An Eggplant Boat in a sea of Green.

IMG_20180326_113646-01.jpeg

You need:

  • One large eggplant. When choosing get one with a small ring at its end instead of a line. These will have a lot lesser seeds.
  • 2-3 tomatoes, finely diced.
  • 1 onion, finely diced.
  • Grated cheese.
  • Any greens like spinach or malabar spinach. I used Water Amaranth (local name is Ponnaganti)
  • Pepper as per taste.

First prep the egg plants. Cut into two halves. Then peel about 1 cm of the skin from the center. This will give it a stable base while baking. Scoop out the seeds and flesh from the middle. There must be about a cm of eggplant left in the shape of a boat. Salt the boats and keep them aside. Chop the removed part of the eggplant.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onions, tomatoes and the left over eggplant. Saute on high heat till everything has softened. Season with salt and pepper. Its done when the volume is half of what it was when you started. Let it cool down.

Wash out the salt from the eggplant boats. Wipe them dry. Coat the outside with olive oil. Fill the boat with the cooked vegetables. Grate cheese on it. Bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 35 mins. Let it rest at least 10 mins, before serving.

IMG_20180326_104942747.jpg

There will be some left over vegetables in the pan. Add some more oil to it. Saute the greens in this, till they are well cooked. Check and add a little salt or pepper if you want. A touch of chilly flakes is always a good idea.

Plate it and enjoy a super healthy meal.

Roasted Eggplant with Creamy Sorrel Prawns

One of those things that just fall into place as you stare into the refrigerator.

You need:

  • 100 grams of prawns.
  • 100 grams of Green sorrel Leaves, chopped up.
  • 6-7 Small Eggplants. Sliced vertically into 3 pieces.
  • Fresh cream about one cup, at room temperature.
  • Salt and pepper.
  • Butter.

Heat a non stick pan and place the eggplants. Let them get roasted on both sides. Remove and keep aside.

Melt butter in the pan. Saute the prawns on medium heat till they are fully white on the side but while they are still raw add the sorrel leaves. Let them wilt and release moisture. Do not let it dry up. Slowly add in the fresh cream and cook on low heat. When it comes to a light boil, keep stirring. This is avoid scalding the cream and protect it from curdling. Season with salt and pepper. Keep it just a tad more salty than you usually keep.

Serve into a plate and cover with the roasted eggplants.

Do not let your family taste it. The tasting session will end up finishing the dish.

One Pot Barley Meal

img_20180202_105642-011

One of my favorite activities is reading. I just finished a brilliant book called, “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. I knew Barley was one of the first domesticated grains in the world. But had no idea that it was also used as a currency in the ancient world. It certainly makes sense. Its a very hardy crop and the grain has a really long shelf life. Its also very healthy and can be used in many different ways. This is a simple recipe that is full of goodness and bursts with earthy flavors.

You Need:

  • One cup of Barley, washed and soaked in water for about 30 mins.
  • 250 grams of Mutton.
  • 3 Large onions sliced really thin.
  • Butter and Oil.
  • Spinach or Basella, chopped up.
  • A large Egg Plant, cut into small pieces.
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste.
  • A little cardamom, star anise and cloves.
  • 3 whole green chilies.
  • A teaspoon of turmeric.

Heat butter and oil in a pressure cooker. Saute the cardamom, star anise and cloves. Fry onions in this till they are reduced in volume by more than half and are almost golden. Season with salt. Add the green chilies, turmeric and ginger garlic paste. When the raw edge is gone add the meat. Saute till its all white and then add enough water to cover everything. Pressure cook on high for a whistle and then simmer for about 10-12 minutes.

Open cooker and add the barley, greens and egg plant. You may need to add some more water. Everything must be almost covered in water. Pressure cook for one whistle. Let the pressure fully subside before you open the cooker. You may need to stir and cook on high heat to get the right consistency. Leave it a little wet. As it cools the barley will absorb a lot of the water.

Enjoy a scrumptious one pot meal.

 

 

Roasted Chicken and Egg Plant

IMG_20180109_114335-01-01-01.jpeg

You need:

  • Chicken with skin, a pair of legs and thighs with skin on.
  • 6-7 long and thin Eggplants, with slits. Refer picture.
  • Olive Oil.
  • Salt and Pepper.

In an oven safe baking dish, spread out the eggplants. Drizzle olive oil. Sprinkle salt and pepper.

Spread out chicken on top of eggplants. Sprinkle salt and pepper but no oil.

Cover dish with aluminium foil and make two tiny holes to vent out steam. 40 mins at 200C. Remove the foil. Brush some oil on the chicken skin.

20 mins at 220C.

Remove chicken pieces and with only top heat bake the eggplants to dry them up.

Serve with any creamy sauce.

Aubergine Fenugreek Sandwiches (Vegan)

Aubergine Sandwich

You Need:

  • One large aubergine / egg plant.
  • Fenugreek leaves and tender stems chopped up.
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin.
  • Dry Red Chilly Flakes, as per taste.
  • 1 teaspoon garlic paste.
  • 1 tablespoon of mustard oil.
  • Turmeric powder
  • Olive oil

Slice the aubergine into 1 cm thick rings. Salt and let them stand for at least 15-20 minutes. Wash off the excess salt and pat them dry. Place these rings into a hot pan without stacking. Carefully drizzle olive oil on the rings. Aubergine is like a sponge. It will soak in all the oil. Cook on high heat till the base of the rings is slightly charred. Turn them over and cook on low heat for about 10 mins. Remove when the aubergine has softened up but still holds the shape.

In the same pan, heat mustard oil. Saute cumin, chilly flakes and garlic paste. Add the fenugreek. Cook this on high heat. Keep stirring till there is no moisture being released from the leaves.

Warning: There is no effort made to mask the natural bitter taste of the fenugreek. My family likes it. Not everyone does.

Eggplant and Basella.

Get a large eggplant and chop it up. You can also use the smaller brinjals.
When buying the eggplant play special attention to its base. It will either be shaped like a line or a circle. You must buy the circle. These have way fewer seeds and are less bitter.

Wash and clean the Basella leaves.

Heat oil and drop in some dry red chilies, cumin, sesame seeds, fenugreek seeds, saunf, onion and curry leaves.

Once they have all softened add the eggplant.

You will need to cook them till they have softened completely.
To achieve the perfect softness you will need to cook them covered on low flame. But keep a close watch every few minutes so that they don’t get burnt at the base of the vessel.

Adding salt will help hasten this process.

Add the leaves and cook till they have also softened.

This is a fantastic meal by itself. You don’t need any accompaniments for this lovely eggplant dish.