Archive for the ‘Eggplant’ Category

Spinach,Corn &Pepper Subzi and Eggplant Raita

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Last week, my cousin and her family visited us for the holidays and naturally I took a break from cooking at home to eat out. One of our favorite places to eat out these days is the Maharaja Bhog restaurant. Since they have different subzis every time we eat there, I try some of those at home for rotis these days. That day we had spinach,corn,pepper and paneer gravy and it was so simple, yet so rich and tasty. I made it today to go with pooris for our lunch.

If you need a variation from aloo palak,palak paneer or dal golas in palak gravy, try this corn and palak subzi.

Ingredients:(serves 2-3)

Tightly packed baby spinach- 2 cups
Chopped onion- 1/4 cup
Tomato(small to medium size)- finely chopped-1
Sweet corn(I used frozen)- 1/2 cup
Green pepper-1 (Finely chopped)
Oil- 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Fennel seeds- 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 3/4 tsp

Method:
Heat oil in a pan and add fennel seeds, when they start to sizzle add half the onions, half the salt and stir fry. Once onions turn pinkish in color add tomatoes and spinach, stir fry till spinach wilts. Transfer to a blender, let it cool down and blend to a smooth paste with about 1/2 cup of water.

Heat oil in the pan again and add the rest of the chopped onions,salt and stir fry well. Once onions turn translucent, add peppers and corn and stir fry well. When peppers are half cooked, add the spinach puree, garam masala powder, another 1/2 cup of water, cover and let it simmer for 10 minutes.

Spinach-corn-peper

That is it, the gravy is ready to serve! If you like, you can add paneer also or you can add some cream to the gravy for richness.

The second recipe is something very simple. My mom makes this way tastier and better than my version. It is called sutta kathirikkai pachadi(roased eggplant raitha). After eating out for a couple of days we made something simple at home, and it was this raitha and lemon rice. This raitha goes well with coconut rice or vathakozhambu also. This is very tangy, mildly spicy and down to earth comfort food.

Ingredients:(serves-2)

Small eggplants- 5
Well whisked yogurt- 1 cup
For tempering:
Oil- 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- one sprig
Chana dal and urad dal- 1/2 tsp each
Hing- 1 pinch
Red chili- 2
Salt to taste

Method:
Wash and remove the stem of the eggplant, cut the eggplant into four but do not slice it completely. Heat oil in a pan and slowly add each eggplant to the pan. Sprinkle salt on top and roast the eggplants(or you can even do it in the stove flame). Do not roast it so much that it gets bitter but just so that it is cooked through.

Eggplant-raitha

Transfer the eggplants to a bowl, mash them well.

Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds,when they splutter, add hing, curry leaves, urad dal, chana dal and red chilies and fry well. Pour this over the mashed eggplants, add yogurt and mix well. Serve with dal rice, vathakozhambu rice, lemon rice or tamarind rice.

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Kathirikkai Kothsu (Eggplants in tamarind gravy)

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Kathirikkai Kothsu is the perfect combination for pongal. The sauteed eggplants with spices and a hint of tamarind makes it a easy side dish for idlis and dosas as well.

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

Chopped onions – 1/4 cup
Tomato- 1
Small purple eggplants-6 to 8
Salt to taste
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Tamarind- one small key lime size

For the spice powder:
Chana dal- 1 tbsp
Red chilies-6
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp

For tempering:
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 big pinch
Sesame oil- 1 tsp
Curry leaves- few sprigs

Method:

Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Remove the green stem.

Heat one tbsp of oil in a pan and add the eggplants, season with a pinch of salt. Keep the flame on low-medium and let the eggplants sear on all sides, so that the eggplants are tender to touch. This takes about 10-15 minutes. Let the eggplants cool. Once the eggplants have cooled down, smash them with the back of a spoon into a pulp.

Toast chana dal, coriander seeds,red chilies to a golden brown color and blend them together to a coarse powder.

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water and extract the juice.

Heat oil in a pot and add mustard seeds, when they splutter, add curry leaves and asafoetida. Then add the chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, salt, turmeric powder, red chili powder and saute well.

Pour in the tamarind extract and let the onions and tomatoes cook. Once the gravy is 3/4th cooked through, add the mashed eggplants, the spice powder and mix well. Simmer for another 5 minutes and switch off. Make sure that the tamarind taste is not over powering. You can use either tamarind or tomato. If the tamarind is enough for the tangy taste, leave the tomato out of the recipe and proceed like above. You can also increase the quantity of spice powder to make the kothsu more spicy.

Serve hot with pongal, idlis or dosas.

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Bhagara Baingan (Seared Eggplants in a tomato based gravy)

Sunday, March 7th, 2010

Eggplant is one of my favorite vegetables to cook with as it cooks fast and I can use it in any recipe, either rice, as a stir fry, in gravies or as a fried snack.

Apart from Gutti Vankaya, another egg plant gravy that I make often is Bhagara Baingan. The well seared eggplant absorbs the spices and soaks in the tomato gravy, making it easy to pair with Jeera Rice, Plain rice or Chappatis. This is my version of bhagara baingan, once you know the basic ingredients, just mix and match to see how many variations you can make!

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Small Purple Eggplants-10
Red onion- one medium size
Tomato- 2 (Large size)
Salt to taste
Olive Oil- 2 tbsp
Garam Masala Powder- 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste- 1 tsp
Cloves- 3 each
Cinnamon- 1″ Piece
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Red chilies-4
Unsweetened coconut- 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts- 1 tbsp
Cilantro- to garnish

Method:

Chop onions into cubes. In a pan, toast cloves,cinnamon, coriander seeds and red chilies. When the coriander seeds start spluttering, remove the spices from the stove, let it cool. In the same pan, sear the onions with a pinch of salt (to sweat the onions). When onions turn transparent, remove from stove and cool

Grind the toasted spices to a fine powder. Add the onion to the blender and blend onions with the spices to a smooth paste.

