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.

Everyday Simple Recipes, Main Dish, South Indian, Vegan

Eggplant Rice – A One-Pot Meal

Recently I have been finding one-pot meals very interesting. I never used to like them earlier, only for the reason that I was not familiar with them. At home the only one-pot meal we knew was curd rice, tomato rice, lemon rice, and tamarind rice. Apart from these, I was not used to pilaf or biriyani simply because at home we do not use garam masala. Meal to us meant rice accompanied with a gravy and a subzi. It took me several years to get out of that comfort zone.

Lunch boxKarnataka cuisine has many varieties of one-pot meals. The first meal I had at MTR had some of these including Bisibele bath. Personally not a big fan of that one. But vangi bath or eggplant/brinjal rice has been a favorite ever since the first time. Eggplant rice is a very good option to make when you are expecting guests and need to make rice and roti-subzi. This one-pot meal does not need much preparation, can be made quickly, and gives you ample time to attend to other things. It is a convenient lunch to carry to schools and work places.

Let me add the disclaimer first! This recipe requires a special powder called Vangi Bath masala powder. Like many other ready-to-mix powders that are available in the market (most famous brand being MTR), this powder is also available. I am not sure if it is widely available like a puliyodarai mix! In this recipe, I have not explained how to make the vangi bath mix because I do not know how to. I bought the masala mix from my friendly neighborhood Iyengar’s Bakery that sells masalas, snacks, and some tasty dosas and meals.

Vangi bath masala mix can be prepared at home and has good shelf life. Aayis Recipe, a veteran food blogger’s version can be checked here. This one over here is good too.

Traditional recipe only uses brinjal but I used potato and capsicum as well. I quite loved the taste!

Ingredients:
Rice (raw rice/biriyani rice preferred) – 1 glass
Oil – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Brinjal – 2 medium sized
Potato – 1 medium sized
Capsicum – 1 medium sized
Green chillies – 2
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Vangi Bath mix – 1 tbsp
Roasted peanuts – 1/2 cup
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Curry leaves – 2 stalks
Lemon juice – of half a lime or as desired
Salt – as needed

Method:
VegetablesPressure cook rice and keep aside.

Wash and clean the vegetables. Peel potato, remove stalk from eggplant and capsicum. Cut in rectangular pieces (can be cut as desired). Separate the capsicum pieces from the brinjal and potato pieces. Split the green chillies. Keep aside.

Heat an iron kadai and pour oil. Add mustard seeds to the oil. After mustard seeds splutter, add cut brinjal, potato, curry leaves, and green chilies. Add turmeric powder. Stir well to coat oil on the vegetables and close with a lid. Cook for 5-7 minutes in slow fire stirring occasionally. At 5 minutes, add capsicum pieces. Cook for another 2 minutes or so until all vegetables are tender. Add vangi bath mix and salt. Stir for a minute and turn off fire. Add the cooked rice. If rice is very hot, it might break while mixing. So make sure that the rice has cooled down a little bit. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves, roasted peanuts, and lemon juice. Mix well. Serve with papad and raita.Vangi bath, salad, and papad

I made mixed veg raita using cucumber, onion, carrot, curd, green chilies, coriander leaves, and salt. Makes a wholesome meal of carbs, cooked vegetables, fresh vegetables, curd for probiotic, and the fried papad to add a little bit of sin!

Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Side Dishes, Vegan

Stuffed Brinjal

Another stuffed vegetable that is very similar to the previous one. I have always been a brinjal fan. Isnt it one of the prettiest of vegetables? What a color! When I buy sarees for my mother, I always look for the aubergine or the brinjal flower color because that’s her favorite! Man has not yet mastered the art of replicating the colors of Nature very well, yet we take pride in saying that we came close. Whether it is the purple brinjal or the unique green long brinjal variety, the streaked purple and white ones, or the ivory white one; all taste excellent when cooked with the right ingredients. Who can resist the smell of the smoky bhartha baingan?

Stuffed brinjal is easy to make and makes good accompaniment for rotis or puris. You can go crazy with your imagination and use anything you fancy for the masala of this recipe. Make this one and you will fall in love with brinjal.

Ingredients:
Brinjal (purple small round ones) – 250 gms
Cooking oil (sunflower) – 2 tbsps
Coriander leaves – a bunch
Salt – to taste

For masala:
Onion – 2 (medium sized)
Peanuts – 2 tbsp
Sesame seeds – 1 tbsp
Grated coconut / Copra pieces – 2 tbsp
Garlic – 3-4 cloves
Tamarind – 1 lime size
Jaggery – 1 tsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder – 2 tsp
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method:

slit brinjalPlease make sure that you use the small purple brinjal variety to make this dish. Wash the brinjal and pat them dry using a cloth. Make slits that cross each other while keeping the stem intact. Ensure that there is no dirt/worms. Keep aside.

Peel and cut the onion. In a pan, dry roast the grated coconut / copra and peanuts. Set aside.
Add one tbsp oil and add chopped onion, garlic, tamarind and saute well. After the onion turns pink, add turmeric power, chilly powder, jaggery, and salt. You may add anything you fancy, like coriander powder, garam masala, or ginger garlic paste instead of garlic. Turn off the flame and let the mixture cool. Grind this to a fine paste in a blender. Add just enough water so that the paste is not too loose. Carefully stuff this paste into the slit brinjal so that the paste of masala coats the insides of the brinjal. If you choose to and have the time and patience, you can keep this aside for half an hour before you start cooking the brinjal. I did not do this and cooked the stuffed brinjal straightaway after stuffing them with the masala.

In a thick bottomed pan, pour 2 tbsp of cooking oil and place the slit brinjal with masala stuffing. Close with a lid. Hold the brinjal stem and turn them over occasionally to cook all sides until the brinjal is tender (about 10-15 minutes on medium fire). If you prefer some gravy for the dish, you can make the masala slightly watery and that will make the dish watery. If you prefer it tangy, you can cook the stuffed brinjal in tomato puree. When the brinjal is tender, remove from fire, and add chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rotis or warm rice.

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Everyday Simple Recipes, Indian, Kerala Recipes, Side Dishes, Snacks

Shallow Fried Eggplant

Many people dislike brinjal. But this preparation is something that can tempt even a brinjal hater. Its simple and yum.

Shallow fried brinjal

Ingredients:

Brinjal/Eggplant (Bartha Baingan) – one medium sized
Onion (small) – 1 (you can use a few shallots also)
Red chilly powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – as needed
Oil – 3 tbsp

Method:

Cut brinjal into thin round pieces.

Cut Brinjal

Grind the onion and red chili powder salt into a fine paste. Coat the brinjal pieces with the ground paste along with salt. Mix well and keep aside for at least half an hour.

marinate

Heat oil in a flat thick bottomed vessel. When the oil is sufficiently hot, place the brinjal pieces on the oil one by one. Keep the fire on Low-Medium.

Shallow Fry

After a minute or two, turn over the brinjal pieces using a flat ladle. When both sides of brinjal is sufficiently brown, remove from fire. Place on absorbent paper to remove excess oil. Can be served as a snack or served with rice.

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