Ammi’s Mixed Sabzi (Mom’s Mixed Vegetables)

Confession time: although most of the Pakistani dishes that I’ve posted on here involve meat, I have to admit I’m not a “meat person”. Truthfully, I’ve never been a “meat person” (much to hubby’s dismay). I don’t crave it like some people do, and I suppose you can say I’m one of “those types” who thinks a burger tastes just as delicious made out of hearty whole grains and lentils.

Yup – one of “those types” – whatever that means (veggie haters, take a seat, please).  I’m also one of “those types” who gets inexplicably anxious and excited (at once) in the presence of fresh, organic vegetables while at the farmer’s market.  Does anyone else get this thrilled about vegetables? No?  Just me? 

About a week ago, I found myself in a semi-mad, veggie possessive state while scouring for our weekly produce.  I don’t know if this had anything to do with the Super Blood Wolf Moon, but I went a little overboard in buying just about every earthy veg in sight.  Since at least half of my household (i.e. me) primarily only eats veggies, this didn’t seem like much of an issue at the time.  But then 2 days passed, and I realized that only half of our household (i.e. me) primarily only eats veggies.

Slight panic ensued when I realized that my leafy chard, rainbow carrots, and heirloom tomatoes might all be headed straight to the compost bin if I didn’t do something quick (I could have frozen them, but it was a Tuesday night after work and I was in no mood to wash, dry, chop, and pack my bounty of produce).  And then I remembered mum – because in any emergency (real or perceived), I always think of mum.  In this particular instance of WWMD (what would mum do), I was reminded of her mixed sabzi (mixed vegetables, prepared in a Pakistani manner).  

This is a dish that really doesn’t require a recipe or much technique.  Literally any vegetables you have on hand can be used and any quantity will do.  All the vegetables are sautéed at the same time in a pot of spices, and then briefly steamed and garnished with fresh herbs.  I don’t think it gets any quicker or easier than this.  Although it goes without saying; this dish is so hearty and so incredibly flavourful.  Even the most adamant of carnivores won’t miss the meat.  So if you ever find yourself in a semi-frenzied state due to an overabundance of veggies; keep calm, think of my mum, and make her mixed sabzi.    


Ammi's Mixed Sabzi

A hearty blend of seasonal vegetables, quickly sautéed in a Pakistani manner with robust spices.  
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time15 minutes
Total Time25 minutes
Servings: 6
Author: Recipe Courtesy of my mum; Aroosa Akhtar


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • assorted vegetables of choice
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • salt, to taste
  • 5 small garlic cloves, sliced thin
  • 1" ginger piece, sliced thin
  • 2-3 small tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 T fresh dill weed


  • Heat oil in a large pot over low-medium heat.  Once the oil starts to shimmer, add fenugreek seeds and allow to splutter briefly (about 15 seconds).
  • Add the turmeric powder, cumin seeds, red chili powder, salt, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, nigella seeds, and all vegetables and sautée for 3-5 minutes.
  • Cover pot and turn heat down to low.  Steam the vegetables for approximately 10 minutes (or until heartier vegetables such as cauliflower can be pierced easily with a knife).
  • Once the vegetables have cooked; off heat and garnish with fresh dill weed.  Enjoy!  


Any vegetables and any quantity will work in this recipe.  I used one small Italian eggplant, 1 small head of cauliflower, one small yellow bell pepper, 1 lb of green beans, 2/3 c. fresh sweet peas, 3 small rainbow carrots, and 3 baby potatoes.