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Saturday, January 25, 2014


Ghiveci ~ pronounced as "gi-wetch" is primarily a rustic Romanian stew made with a medley of vegetables and so a preferred dish there during the period of Lent. It is on the similar lines of the French ratatouille though they taste different. Ghiveci can be made non vegetarian too by throwing in some chicken / meat. This dish is quite easy to prepare and very forgiving. It is slowly cooked in a pot by adding vegetables one after another keeping the cooking times of the different vegetables in mind. Whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand can go into it. Onion, tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants, zucchini and peas are the most commonly used vegetables in this mildly spiced dish. I saw a video where a Romanian woman cooked the dish just with onion, tomatoes, bell pepper, parsley and cooked rice with no spices at all.
In Romania, it is usually served with rice or mamaliga , a porridge made of yellow maize flour. It can be eaten along with bread / couscous too. Instead of eating ghiveci with cooked rice, rice can be added directly to the vegetable medley during the cooking to make it a one pot meal. Either washed and drained rice can be thrown in between the cooking process so that rice gets cooked along with the veggies or some cooked rice can be added to the dish directly at the final stages so that rice absorbs the flavors better. The final dish should look like a thick sambhar rice.
It seemed kind of a hotchpotch dish and was sure that this is not going to be my kind and tried it just for my husband and son. However surprisingly I liked it taking into account that it was not heavily spiced and I could finish off a bowl without complaining as an accompaniment to my rotis. Though true Romanians may wrinkle their noses at me for that latter part of my statement.
Recipe source: Here
Servings: 3 to 4
1-2 tbsp oil (I used canola oil.)
1 onion, chopped
2 small carrots, peeled and sliced
1 small bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup of peeled and cubed kohlrabi (optional)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 cup water
2 small potatoes, peeled and cubed
A handful of frozen peas
1 eggplant, cubed (optional)
Salt to taste
1/2 to 1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp thyme (I didn't use.)
Freshly cracked pepper to taste
2 tbsp finely minced parsley
1 tsp lemon juice

* Heat the oil in a large stewpot and add the chopped onion, carrots, and peppers. Sauté until onion turns translucent.
* Next add garlic, potatoes, cabbage and kohlrabi if using and stir. Saute for about 3 -4 minutes.
* Then add tomatoes, salt, pepper, paprika, thyme and water and bring the mixture to a boil.
* Cover and simmer until the potatoes turn almost tender.
* Now add eggplants, cover and simmer.
* Simmer for another 15 - 20 minutes so that flavors mingle and the vegetables turn soft.
* Add frozen peas, fresh herbs, and lemon juice. Cook for another five minutes and serve warm.

This is my post under "European Cuisine" theme for BM#36. Check here to know what other marathoners are cooking. 



Manjula Bharath said...

wow thats an very delicious combo and stew looks so inviting !!

Harini-Jaya R said...

Looks awesome. Very bright and colorful.

Chef Mireille said...

this is the first Romanian dish I have ever known about. thx for introducing it

Srivalli said...

Ah with that washed water or water this almost sounds like one of the S Indian dish that made..bowl looks good..

Francesca said...

Hello my name is Francesca and I'm Italian. I found your blog by chance and I loved it, because there are really interesting things. I have joined your followers. If you go too foul. Thank you. Francesca.

Sravs said...

Super combo and looks delicious !!

Pavani N said...

Very interesting name. Dish looks colorful and very delicious.

Pavani N said...

Very interesting name. Dish looks colorful and very delicious.

Padmajha PJ said...

Looks so nice and flavorful!

Jayanthi Padmanabhan said...

Nice subtle stew. Romanians may not get it, but we fellow Indians sure understand