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Saturday, August 13, 2016

Baingan Ka Bartha - Smoked Brinjal and capsicum in tomato gravy

A long time since I wrote down some traditional, go to recipes. I learnt this while in school from my mom. She is very fond of roasted brinjal recipes. There is another one apart from Baigan ka bartha. The other one is made with fresh ground spices and curd. The king of the vegetables is a favorite in the Andhra (Telugu) cuisine and is almost a must have in wedding and festive menus. Most friends of mine die hard fans of brinjal and a stuffed brinjal recipe being one of the most sought after (Gutthi vankaya).

The original roasted brinjal recipe is originally from middle eastern/Persian kitchens and is called Baba Ghanoush, Indian versions use a few more spices and different oils (original Persian recipe uses olive oil). My recipe is a little different from the conventional baingan (brinjal) ka Bartha as i add the smoked/roasted capsicum for a very unique twist to the dish

Allergy: Soy free, dairy free, vegan, low spice and low fat
You need:
(serves 4 sumptiously)

Dish type: Sabzi/gravy/soup
Origin: Middle east 
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15-20 minutes
Author: Sudha

Main Ingredients
Brinjal (big variety)- 1/2 kg 
Capsicum - 2  (large ones)
tomatoes - 4 (large ones)
onion- 2 large
ginger - 1 inch piece
garlic - 3 cloves

Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Sambhar / Khuzhambhu powder - 2 tsp
garam masala - 1/4 tsp
salt (to taste)
Ghoda masala - 1/4 tsp (optional)
chilli powder -1/2 tsp (optional) (i skipped it )
Water - 1/4 cup 

cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
bay leaf - 1
red chilli - 1 
oil - 2 tsp 


1- Slit the brinjal lightly on the skin and rub a little olive oil on the brinjal and the capsicum. It helps in roasting better

2- Fire roast them

3- Crush Ginger and garlic and chop tomatoes

4- Peel (lightly) and Chop the roasted brinjal and capsicum, and chop onions as well

5- Pour oil in the pan and add tempering ingredients (cumin, red chilli, bay leaf)
6- Add in onions, ginger garlic paste and saute on low flame until the onion turns translucent and browns a little
7- add turmeric powder, sambhar /kuxhambhu powder, ghoda masala and saute for a minute
8 - add tomatoes and pour a little water and saute until the gravy is well done. 
9- add the capsicuma and brinjal and saute for another two to three minutes on medium flame. pour the remaining water or as needed and add salt and cook until the ingredients come together 

All done

Works very well with breads/ roit / rice. I love them with cooked millets :)

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pumpkin and Black chana (Black chickpeas) in coconut and kokam gravy

Moving to the current city helped me understand the local cuisine and the other regional cuisines within the state. Konkan being one of them. A distinct feature of maharastrian/konkani (a few kannada) kitchens is the use extensive use of kokam for the tangy flavour. (Tamarind does this job in Tamil, telugu and kannada recipes)

Kokam lends a beautiful pink-purple colour to the dish. And when mixed with coconut milk or paste the dish looks an exotic pink. :)

This recipe is something i came up with just because I wanted to use kokam. Now for some pics...and then the recipe :)

Allergy information: Vegan, Soy free, dairy free, nut free, low fat and mild spice
Author/recipe owner: sudha What you need: (serves 2-4 people)
Pumpkin (peeled and diced) - 1 cup
Black chickpeas/ kala chana - 3/4 cup
Salt - to taste
turmeric powder - pinch

Fresh Coconut - grated - 1/2 cup
Kokam - 3 rinds or florets (soaked in just enough water)
green chilli -1/2 (optional)
cumin seeds - 1 1/2 tsp

Coconut oil - 1 tsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
cumin - 1/4 tsp
red chilli - 1
curry leaves - 4
Asafoetida- 1 pinch

1-Soak 3/4 cup Chana/chickpeas overnight and pressure cook with salt
2- Boil the pumpkin with just enough water, a pinch of salt and turmeric powder (Salt optional as we add sufficient amount of salt in the chickpeas.)
3-Grind ingredients for the gravy/coconut masala
4- Separate the cooked chana from the water it was cooked in (you could use it but it lends a dark colour to the gravy)
5- when the pumpkin is half done, add the cooked chana and saute for a minute.
6- Add the coconut masala and simmer for five minutes or until the gravy looks evenly looks.
7- Temper with mustard, cumin, asafoetida, curry leaves and red chilli


Works well with roti and rice

Green /Raw Papaya and chickpeas kabuli chana) in a mixed spice and tomato gravy

A pleasant person with a very charming personality came home for dinner last night. Had to make something yummy for her, Honestly, its very easy to cook for someone who appreciates variety and loves to experiment with food.

Made this gravy dish apart from the ever green mirchi ka saalan a carrot stir fry (recipe coming soon!) and my famous beetroot dhum / dum biryani :). 

The dish: 
Green papaya has been combined with pre soaked and pressure cooked chick peas to give a wonderful blend of juicy vegetable and a gluten free protein.

Serving suggestions: Can be served as is as a soup with a sour dough bread or simple roti/ phulka

Allergy info : Vegan, gluten free, Soy Free, mild spice, Low fat

Ingredients (serves 4 conservative) / 2 sumptuous :)

star ingredients
Green papaya - peeled and cubed - 1 1/2 cup
Chick peas (soaked over night and pressure cooked for two whistles) - 1 cup

tomatoes - 3 small
Onion - 1 large
Green chillies -2
red chilli -1

Flavour and spice

coriander seeds - 1 tsp
jeera - 1/2 tsp
Dry coconut / copra (grated) 3 tbsp
Khus Khus / poppy seeds - 1 tbsp
Til / ellu / Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
elaichi  1
clove 1
cinnamon 1 cm strip
ginger - 1 cm
garlic 2 cloves
tamarind or kokam (pulp)1 tbsp
turmeric- 1/4 tsp
salt to taste

Water - to cook the papaya and chickpeas. and to grind the masala (2 cups)

garnish and temper
Curry leaves one string or 8-10 leaves
Coriander leaves  chopped 2 tbsp
Til or peanut oil - 1 tsp 
Mustard seeds  1/2 tsp
jeera - 1/4 tsp
bay leaf -1


1 Boil the cubed papaya fro ten minutes or if its fresh, pressure cook it for a whistle
2 Pressure cook pre soaked chick peas with some salt and a little turmeric powder
3 Dry roast coriander seeds, jeera and other spices (Exclude turmeric, khus khus and tamarind pulp)
4 Set aside on a plate to cool
5 Soak khus khus in 3 tbsp of water
6 Grind the khus khus and then add the dry roasted spice mix and grind into a smooth paste
7 Transfer the mixture into a bowl and then in the same mixer jar, grind tomatoes, onion and chillies
8 Take a deep pan and add oil and when the oil is warm enough, add mustard seeds, bay leaf curry leaves and jeera
9 Once the tempering is fragrant, add the tomato onion, chilli puree and cook until its a half done,
10 Add the ground spice mix and add turmeric and tamarind pulp
11- cover and cook for five minutes on medium heat
12add the cooked papaya and chick peas,
13 add salt and half of the coriander leaves and cook well until done (chick peas and papaya should be sturdy and not mushy)

transfer into a bowl and garnish with the remaining coriander leaves


Do try my green papaya thoran recipe>> here 


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