Boil a cup of water in a pot and add whole tomatoes to the pot. Let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Once you can see the skin of the tomato peeling off, remove the tomatoes from the hot water, completely remove the skin and cool it. Blend the tomatoes to a smooth puree.

Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Remove the green stem. Make a cut in the base of the eggplant( like a plus shape).

Heat oil in a kadai(or a saucepan) and arrange the eggplants in the pan. Sprinkle some salt on top and cover. Let the eggplants sear on both sides. When eggplant is well roasted on both sides, remove them from the pan and keep aside.

In the same pan, pour the prepared onion paste and saute for a minute. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric powder and stir fry for 3-4 minutes till the raw smell of the onions disappear. Pour the tomato puree, add the garam masala powder and a cup of water, cover and let the gravy simmer for 10-15 minutes.

When the gravy has thickened, drop in the eggplants and cover and let them cook for another 10 minutes, till eggplants are soft.

Blend Cashews and coconut to a fine powder. Add about 2 tbsp of water and grind it to a smooth paste. Pour this thick paste over the cooked eggplants, let it simmer for another 2 minutes. Switch off. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve Bhagara Baingan with Jeera Rice or Chappatis.

I am sending this Bhagara Baingan to Lets Celebrate with Holi- Colors Event.

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Gutti Vankaya Koora (Stuffed Eggplants in Tamarind sesame gravy)

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

If you ask me what recipes comes to my mind when I think of eggplant, I would have said eggplant stir fry, eggplant parmesan, eggplant bajji or eggplant kothsu. But now a days the one sitting on top of my list is gutti vankaya. Gutti Vankaya is an authentic Andhra recipe and all the credit of introducing me to this recipe goes to N’s close friend S. When N was in the east coast, he and his friends used to order this vankaya from a take out place and that place closed down when I got married to N and moved to the east coast.

They used to tell me about the dish and the taste of it and I started the Project Gutti Vankaya. I call it a project because I thought it was Bagara Baingan or Baingan Bartha and I tried nearly 10-15 versions of it from adding onion paste to tomato paste to coconut milk to anything I can think of. The issue was that I never had tasted it but the description was mouth watering and I wanted to try it every time I heard it as,” spicy, well cooked, tangy and thick gravy”. Recreating without tasting is a headache.

Finally one day I found the perfect recipe for Vankaya from Indira. I was mesmerized by her version and how she described the dish as ” bouquet of brinjals”. I tried her version and it was a instant hit with N, me and our friends. Whenever we see green eggplants or baby purple eggplants in the market on a weekend, we look at each other and grab it. Our lunch the next day would be gutti vankaya.

Ingredients( Serves-2)

Baby purple eggplants or green eggplants- 12-14 numbers
Tamarind- one small key lime size
Salt to taste
Red chili powder- 1/2 tsp (optional)
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp
Water- 2-3 cups

To grind: (For stuffing and for the gravy)
Peanuts- 1/2 cup
White sesame seeds- 1/4 cup
Cloves-2
Red Chilies- 6
Cinnamon- 1″ stick
Coconut- 2 tbsp
Coriander seeds- 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Method:

Soak the tamarind in a cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Extract the juice, discard the tamarind pulp and add another one cup of water to the juice. Keep aside.

Toast the peanuts to a golden brown color. Cool, remove the skin and keep aside.

Toast the sesame seeds to a golden brown color. Keep aside.

Toast coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, cloves and cinnamon together.

Slightly toast the coconut, do not let it turn brown as it will be bitter. Keep aside.

In a blender, grind peanuts, sesame seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, red chilies, cloves, cinnamon, coconut and salt to a dry coarse powder. Do not add water at any stage of grinding. Divide the powder into two parts.

Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Chop the green stem and slice the eggplant. Do not chop it fully but leave some eggplant at the end, just slice it like a flower (plus shape).

Stuff the eggplant with the one portion of the spice powder.

Heat oil in a pan and start placing the eggplants on one side or one their base. Keep the flame on low and slowly toast it on all sides. Add the remaining spice powder and slightly stir it. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder and slightly stir them in. Add the tamarind juice. Cover and let it simmer for 15- 20 minutes till the gravy is thickened, eggplants are cooked through and are soft.

The gravy should have reduced atleast 1/2 in volume and has to be thick, eggplants has to melt in the mouth like butter. Check for salt.

Serve the gutti vankaya with rice and poppadams. We had it with coconut rice and cucumber salad.

I am sending this gutti vankaya combination to Pari’s Combo event.

I am also reposting the South Indian Thali for this event. This plate contains rice, ghee, dal, Tomato Rasam, Drumstick sambhar, Okra-Cabbage Stir fry, Carrot Keer, Yogurt, Pickles and Poppadam.

My third entry to the event is Lead vessel Lemon Tomato Rasam, Cabbage-carrot Thoran and Rice.

This delicious Gutti Vankaya is also going to Anita’s Vegetable Marathon-Eggplant event.

Sivarathiri was celebrated at Meenakshi Temple last weekend with Bharathnatyam dance at the Navagraha Sannithi, with Poojas and a Homam at the main temple. Here are some photos taken during the event(Thanks to Sri. Chitoor K Ramachandran for the permission for the photos)

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