When I was a youngster, we used to live in government quarters with a huge garden. Dad was in the Orissa government service and while I guess we never had a lot of money, we did have load of fresh vegetables from the garden. And I hated all veggies other than a chosen few. When we visited friends or relatives, my mom would pack 1 or 2 huge bags (depending on the size of the visiting family) of fresh vegetables for them. While others would get sweets or fruits as gifts, ours was always these fresh vegetables and don't ask me how embarrassed I was! I couldn't imagine then why my mom would carry such gifts (Of course it was economical for my mom and tasty for the visiting family - but it was well beyond my comprehension!). When we moved out of the big house with the garden to a small house with no garden, thats when I saw the the anguish of my mom when she bought dried, not fresh vegetables at atrocious prices.
Here is a quick saga (any green leafy vegetable - my mother in law has used spinach here) with additional vegetables that is made commonly in Oriya household. The choice of vegetables is up to what is available, but these are the ones usually used. Sending this to Preeti's green gourmet event, though there is nothing gourmet about it!
Green leafy vegetable like spinach - a whole big bunch washed and cleaned and cut
1 small eggplant cut into small pieces
1/2 cup of pumpkin cut into small pieces
1 tablespoon of panch phutan
2 red chillies
2 tablespoon of oil/ghee
handful of badis (optional)
Salt to taste
Take a pan and fry the badis in hot oil. Move the hot badis into a paper towel to drain the oil.
Take a bigger pan and add the oil. Once the oil is hot add the panch phutan and red chillies.
Add the pumpkin and salt and fry for few minutes. Then add the eggplant and cool on high heat for 2 minutes.
Then add the spinach leaves and let the spinach wilt and let the vegetables get cooked.
Once everything is cooked, adjust the salt and add the fried badis an serve.
The Badis need to be added just before serving. It is optional and can be left out if you don't have it.
You can make this with ghee too, it tastes even better.