked Vegetables and I hope he would like the taste when he tries out this recipe. I dedicate “Baked Vegetables” to him.


Baked Vegetables is not a part of Kayastha cuisine; rather, it is a popular Continental dish which has been modified for Indian tastes. This dish came to our shores in the late 1970s but at that time it was available only in top notch hotels in metropolitan towns.


I remember having Baked Vegetables in 1978 not in any big city but in Aligarh at my own house. At that time, my father was posted as a judge in Aligarh. He was often invited to elite gatherings. On one such occasion, Baked Vegetables was on the menu. My mother liked the dish very much. Unhesitatingly, she asked the hostess for the recipe.


As I have told earlier, my mother was an excellent cook who loved to try new dishes. The very next day, my mother collected all the ingredients. Lo and behold! She had prepared the dish for our dinner. All of us relished the taste of Baked Vegetables which was very different from traditional Indian dishes.


My mother was a stickler for perfection also. Each dish had to be presented in a particular way. She served Baked Vegetables not with roti or paratha but with soup and sandwiches. Even today when I cook Baked Vegetables, I remember the taste of the Baked Vegetables served by my mother more than forty years ago.


Prep Time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 20 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Course: Main Course

Serves: 4 persons


INGREDIENTS FOR WHITE SAUCE:

1. Butter: 1 tbsp

2. Plain white flour (maida): 2 tbsp

3. Milk: 1 ½ cup

4. Grated processed cheese: One cube

5. Salt: to taste

6. Sugar: 1/2 tsp

7. Chilli flakes: 1tsp

8. Freshly ground black pepper: ½ tsp


OTHER INGREDIENTS:

1. Chopped and boiled French beans: ¼ cup

2. Chopped and boiled carrots: ¼ cup

3. Chopped and boiled cauliflowers: ½ cup

4. Chopped and boiled: ¼ cup mushrooms

5. Sweet corn boiled: 2 tbsp

6. Grated processed cheese: 2-3 cubes

7. Butter/olive oil: 1tsp




METHOD FOR MAKING WHITE SAUCE:

1. Heat the butter in a non-stick pan, add the plain white flour and roast on a medium flame for 30 seconds.


2. Slowly add milk to it and to avoid lumps stir continuously for 2-3 minutes.


3. Add cheese to it and mix it well.


4. Finally add sugar, salt, chilli flakes, and freshly ground black pepper and mix well until you get the desired consistency.


5. Keep aside.



HOW TO PROCEED:

1. Blanch and strain all vegetables. Keep aside.


2. Take a pan. Add butter or olive oil to the pan.


3. Add a pinch of salt to the blanched vegetables, stir for a few minutes.


4. Add white sauce to it. Mix well.


5. Keep the white sauce in a deep bowl. Now transfer the vegetables to the bowl.


6. Sprinkle the grated cheese evenly on top


7. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees Celsius for 10-15 minutes until the cheese turns a little golden brown. Remove and serve hot with garlic bread.


TIPS:

1. Never boil the vegetables, just blanch them otherwise you will spoil the crunchiness of the vegetables.

2. You can use wheat flour instead of white flour. This will also give a nice taste.

3. You can put broccoli instead of cauliflower. You can choose vegetables according to your own taste.

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