Eggplants- Also known as Brinjal/Aubergine, comes with different colors and shapes like purple, green, white, long, round etc. Different varieties of eggplants differs slightly in the taste and the texture.
Eggplants, slightly bitter in taste, comes with lot of health benefits. Eggplants are cooked in many different ways in different cuisines. Today, I am posting once such recipe which is very much Indian. I tasted this at one of my relatives place and could not stop myself from asking the recipe. So far, I have found this eggplant recipe to be the easiest and yummiest. While buying eggplants for this recipe make sure you choose the tender green eggplants. So here it goes…..
Ingredients: (for 3-4 person)
1/2 kg green eggplants
2 cups chopped fenugreek leaves
2 medium sized tomatoes (sliced)
1 tsp ginger paste
2-3 tsp fresh green chili paste (or according to the taste)
2-3 springs finely chopped cilantro
1 dried red chili
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2-3 tbsp oil (be a little generous after all you are cooking eggplants in India way! )
salt to taste
- Wash the eggplants, cut them in half and slice them. Make sure you put these slices in water immediately.
- Now heat the oil in a wok, and once the oil is hot add asafoetida followed by cumin seeds, mustard seeds,dried red chili and let them play the music. You are right! Let them splutter. The dried red chili gives wonderful taste to few dishes.
- Now add the ginger paste, green chili paste to the oil and let it fry till it leave a nice aroma. Add the turmeric at this point.
- Throw in the fenugreek leaves and let the ladle dance in the wok for a while.
- Now its eggplants time to go in. Make sure you add salt as soon as you add the eggplants. Mix it and wait for 30 seconds. Let the tomatoes and the chopped cilantro go in the wok. Mix it again.
- Put a lid and let it cook till the eggplant is cooked. Mix it at regular interval.
- Once the eggplants are done turnoff the heat and sprinkle the curry with chopped cilantro.
- Serve hot!
Serving Tip: This dish goes very well with jowar bhakari.
Green Peas— one of my all time favorite. I can eat them in any form raw, cooked, fried anything u can think of. So, today I am posting one more Indian snacks recipe which is made up with green peas. You can serve this green peas kachori as snacks or starter with mint/ tamarind chutney. Enjoy the recipe.
Ingredients: (Servings 4-5 people for snacks)
2 cups – Shelled Green Peas (very coarsely grounded)
2-3 nos – Green chilies (finely chopped)
1.5 tsp – Fennel seeds (crushed)
1.5 tsp – Coriander seeds (crushed)
1/3 cup – Cilantro finely chopped
1/2 tsp – finely chopped ginger
1 tsp – Sugar (optional)
1/2 tsp – Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp – Cumin seeds
Pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
2 tbsp – Oil
2 cups – All purpose flour
1 tsp – Carom seeds
2 tbsp – Hot oil
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
- Mix Carom seeds, all purpose flour and salt. Add 2 tbsp of heated oil to and mix it.
- Now kneed a stiff dough using cold water as needed.
- Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan. Add asafoetida, mustard seeds and cumin seeds to it when the oil is hot enough. After they splutter add ginger and grounded fennel seeds and coriander seeds to it. Add green chilies to it and saute it.
- Add green peas, salt and sugar to it and mix it properly. Add the chopped cilantro to this mixture mix and cook the mixture until its half cooked. Take off the heat and set it aside to cool down,
- Make 20 equal size balls out of the dough. Roll the ball into a small size circle(poori). Place enough stuffing in the center and close to form a pouch. Press slightly. Follow the same procedure for rest of the dough.
- Heat enough oil in a kadhai(wok) and fry all the kachoris in medium hot oil till golden and crisp.
- Serve these kachoris with your favorite chutney. I like them with sweet and sour tamarind chutney or mint chutney. How about you??
“Bhakri and Pithala” wow! Authentic Mahrashtrian food. with a piece of onion and some “techa” on side. But the question here is “How to make bhakari?” I am sure many of us does not know it though they love to eat. Till recently my mother didn’t know how to make this “Bhakri”. So, we (Me and my Dad specially) used to wait for my grandmother to make them. I remember a funny incidence about bhakri. Generally, Bhakri is staple food of farmers. So, my dear brother(my cousin who is elder to me) always used to nag “Granny, why are you making this bhakaris?? Only poor people eat this.” Somehow he had the feeling that farmers are poor and only they eat bhakri. But now when I say I made bhakri, he always want to get his share through phone or internet. Poor he! ( I know he is going to kill me for telling this to everybody)
Bhakari is actually a very generalized term used for a Indian flat bread made up of any(cereals) coarse flour. For me making bhakari is a bit time consuming as compared to making a chapati or fulka. But it has got its own taste. I must say unique taste. Bhakaris can be prepared with jowar/sorghum, bajra/millet, nachni/ragi/finger millet and even with rice flour. I am posting the recipe for jowar bhakari.
Sorghum/jowar makes a healthy diet since it is gluten-free diet. It is good in treatment of celiac disease and wheat allergies. It keeps bones and teeth healthy giving energy to the body. It also maintains the health of heart, controls diabetes,arthritis and weight of the body. Its also good source of calcium,potassium and few vitamin B complex. I will post the recipe of pithala very soon to accompany this mouth watering bhakri.
Believe me,a bit difficult to make jowar bhakri is worth your efforts. Dont get disheartened if you dont get it right for the first time. Even I screwed it up horribly first time. Lack of gluten makes it difficult to roll it. It often breaks into pieces. 1st time when i made bhakri I roasted ateast 5 pieces for each bhakri. By the time I put it on the hot pan they were into pieces. Poor hubby dear, had those bite sized shapeless bhakri without complain. So here it goes.
