Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baingan Ka Bharta/Eggplant Grilled & Cooked in Onions& Tomatos

 Friends-Buy the biggest eggplant which weighs around a ton ;) I learnt this from my mother-in -law,when I first started to go veggie shopping with her:) Her golden rule of thumb-When buying an eggplant for  especially Bharta,"make sure it is heavy,you will get all flesh and less seeds." & when buying capsicums/bell peppers,"make sure you pick the lightest of the lot to avoid too much of seeds inside."  I got more tips from her than I ever did from my mom in this department,and honestly they have all come very handy and I am sure you will remember these next time you are picking up an eggplant & bell peppers :)

I picked every eggplant and mentally weighed it and then put it down  (people around me probably thought I was out of my mind or something )  finally I settled on this medium sized  one which weighed around a pound & compared to the others in the lot it looked around the same in size but weighed  comparitively more :)

Set the broiler on 500 d fahrenhiet and after poking the eggplant,cover it in a foil and keep it on the top rack right unedr the broiler for 20-25 minutes. Pull the top tray with your mitts on and insert a knife through the foil inside the eggplant if it goes through as smooth as a butter it is done. Let it cool. remove the skin or scoop the flesh with a round spoon and start the bharta preparation.

Ingredients you will need:

Onion: 2 medium sized very finely chopped
Tomato: 2 large sized chopped
Ginger: 1 tbsp
Garlic: 1 tbsp
Salt: to taste
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder: 1/2 tsp
Corrinader powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala powder: 1/4 tsp
Cilantro: 1 tbsp chopped for garnish
Green chilli: 2 whole( just for flavor)
Olive oil: 3 tbsp


Take a kadai and heat the oil.when hot slide the chopped onion and saute them till they turn a  rich deep brown. You can sprinkle a little water in between if the onion start to stick at the bottom. Now when you have the desired color add the ginger,garlic and salt and cook for 2 minutes.

Add tomatos and the rest of the dry spices  except the garam masala and cook till it gets a nice rich color and you see the oil appear at the edges. Now add the scooped eggplant and take a potato masher or with the back of a spoon,mash the eggplant  intermittently till everything looks smooth and well blended ,now add the green chilli and cover and cook for 5 minutes. 

Uncover the bharta ,sprinkle the chopped cilantro and the garam masala and squeeze some lemon jiuce and serve with roti's.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Moong Daal & Chaval & Gobi / A complete meal

A very popular ,nutritious and wins hands down when it comes to one of those comforting meals. This meal reigns supreme in all the above mentioned departments in the Bhagia household. Also I had promised Mahir I would put this up on the blog especially for him-There are times when I am not around and he has to make long distance calls to get the recipe for these. So I know this should come in very handy for him and for those of you who are living the ,"forced bachelor" days. This is not at all time consuming and even easier for those of you who use separators in the pressure cooker to make two or three things simultaneously :)

Recipe For Moong Daal:

Moong Daal dhuli : 1 cup washed & soaked for 20 minutes
Salt: To taste
Turmeric: a pinch
Olive Oil: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 10-12
Tomato: 1 medium sized chopped
Cumin/Jeera: 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp
Cilantro washed & chopped: 2 tbsp
Asfoetida: a pinch
Ginger grated: 1/2 tsp

Take the washed daal and pressure cook it with 2 cups of water, grated ginger,salt & turmeric and 1 tsp of oil to avoid the froth and spilling. After the first whistle,I let it cook on medium flame for 3-4 minutes and then take it off the flame & let the steam release on its own.

Now take off the lid and mash the daal with the back of the spoon and add enough water to make it as thin or thick you would like it to be.I make it soup like to enjoy it with the rice and roti as well.

Keep it on medium flame again and let it come to a rolling boil,keep stirring it so it does stick to the bottom. Add the chopped cilantro also while it is boiling.

Meanwhile take a small kadai/pan and heat the remaining oil,when hot add the mustard,cumin and asfoetida,when it starts to splutter and the chopped tomato's and cook for a while, now add red pepper to this and pour this on the daal. You will get a nice rich color and it will make the daal look and taste very appetizing.

Recipe For Gobi:

Gobi: 1 small bunch of cauliflower  washed &cut into small florets.
Ginger: 2 inch piece cleaned and chopped or grated
Onion: 1 medium chopped
garlic: 2 flakes chopped
Tomato: 1 medium chopped
Salt: to taste
Asfoetida: a pinch
Red Pepper: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1 tsp
Garam masala: a pinch or little more
Green chilli's whole: 3
Cumin: 1 tsp
Olive Oil: 2 tbsp

Take a kadhai, and heat the oil,when it turns very hot add the cumin,hing/asfoetida and let it splutter.Now add the chopped onions and grated or chopped ginger ,garlic and saute till golden brown.

Add the florets and saute them on high flame for 2-4 minutes. Making sure to give them a good shake every once in a while. Now add salt and turmeric and cover the pan with a tight fitting lid for 4 minutes or till the gobi is 3/4 th cooked.

Now take the lid off and add the remaining spices along with the chopped tomato's and cover it for some more time or till the gobi is cooked. I like the gobi to have a crunch so I do not cook it all the way but leave it 80% cooked.

Garnish it with chopped cilantro and also squeeze some lime juice before serving it with rice & daal.

 Note: If  Mahir can cook rice without a recipe then I am hoping every one can :0

Monday, March 21, 2011

Besan Wali Zucchini/Zucchini Cooked in Gram flour

Friends,I hope everyone had a great Holi with friends & family. We had a big get together in our house on the 19th which went on till the 20th afternoon ,there was lots of good food and sweets from Raj Bhog and we played with Abir/color,I wanted to put up a picture of me with my friends in holi colors,but it will have to wait due to technical difficulties :( And I cannot believe it is the first official day of spring here and it snowed for us :(

Personally I prefer eating anything cooked with Besan/Gram flour on a cold wintry or rainy day.So here is a very tasty zucchini vegetable cooked with besan from my drafts,it has been lying in there for quite some time,I must have cooked it on one of those cold wintry ,rainy days. This one is very simple to make and the besan and mango powder along with other non-dominant spices makes this zucchini dish very special and different from the regular zucchini fair :) So I hope you will give this one a try,here it goes:

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Zucchini: 4 cut lengthwise into two pieces and then cubed into 1- 2 inch pieces
Oil: olive oil: 2 tbsp
Red dry chili: 4
Kalonji/nigella seeds: 1 tsp
Gram flour: dry roasted 1 tbsp and then cooled
Red chili powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric: 1/4 th tsp
Coriander powder: 1 tsp
Mango powder: 1 tbsp
Jeera/cumin powder: 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Lime Juice : To squeeze at the end of the preparation  is optional


Take all the dry spices in a big owl except nigella/kalonji seeds & the whole chilli's and mix the zucchini along with the spices in the bowl and give it a good shake.Leave it marinated in these spices for 10 minutes.

Now take a frying pan and heat the oil.When it is hot add the nigella seeds/kalonji  and the whole dried chilli's,wait for a couple minutes before you add the zucchini to this oil.  Now slide in the zucchini and stir it nicely in the oil. Fry it for a couple minutes,till you see a nice glossy coat on all.Now cover and cook with a tight lid for 7-10 minutes. Leave it a little crunchy,it tastes better when it has a nice crunch to it. Also make sure when you remove the lid to check on the doneness,do not let the water build-up from the steam drop in the zucchini,this will make the zucchini wet and when you cover it again it will get soft and will not be able to retain its crunchiness.

Enjoy this with roti's with some daal on the side :) Also don't forget to squeeze some lime juice if you enjoy it tangy & spicy.