Bachelor-friendly, Chutneys/Thogayals/Dips/Podis, Everyday Simple Recipes, Snacks, Vegan

Fire-Roasted Eggplant Dip

Eggplant DipSmoky, garlicky, healthy, and simple – I am totally in love with this dip. Baba Ganouj is a Middle Eastern eggplant dip. The original Greek recipe calls for Greek Yoghurt, which I skipped. Yet the result was amazing. I can only imagine how tasty the original must be! Once you try this recipe, you will never buy a dip from the market. Serve it with breadsticks and vegetables to guests, pack it off along with crackers to the kids for snacks, or just spread them on to your bread toast. It is amazingly delicious. I seriously love this purple vegetable!

IngredientsIngredients:
Baingan/Eggplant (Large purple variety) – 1 large
Garlic – 1 clove
Lemon – 1/2
Black pepper – 7-8
Jeera/cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Extra virgin olive oil – 2 tbsp
Salt as needed

Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Makes 1 cup

Method:
Fire roasting an eggplantWash the eggplant and pat dry. Use a fork and prick the eggplant all over. Place on gas flame and roast it over a low flame. Turn the sides about every 30 seconds so that the eggplant gets cooked all over and completely. Remove from flame when the outer skin is charred and you get the smoky eggplant smell. This would take about 2-3 mins. Alternatively, you can use an oven to do this. But you will get a smoky flavor only if you roast it directly on fire. Wait for the eggplant to cool a bit, and then remove the stem and peel off the outer skin carefully. Chop the eggplant. If you feel that some parts of the eggplant is uncooked, cook the eggplant on a pan along with tablespoon of olive oil for about 3-4 mins. You may avoid this step if the eggplant gets fully roasted over the flame. Allow to cool.

serve with vegetable slicesIn a mixer, grind the eggplant, garlic, salt, pepper, and jeera seeds, together. Add lemon juice and make into a smooth paste. Adjust pepper/salt/garlic as required. Garnish with dil leaves, parsley, or use the Italian pasta/pizza garnish. Drizzle olive oil. Healthy, delicious, and easy eggplant dip is ready to be served with crackers, bread toast, sliced cucumber, carrot, bell pepper slices.

Breakfast, Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Snacks, South Indian, Tiffin, Vegan

Tangy Poha

Tangy Poha

Here is a tangy variety of poha that almost tastes like puliyodarai. I tasted this at a friend’s house and soon after tasting the first spoon, me and my mother were after my friend and her mother-in-law to get the recipe secret out. I tried making it soon enough so that I don’t forget the ingredients. Dry roasted and powdered whole masala ingredients are used for this recipe. Store this powder in an air tight container and then making this tangy poha is just a matter of few minutes. Let’s look at how tangy poha is made.

Ingredients:
Poha (beaten rice flakes/aval) – 6 cups
Tamarind juice – from a lime-sized tamarind ball
Water (optional, only enough to lightly moisten the poha)
Jaggery powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For masala:
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Fenugreek (uluva) – 1/2 tsp
Jeera – 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder – 1 tsp
Black pepper – 1/2 tsp
Asafetida – 1/2 tsp

For seasoning:
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Chana dal – 1 tsp (optional)
Roasted Peanuts – one fistful
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

For garnish:
Coriander leaves – 4-5 stalks
Curry leaves – 2 stalks

Method:
Soak tamarind in half a glass of water and extract the juice. Choose the amount of tamarind very carefully. If you feel later that it is not sufficient, you can add lime juice to balance the taste.

Grind the poha in a mixer to make a coarse powder (slightly bigger than rawa consistency). Transfer to a large bowl and keep aside. Mix the tamarind juice along with water and salt to moisten the poha. Use water carefully because the poha should just be sufficiently moistened. The consistency should be moist powdery but neither lumpy nor dry. Add jaggery powder. Mix well. Jaggery helps balance the tanginess and enhances the taste. Keep aside for 10 minutes. Since I used matta rice variety of beaten flakes, I could not get a fine powdery version. The white rice variety helps you get a nice powdery version.

Masala for tangy pohaIf you are using whole masala ingredients, dry roast each ingredient separately and powder them. I used powders except for fenugreek and jeera. Dry roast fenugreek and jeera in an iron kadai. Powder the roasted ingredients using a mortar and pestle before it cools down. Dry roast the remaining ingredients (coriander powder, black pepper powder, chilly powder, asafetida) together in the iron kadai in low flame for about 2 minutes until the raw smell is gone. Add the powdered fenugreek and jeera to this roasted masala and mix well.

TangypohaIn an iron kadai, pour oil and crackle mustard seeds. If you prefer to add urad dal and chana dal, you can add them now. When the dals turn red, add curry leaves and peanuts. Roast for a minute. Add the masala powder along with turmeric powder and stir for half a minute. Add the powdered poha. Stir and cook for about two minutes. Add coriander leaves. Tangy poha is ready.

An extremely easy alternative is to use ready-made Puliyodarai mix for this recipe. Coarsely grind the rice flakes using a mixer. Add sufficient salt and water to this coarsely ground powder and moisten the powdered rice flakes. In a kadai, heat oil and crackle mustard seeds. Add sufficient puliyodarai paste to this oil and mix well. Cook for a minute. Add the moistened rice flakes powder to this. Mix well and serve.