1 1/4 cup jowar flour
1 1/2 cup water.
Salt to taste.
- Boil the water till it starts bubbling. Now add Salt to it.
- When the water is bubbling simmer the heat. and now add the jowar flour to it slowly and at the same time mix it with a spatula.
- Once u have added all the flour to the water and mixed properly switch off the gas.
- Knead it into a soft dough once the temperature decreases enough.
- If you feel the dough is still dry add a little water to it and knead it.
- Heat the pan.
- Now make one lime size ball of the dough and ensure than there are no cracks on it before you start rolling it.
- With the help of a rolling pin roll the small ball into a roti. Use jowar flour for dusting while you roll it.
- Once you roll it into a flat round bread. Put that bhakri on the heated pan. Immediately apply water on the other side(the side which is on top). This will help the bhakari to remain soft. Otherwise it may break.
- Once the water on the top dries up turn the side of bhakri. Let the other side of bhakari cook properly.
- Once its done remove the pan and put the 1st side of bhakari on the gas flame directly as shown.(I dont have gas. So I have used the Mesh for this purpose.)
- It will puff up like this:
- Apply some ghee on it and serve with jhunka,pithala or techa or any spicy vegetables.
“Idli” is comfort food of most of the southern India. You can call it as a steamed Rice cake. Its good and filling breakfast. I remember whenever we used to go to Tirupati, in the morning after coming from the temple we used to eat these idlis in small restaurant or used to buy them somewhere roadside. They serve idlis in a banana leaf with some chutney normally coconut chutney. In fact this is the normal picture in entire southern India. In the morning you will find many road side stalls selling idlis with chutney. Go to any galli/nukkad there is at least one stall selling Idlis, Dosa or Vada.
Again, this one is my favorite for two reasons: One is I like it. 2nd is it saves my cooking time over the weekend. .I just make the batter on Friday and store it in fridge and eat it over the lazy weekend.
Idlis can be made with cream of wheat or cream of rice and Urad dal (Black gram without skin) or soaking rice etc.I am going to make this Idlis with cream of rice and Urad dal.Cream of rice is also called as Idli Rava.
1 cup Urad dal (washed)
3 cup Idli Rava(Cream of rice)
Salt to taste.
Very little oil. (to apply slightly to the pan)
- Soak the Urad dal for 5-6 hrs.
- Grind the Urad dal to a fine paste in a mixer.
- Wash the Idli rava twice with water so that to have white idlis.
- Now squeez the water from the idli rava and add it to the Urad dal paste.
- Add salt and mix properly.
- Batter should have consistency of curd/yogurt.
- Keep it aside for atleast 7-8 hrs for fermentation in warm place.
- In hot weather it ferments in 4-5 hrs too.
- Here note that the container should be large enough to store the double amount of batter it has now. Because when the batter will ferment it will be doubled. So if the container is not large enough it may spill out.
- Now once the batter is fermented mix it gently. Dont mix it more. The air trapped will escape making the Idlis hard.
- Brush up the idly pan lightly with oil and Pour the batter into Idli moulds and steam it for 15 min on medium to high heat.
- Let the steam escape before you open the steamer.
- Now flip the Idlis out with the help of spoon.
- Serve hot with sambar or coconut chutney or chutney podi.
- If the weather is not warm enough to ferment the batter you can preheat the oven at 200 F and then switch it off and then put the batter inside the oven. It will ferment good.
- You can also add warm water while preparing the batter to ferment it faster.
Pickles……. Wow Yummy… I think its hard to find a person who doesn’t like mango pickle. This sour,hot and spicy adds taste to our food. Here in US I am missing that taste of homemade pickle made by my mom or my mother-in-law. One day I was talking to my co-sister who stays in Mumbai. She told me that she made this “Avakai” because he was also craving for mango pickle there in Mumbai. So I got this recipe from her eventually from her mother. I followed her recipe and I must say this is mind blowing.
“Avakai” is name for Mango pickle in Telugu. I hope you like this lip-smacking recipe of avakai. Please try this out and let me how it was.
6 glasses of Mango pieces.
1 glass mustard seeds powder
1 glass red chili powder
1 glass salt
1 tsp fenugreek powder
1 to 1 1/2 glass oil( sesame oil or groundnut oil)
1 tsp Asafoetida
1) Mix all mustard seed powder,chili powder, fenugreek powder and salt to the mango pieces in a large bowl and keep it aside.
2) Now heat up the oil in a pan and add Asafoetida to it when its hot enough.
3) Let the oil cool down to room temperature.
4) Add this oil to the above mixture and mix it properly. ( It should be little more that what is needed to wet the all the spices. Oil will ooze after a day or two)
5) Keep it aside in glass or earthen vessel for 3 days and the pickle is ready to eat.
6) After 1 or 2 days taste the pickle to see if it needs some more oil or salt and add accordingly.
1) Wash and dry the mangoes before cutting them into pieces.
2) If the mango is not very sour reduce the amount of spices accordingly. (esp salt and chili powder)
3) Add fenugreek powder little bit if you feel it will be very bitter. You can taste it later and add some more if needed.
4) If you are preparing this pickle for just 3 4 weeks you can add the ginger garlic paste to the heated oil and fry it till it turn golden brown in color. It tastes awesome.