A super simple side dish. Sometimes, you have a lot of vegetables - a couple of potatoes, a carrot, some peas, half a cauliflower, but none enough to make a side dish. This is a perfect curry to use up all of those, and make a great curry that's perfect as a side dish for rotis. This is a great lunch box item, a quick breakfast dish, or an excellent vegetable to go along with a dal, and some rice or rotis.
Dice potatoes, carrots into small cubes. Break cauliflower if using, into florets of uniform size. Keep the chopped vegetables submerged in water.
Heat oil in a kadai. When hot, (but not smoking), add cumin seed, hing.
Reduce heat when cumin seeds crackle, add turmeric and chili powder.
Add the chopped vegetables, along with peas. Add salt.
Sprinkle about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water, give the vegetables a good stir and cover the kadai with a lid. Cook on low-medium heat.
Set the timer for 4 minutes. When the timer goes, open the lid, and mix the vegetables.
Check if the vegetables are done - you should be able to cut easily but they shouldn't be too soft.
Turn the heat off. Serve with rotis/chapathis.
In our family, this is called kadamba curry - kadambam being a flower string made up of different flowers. It's my most favorite and doesn't require boiling any vegetables. The only time consuming activity to make this is chopping vegetables. I timed it, and it literally got perfect al dente texture in exactly 4 minutes! This dish also travels well, and is great for picnics.
The best vegetables for this curry are potatoes, carrots, and peas. I like cauliflower, but if you don't like the smell of it, you can totally omit it. The key is to choose vegetables that have about the same cooking time, making sure none of them have an overpowering smell.