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Kangsoi or Chamthong

How to make kangsoi or chamthong, Manipuri staple vegetable stew?

There are two styles I make. One with oil. Traditionally it used to be without oil. Without oil is what one should take if there is fever.

With oil:

  - cut some garlic, onion

  - sizzle in oil, don't overheat the oil or char the garlic/onion

  - Add chopped vegetables (mostly green - beans or even leafy ones), potato slices. ginger and green chillies

  - Stir it for a couple of minutes

  - Add water, enough to submerge the vegetables. Too much water will reduce the taste of the soup.

  - Add turmeric powder, optionally a bit of pepper/jira powder

  - Add salt.

  - You can add any other vegetables that require less cooking after boiling the other vegetables for a minute. E.g. cauliflower or spinach can be added after boiling others for a minute.

  - You can boil without pressure, in which case, boil for about 7 minutes.

  - Or, close pressure cooker lid, but switch off just at one whistle. All 2 minutes stay closed. Open it after that even if there is pressure.

  - Stir it well, specially make sure that potato slices are broken down to some extent.

Getting it to cook to perfection needs some trial. For beginners, best way to check is if the potato slices are cooked and can be crushed with spoon.

Without oil:

 - No garlic and no turmeric.

 - You add onion ginger, green chillies, potato slices when water is cold. You need to estimate the water in the same quantity as was with oil.

 - Once the water boils, add the vegetables.

 - Add other vegetables that don't require much cooking.

 - Add salt. Boil with/without pressure as was done earlier. Open almost immediately after pressure.

 - Stir it.


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