Food talk
Beat the chill with this veg barbeque
Pushpesh Pant Pushpesh Pant

When winter comes`85 can barbeques be far behind? As the nip in the air turns into a less-than- pleasant chill, the heart pines for glowing embers of the sigri/angithi to warm the hands and more than per chance to please the palate with grilled and roasted tidbits. Years ago, as children growing up in the hills we took delight in baked potatoes in their jackets and chestnuts that seemed to appear magically from the fireplace and have never been convinced that anything compares with food prepared before your eyes on a charcoal grill. The tandoor has its own die-hard loyal followers but what happens inside the bowels of the giant clay oven remains invisible and impersonal. Contrast this with the delicate nano tikka turned on giant toothpick-like skewers in a heartwarming glowing sigadi grill in Lucknow or the seekh under the shadow of the grand Jama Masjid. Who can dispute that the "proof of the kebab"is as much in "seeing" as in "eating"? For long, we have heard our vegetarian friends complaining about being left out from all the barbeque fun and games. Some restaurants do serve a bhuni chaat but the stuff falls between two stools. At last, we can inform them that they can savour a dish that can match in mouth-watering resplendence the best in the meaty repertoire. We have great pleasure in sharing a recipe that we were treated to by chef Suvik Sarkar of Sonnet Hotel in Salt Lake, Kolkata, recently. Donít be intimidated, you can rustle up this delicious visual delight with a tiara of papar too!


Mix all the ingredients for marinade masala. Place the prepared vegetables on a platter and apply the marinade. Keep aside for 20 minutes. Heat a griddle pan. And pan-grill the vegetables. For about three to four minutes, pressing with a wooden spatula to flatten and ensure even cooking. Pour the left over masala just before serving.

Bhuni subziyan


Bell pepper red One

(medium sized, cut into quarters, cored)

Bell pepper yellow (medium sized) One

Tomato (medium sized) One

Onion One

(small, peeled and sliced thick or quartered)

Zucchini 100 g

(sliced lengthwise `BD cm thick)

Round brinjal 100 b

(sliced round 1 cm thick)

Large button mushrooms 25 g

Small floret broccoli/cauliflower One

(optional, if using blanch in boiling water for a minute and refresh in ice cold water)


Olive oil 2 tbsp

Malt vinegar 1tsp

Peppercorns (freshly roasted) 1 tsp

Cloves of garlic (crushed) Two

Fresh coriander leaves Small sprig

Fresh mint leaves Small sprig

Green chillies deseeded Two


(One sprig of basil leaves/potato rosti or papar for garnish)