Sunday, December 23, 2012

Awesome aubergines: Baigan Bharta

one of the few forms of brinjals i ate as a kid...well now too, i do not love them in any form...but i do have some of my preferences now, and i do eat it in ways i can enjoy them...baigan bharta is one of the dishes i really like and make well......one of the things i like is roasting the egg plant, the slightly charred taste is something i love....this recipe is a north indian way of making it...

Ingredients:
1 medium sized egg plant 
ingredients for basic red gravy

Method:
  • Roast the eggplant over flame, turning it around as it cooks, cook it till tender. Poke knife and see it should go in easily. some juice may drip from eggplant, keep roasting it till completely tender.
  • if you have electric grill, instead of flame gas, you can roast on it too or else, bake it in oven on 375 deg F for 20 min.
  • whatever way you choose, the eggplant should be very tender and knife should be able to pass through it without slightest pressure.
  • once it is done, let it cool.
  • as it cools on other side, start making the basic red gravy.
  • once the eggplant cools, peel off its skin, then cut the egg plant lengthwise into 2 halves, check if clean, mince the eggplant with knife or with knife and fork, you need to shred it in fine pieces.
  • when the gravy is ready, mix the shredded eggplant with the gravy and let it simmer on flame for couple of minutes..
  • tasty baigan bharta is ready :)
you can eat it with whole wheat tortilla if you do not know to make chapatis/ rotis...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Awesome Aubergines

Aubergines/ Eggplant/brinjal/ringna/vantak/vangi/baigan etc etc....tons of names associated with this one vegetable...... in India specifically gujrati we have different names for different varieties of brinjals....and while the small egg plant in curries is something i do not like, the big one the nice meaty fleshy kind, is one of my favourites...
and here are some of my favourite egg plant recipes....maybe do a series of them, if I am unable to write it today in one post....

baigan bhaja
this is a bengali recipe, my aunt used to make it, my mom learnt from here, and i learnt from them both and added a touch of my own :)....i love it, and I have had people who never eat egg plants, not realize what they are eating and loving it and complementing me for it :)
goes as a nice side dish or even appetizer.....very easy to make

Ingredients:
  1. 1 egg plant (the big one...for my indian friends the one we use in baigan bharta)
  2. 1/2 cup rice flour
  3. 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  4. 2-3 pods garlic (crushed)
  5. salt to taste
  6. red chilly powder to taste
  7. oil for frying
  8. lemon juice
Method:
  • chop the egg plants such that each slice is 1/4 inch thick approximately
  • in a bowl, mix all the spices with the rice flour.
  • coat the egg plant with the dry rice flour- spice mix, press the slice into the flour mix on both sides
  • take some oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplant slices till they are properly cooked, you can check it by poking a fork or knife..it may appear little blackish as some of the flour falls off as we place slice in oil as it is dry and that gets burnt and sticks to the slice....do not worry about it
  • squeeze some lemon juice over it..

Note
if you feel that flour mix is not sticking to the slices, sprinkle some salt on the slices, that will make the slices give out some water which will help with the rice flour, just be careful about adding salt accordingly to the flour mix, else the entire dish will be very salty.

Also, one more word of caution, when you add turmeric and red chilly powder to the rice flour, it doesn't really take the colour, so you might get little concerned if you added enough or not...you can taste it, if you feel the spice is right do not add more red chilly, and as far as turmeric goes, it safer to have it less if you are not sure than to have it in excess (it makes the dish little bitter)

So go ahead and enjoy!!!!
in this series I already have baba ghanoush, egg plant parmesan (however i think I might revise the egg plant parmesan recipe) and egg plant lasagna

more to come...baigan bharta, thats my next post...happy experimenting!!! :)