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Oying Vegetable Stew From Arunachal Pradesh

Oying Vegetable Stew From Arunachal Pradesh
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This traditional stew from Arunachal Pradesh cuisine, Oying Vegetable Stew is simple, easy to make and delicious. There are just a handful of ingredients and no oil or spices are used. What makes the dish tasty is the freshness of the boiled vegetables and the flavours of the chilli and ginger. It healthy too, as well as vegan and gluten free.

This month’s theme from the food blogger group, Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge was the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh. My partner for the month, Priya Sateesh, gave me the names of 2 ingredients as the secret ingredients – potatoes and cabbage. The plan was that each of us makes an item using the secret ingredients and in line with the theme, and posts it on the group. The other members try to guess the secret ingredients!

Priya Sateesh, who as I said earlier, was my partner for October, blogs at Priya’s Menu. Do check out her blog and the host of recipes she has posted – from delicious Soups and Salads to kuzhambu varieties, rasams, stir fries, risottos and baked goodies and interesting curries and fried crab and prawns, to mention just a few of the collection on Priya’s Menu! The ingredients I gave her were Carrots and Ginger, and here is the link to the delicious kharzi she prepared: Kharzi: Arunachal Pradesh Cuisine 

It’s a lot of fun, planning the recipe and posting on the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge Group, as well as trying to guess the ingredients used by the other members.This month however I was totally embarrassed to see how little I knew about the cuisines of my own Country and its North Eastern States. I can make a fairly authentic pasta from scratch. Even a pizza, and all kinds of soups, salads, even pestos and sauces. But I didn’t know anything at all about what is the normal food of Arunachal Pradesh! There are very few recipes from Arunachal online, and the authenticity of some of these is not clear. I am going to remedy my ignorance by reading up and trying out as many items as possible from the other states in the country that I am not too familiar with.

To come back to this recipe for Oying Vegetable Stew. Determined to make it as authentic as possible, I bought The Essential North-East Cookbook by Hoihnu Hauzel. The recipes for each of the North Eastern States have been written in simple straightforward language, easy to follow. The introduction to the cuisine of each state explains the cooking methods and the ingredients specific to each State.

Brass bowl with handles with potato cabbage beans stew and a black and red silk cloth above with an arrow shaped spatula lying across
Oying Vegetable Stew

The book as well as some of the articles I found online from people familiar with the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh explained that very little oil is used in making the Oying Vegetable Stew or the other dishes that form part of the food of the people of Arunachal. Spices are rarely used. Chillies and ginger are customary ingredients. Boiling and stewing are the common processes while cooking. The herbs used are local ones for which I could not find names or descriptions in the online articles that I read. During the cooking process, ginger is usually added just after removing the pan from the stove, and the pan is kept covered for a few minutes to allow the flavours to soak in before serving.

I have tried to make the Oying Vegetable Stew from Arunachal Pradesh just as the recipe in the Essential North-East Cookbook described it. Two changes I made were to use fresh ginger pieces instead of ginger paste, and to add some lettuce greens instead of the mustard greens in the ingredients list, as I did not have mustard greens and had read elsewhere that lettuce is one of the vegetable greens used in Arunachali cooking. I have also made some modifications to the volume of ingredients, but that should not matter as this is a simple stew of boiled vegetables and proportions are not of significance.

Oying vegetable stew from Arunachal Pradesh in a round brass bowl with a green chilli on one side, a red printed napkin and a cookbook alongside
Oying vegetable stew

 

I used purple beans instead of the regular green french beans, again because that’s what I had at home. The beans are a gorgeous purple and full of antioxidants. Sadly, they loose colour and become a dull green after cooking. I buy my zero pesticide and non GMO veggies such as the purple beans, from First Agro Farms of Talakkad, Mysore, through their distributing arm, Sakura Fresh.

Some of the other recipes I have posted for the Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge on this blog:

Tomato Peanut Orange Peel Chutney Andhra Style- with Turmeric

Tomato Peanut Orange Peel Chutney Andhra Style with Turmeric Easy tasty nutritious. Orange peel adds zing and aroma Serve with dosa, idli, chapatti or rice
Tomato Peanut Orange Peel Chutney Andhra Style with Turmeric Easy tasty nutritious. Orange peel adds zing and aroma Serve with dosa, idli, chapatti or rice

Whole Wheat Herbed Patty Pan Squash Tomato Tart

Simple savoury herbed Patty Pan Squash Tomato Tart with a healthy whole wheat and oats crust. Easy even if you are making tart crust for the first time.
Simple savoury herbed Patty Pan Squash Tomato Tart with a healthy whole wheat and oats crust. Easy even if you are making tart crust for the first time.

Fresh Cherry Mint Chutney with Orange Peel

Cherry Chutney with Mint
Cherry Chutney with Mint

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Oying Vegetable Stew From Arunachal Pradesh Yum
Oying Vegetable Stew from the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh in the Indian North East. Simple stew of potatoes, beans, cabbage boiled with chillies and ginger. No oil, no spices. Vegan and gluten free.
Oying Vegetable Stew from Arunachal Pradesh in NE India. Brass bowl with stew of cabbage, potato and beans with Cookbook and a green chilli by the side
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings
cups
Ingredients
Oying Vegetable Stew from Arunachal Pradesh in NE India. Brass bowl with stew of cabbage, potato and beans with Cookbook and a green chilli by the side
Instructions
Prepare ingredients for Oying Vegetable Stew
  1. Wash, peel and dice the potatoes to about ½" sized cubes Remove top and tail of beans and remove any strings. Slice the beans or snap them into small pieces Wash and shred the cabbage and greens (mustard greens if available) Slice the green chillies Peel and mince the ginger
To make Oying Vegetable Stew from Arunachal Pradesh
  1. Heat 2 cups of water and bring it to a boil. Add the potato cubes. Add a pinch of salt Reduce the flame and let it simmer for 5 minutes so that the potato beings to cook.
    Potato cubes added to boiling water as the first step for Oying Vegetable Stew from Arunachal Pradesh in N E India
  2. Add cabbage, greens and beans to the pan with the potatoes Bring to a boil and then lower the flame and let it simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, till the potatoes are cooked and all the vegetables are soft and tender
    Cabbage and beans added to the potatoes in the pan to make Oying Vegetable Stew
  3. Add salt to taste and green chilli slices. Allow to boil for 2 minutes and then remove from the stove. Just before serving, warm up the stew. Turn off the stove and add the ginger and stir it in. Cover for 5 minutes and then serve the oying while hot, with rice.
    Vegetables for stew cooked till soft
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Oying Vegetable Stew from the cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh in the Indian North East. Simple stew of potatoes, beans, cabbage boiled with chillies and ginger
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