Monday, August 20, 2012

Petite Eggplants in Posto/Poppy Seeds

I had promised Sharmila I’d make these and share the recipe. I am not big on begun; except of course our begun pora. Its no secret that I am no fan of vegetables. At the risk of sounding clichéd, vegetables make a pocket around my throat. Till today.

eggplantgarlicchiliMy Mother makes this recipe with great care. She’d score each tiny eggplant and stuff with potent green chillies and plump garlic cloves. I, however have taken the short-cut (read lazy) route and just sautéed the chillies and garlic with the eggplants. You, however should do it my Mum’s way.

Ingredients for Petite Eggplants in Posto/Poppy Seeds are:

8-10 petite eggplants, keep whole and just slit the bottom to form a “quarter”, while each eggplant still hangs from its stem
1 medium size red onion, slivered thinly
2 medium ripe, red tomatoes, chopped coarsely
10-12 fat cloves of garlic
10-12 plump-looking green chillies (I used green and Thai red)
Quarter cup posto/white poppy seeds/khus-khus
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1 teaspoon turmeric
3-4 tablespoons Mustard/Canola oil
Sugar (optional)

IMG_4701Start by heating mustard oil in a wok/karahi. Drop the whole, slit eggplants and sauté them for 4-5 minutes. Add the green chillies and garlic midway of your sautéing process. Remove with a slotted spoon and keep. 


If your eggplants have drunk all the oil, add a couple of spoons more. Now add the slivered onions and sauté them on high till they get a color of something in-between a glistening pink and tan brown. Add the tomatoes. Cook the tomatoes with red chilli powder and turmeric, till juices start to surface up.


Now add the already sautéed eggplants, garlic and chillies. Mix well, and coat them well with the onions and tomatoes. Add half the poppy seeds and season with salt and sugar. Cover and cook on low heat for five minutes. Check. At this point in time, you can add half a cup of water to the eggplants. This will help to cook them down.

Continue to cook the eggplants on low-medium heat, covered all the time. After about 5-7 minutes, open lid, you will notice the oil surface on the sides. The color of the dish would have changed too. To a rich red.

IMG_4724Poke a skewer in an eggplant to see if its done. I like mine a little mushy. Now sprinkle the rest of the poppy seeds and crank the heat up. Adjust the consistency of the dish to how you will like it. I like my onion and tomatoes to be a little clingy to the eggplants. Makha makha in Bengali. The mushiness of the eggplants and the crunch of the poppy seeds will create an interesting texture to this recipe. And if you have stuffed the eggplants with the chillies and garlic, you will enjoy their juices permeate into the tiny purple begun.

IMG_4727Eat the Eggplants in Posto/Poppy Seeds with dal and rice or phulkas.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Miss Menon's Alu-Methi (Cubed Potatoes & Fenugreek Greens)

I wanted an Alu-Methi recipe, and my friend Smriti just gave me the perfect one.

Here is her recipe:

Heat up jeera/cumin, garlic, slit green chillies in oil and add potato. Add salt and turmeric if you want though I generally leave the turmeric out. cook the potato till golden and crisp from the edges but fully cooked. dump in the cleaned methi and cook till u reach desired done-ness for the leaves. this is the simplest version and one I've always loved - fabulous flavours from the garlicky potatoes and the freshness from the leaves combine in a very earthy way.


Friday, August 10, 2012

Chingri Maacher Jhol-Jhal, Prawns in Spicy, Runny Gravy

Its the third time now that three different people/bloggers have stolen my three different chingri/shrimp/prawn pictures. So to lodge my protest against photo theft in the Blog world, I have made an easy, chingri recipe and watermarked each photo where its right in-your-face, remorselessly spoiling pictures. There! No chance of chori!

This jhol-jhal today is inspired from my other fish curry recipes.

Ingredients for Chingri Maacher Jhol-Jhal are:

8 large prawns (I have used smallish Golda chingri for my recipe)
2 medium size ripe, red tomatoes, cut into wedges
10 green chillies, slit lengthwise
2-3 stems of fresh coriander, leaves torn
1 +1 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
3-4 tablespoons mustard oil

Start by deveining each and cleaning the heads of the prawns. Retain the shells. With the shells, make a broth with about 3-4 cups of water. (I put the shells and water in a microwaveable bowl and cook for 7-10 minutes in the microwave.) This is a full paisa vasool method of extracting every bit of the flavour from the prawns.


IMG_4170Rub turmeric to your prawns and shallow fry them in hot mustard oil, for not more than 3-4 minutes, turning them once midway.

IMG_4171Remove with a slotted spoon and keep. Now make a runny jhol with the prawn broth, slit green chillies, tomatoes, turmeric and red chilli powder.


In the leftover oil from shallow frying the prawns, add this jhol and cook for 10 minutes, till the tomatoes are done. Season with salt.


Release the prawns into this jhol and let them cook on high for not more than five minutes.

IMG_4187Check taste and add salt if needed. Turn heat off. Sprinkle some torn coriander leaves and serve with plain white rice and a wedge of gondhoraj lebu. And pray someone doesn’t steal your baati of chingri. You can’t watermark bowls, now can you? ;-)