HOMEMADE VEGETABLE PUREE
Homemade vegetable puree, how to make healthy tomato puree at home, how to make beetroot puree, How to make spinach (palak ) puree without losing its colour, how to make carrot puree, how to make preservative free vegetable puree at home.
Vegetable purée, fresh and homemade, imparts a beautiful flavour and colour to a dish. Its a natural and healthy way to make any dish look attractive for your kids, plus the benefit of making kids eat their daily dose of veggies without them actually knowing it is what makes this a more versatile option. Since , it just takes few minutes of prep time, I would recommend making it fresh every time you want to use it, as storing it would result in loss of its nutrient value. However, If you are short of time, they can be well stored in refrigerator for few days and used to add a dash of colour to the dishes.
In this post, we have tomato, spinach, carrot and beetroot purée. The tomato purée is the most widely used of all the purée. The store brought ones loaded with preservatives were the only option for me, till I came across this tip by Master chef Sanjeev Kapoor. This method, not only works out cheaper, but is far superior flavour wise as compared to the tetra packs.
So, here are some easy ways to make these puree at home.
Homemade Tomato purée:
Ingredients: (Makes around 1 cup purée)
- Tomatoes- 4 to 5
- Beetroot- 1 to 2 small 1’ piece
- Salt- 1 teaspoon
- Water- for boiling tomatoes
- Boil water in a vessel, add salt.
- Add tomatoes and beetroot pieces to the boiling water.
- Boil for 5 to 7 minutes, switch off the flame.
- Transfer the tomatoes and beetroot to a bowl containing cold water.
- Once the tomatoes cool down slightly, remove the peel.
- With a sharp knife scoop the stem portion, you can also cut it into half and remove the seeds. But this will remove most of the juice from the tomatoes, so I usually chop them with seeds intact.
- Now add the chopped tomato pieces along with one small beetroot piece to the blender jar, blend to a smooth paste. (You can strain the puree to remove seeds and get a smoother final product.)
- Store in airtight bottles.
- I usually make small portions and use it up in 3 to 4 days, as I prefer to make it fresh every time. The maximum I have stored the purée was for 7 days and it did not go bad. So , you can store it for a week safely. In case you want to store, you can make big batches and freeze in ice trays. Once they are set, remove the cubes from the ice tray and store in ziplock pouches in deep freezer. When needed, just remove them from ziplock pouches, thaw them and use as need.
- If you want a more intense colour for your gravy, you can add a piece or two more of boiled beetroot while blending. Though the purée will be more pinkish than reddish, the gravy won’t reflect the colour of beets. It will be ususal reddish-orangish when finally done.
- Tomato puree has a wide variety of uses. To get restaurant style gorgeous coloured gravy, like the way I have used in this kofta curry.
- When making bhaaji ( mixed vegetable curry) for pav bhaaji, few tablespoons will make it look like store brought dish. A teaspoon of beetroot puree will make the colour more robust.
- Tomato rice- gives lovely colour to the rice. You can also add a dash of beetroot puree along with tomato puree , if you want an intense colour.
- It gives a vibrant colour to soups, homemade pasta and pizza sauces. You can totally omit ketchup or ready made tomato puree and still get a bright coloured sauce.
- To make breads,focacia, parathas. Just add the puree to the flour while kneading the dough, and you have an attractive and healthy bread ready for your kids.
- Any other savoury bakes.
- Idli , Dosa or any fermented batter, just before cooking. It gives a nice variation.
Homemade Spinach (palak) purée:
Ingredients: (Makes around 1 cup purée)
- Spinach (palak)- 1 large sized bunch (around 20-25 big sized leaves)
- Water- sufficient to boil the leaves
- In a vessel, boil water .
- To the boiling water, add spinach leaves and boil for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Switch off the flame, drain water and transfer the leaves immediately to a bowl of cold water. This stops overcooking of spinach and helps in retaining the bright green colour of the purée.
- Drain the cold water, and blend the cooked leaves to a smooth puree.
Note: It is always advisable to make this puree fresh, as storing it for few days would result in darkening and the puree may loose the flavour and nutrition.
- For gravy curries, especially Palak Paneer. The vibrant green stands outagainst the white paneer cubes.Any other gravy curry which uses spinach as base.
- Soups, breads or other savoury bakes.
To make carrot and beetroot puree:
2 big carrots– will yield 1 cup carrot puree
1 medium sized beetroot– will yield 1 cup puree.
- Wash, peel, dice and boil carrot/beetroot pieces in sufficient water for 5 to 7 minutes. ( You can add a blanched tomato in the water when boiling beets. It cuts down any unwanted taste from beetroot.)
- Drain off the water, transfer to a bowl of cold water.
- Blend the pieces with as little water a possible in a mixer to a smooth paste.( You can add a tomato in the water when boiling beets, peel and blend them together. It cuts down any unwanted taste from beetroot.)
Soups, savoury bakes, bread, paratha, focacia, curries, pav bhaaji. Remember, if using beetroot puree, just use 1 to 2 teaspoons, to get required colour to the pav bhaaji.
Coming up in my next posts will be some fabulous dishes I made using the colourful puree. Stay tuned !!