Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal

Brinjals  come in so many varieties and all over the world it is cooked with so many variations that you can just keep experimenting with this vegetable. Stuffed Green Masala Brinjal is cooked with the ingredients of gravy spices but in a slightly different way.

A few months back I had gone to meet my dear friend Veena with my daughter Apoorva. Veena is a wonderful cook and no matter how much she is busy, she never lets me go without having food. So during this visit also we were greeted with elaborate lunch. Among all the dishes that were laid out in front of us, there was one dish which was new for me.  Veena told that it is green brinjal and Apoorva couldn’t believe that brinjal could be so good to eat!

I see green brinjals regularly in the market but never thought of trying them. Probably I was content with the variety of purple brinjals. But now after tasting Veena’s dish, I was determined to try them. I noted down the recipe from Veena and now green brinjals are a regular weekly basis vegetable in my kitchen.

Original recipe had fresh coconut and tamarind juice in the gravy masala. I replaced coconut with fresh coriander leaves and dry mango powder instead of tamarind juice. Feel free to use any of these as per your taste.

I have a few more varieties of brinjal dishes in the blog. If you are interested can check them also… Stuffed brinjal/eggplant/aubergines (Bharva baigan)

Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

Stuffed Brinjals/Eggplant/Aubergines

 

Ingredients:

1 onion, 2 tomatoes, 6-7 spicy green chillies, tiny pieces of ginger and green coriander leaves

Spices:

4 tbsp coriander powder, 2 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp clove powder, 2 tsp cinnamon powder,1 tsp dry mango powder or tamarind juice and salt as per your taste.

7-8 tbsp oil

Process:

Wash and dry brinjals and keep them separate.

Chop onions finely and grate tomatoes, red chillies and ginger.

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed  or non stick pan and add chopped onion, ginger and green chillies. Saute them on medium heat till onions are transparent.

Chop coriander leaves very fine.

Add chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves and all spices, other than dry mango powder.

Let it cook till tomatoes are cooked and add dry mango powder.

Switch the gas off and let it cool down completely. Later, grind everything in paste consistency.

Cut brinjals vertically as shown in the picture below.

Fill in ground masala paste in all brinjals and keep them in a pan. Pour rest of the oil and remaining masala on all brinjals. Cover them and let them cook on sim heat.

Keep on turning them upside-down in between for even cooking.

  • When brinjals become tender and are cooked completely from all sides, switch off the gas and serve these delicious green stuffed masala brinjals with rice or chapatis.

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Baati (baked)

Stuffed Baati is a traditional Rajasthani savoury dish. It is prepared with wheat flour, and stuffed with boiled potatoes mix. Traditionally,  stuffed baati is a roasted dish and later it is immersed in melted desi ghee (clarified butter) which gives it a wonderful combination of crispy outer layer and softer insides.

We get a separate baati oven to roast as now in our modern kitchen roasting baati in traditional way is not possible. For more information on traditional method of preparing plain baati, you can refer my  earlier post  Plain Baati (traditional Rajasthani food)

Generally, I prepare this complete traditional Rajasthani platter of besan ke ladoo (Besan ke ladoo),  panchmel daal (Panchmel daal), baati and churma – wheat flour (Churma (wheat flour)) and besan (Besan churma) – on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi festival. But this time, after a few days of  Ganesha festival there was a potluck arranged at my husband’s office. So I decided to send panchmel daal and stuffed baked baati. As I don’t have baati oven till now, I baked them in my OTG.

Oh, it was a lot of baati baking day!!

I baked stuffed baati dough in two batches – initial 60 baatis for potluck and another 30 in second batch for our lunch and some for my neighbouring friends.

It was a big tiring day, but in the afternoon my husband’s message refreshed me and I was re-energised!

My dish was appreciated by all and was ranked first under vegetarian dishes category 💃💃💃💃

Try these stuffed baked baatis once and feel free to at add any stuffing of your choice. It could be mixed veggies with paneer (cottage cheese), cheese, fresh grated coconut or roasted gram flour with spices too.

IMG_20190911_103940910

 

Ingredients:

Wheat flour 3 cups
Baking soda 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1/2 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Carom seeds (ajwain) 1+1/2 tsp
Water 1+1/2 cup (reduce or increase 1-2 tbsp as per requirement,normal temperature)
Oil/desi ghee (clarified butter) 4 tbsp
Melted Desi ghee 1/4 cup (extra)
Boiled Potato mixture with spices

Process:

Collect all dry ingredients in a big vessel so that kneading is easy.

IMG_20190911_083239566

Pour melted ghee and with the help of water knead smooth dough.

IMG_20190911_084546136

Peel boiled potatoes and add salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida, garam masala, dry mango powder, grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies and green coriander leaves. If you like the taste, can add little bit of chaat masala too.

IMG_20190911_080410005

Mash potatoes and mix everything together. Potatoes mix is ready.

IMG_20190911_081545797

Divide the dough in 40-45 gms balls and roll them smooth.

IMG_20190911_090233460

Flatten one ball of dough with the help of rolling pin or simply with your fingers.

IMG_20190911_090423379

Place in between little bit of potato mix and close it.

IMG_20190911_090446347_BURST000_COVER_TOP

IMG_20190911_090531690

Roll this filled baati gently in between your palms to make it smooth. This way complete all baatis and place them in your ghee greased baking tray. Brush them with melted ghee nicely and bake in a pre-heated oven at 185 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or till they are nicely brown.

IMG_20190911_093538284

Once again apply melted ghee all over the baked baatis and relish them with panchmel daal or as a snack with your tea.

IMG_20190911_114334348

IMG_20190911_103940910

 

Lahsun (garlic) ki chutney

I have always been blessed with good neighbourhood. After my marriage I moved to Chennai and stayed there for 9 months. Later we moved to Jamaica before settling in Bangalore after three years. At all these places I was surrounded by wonderful people in my neighbourhood.

In Jamaica when suddenly my daughter became sick, along with our Indian friends, my Jamaican neighbours were extremely helpful. At the occasion of Apoorva’s 1st birthday celebration my Jamaican neighbours loved Indian food a lot and they requested to pack some for next day.

In Jaipur my parents’ house is blessed  with kind and friendly neighbours and food is shared between us frequently. We developed a taste for authentic Rajasthani cuisine because Rajasthani neighbours used to bring food to our house or we were the frequent visitors in their house at several occasions.

So this year, during summer vacation when I visited my parents’ house, all childhood memories were revived. And I wad very lucky when we got an invitation from the same neighbours for dinner. We relished all authentic delicacies but I still felt that something was missing in the menu. Then my sister pointed out that garlic chutney is not there. I asked them about the missing dish and got the assurance that before I go back to Bangalore I will surely get “Lahsun ki chutney”.

After coming back to Bangalore I was tempted to prepare this chutney. This chutney is cooked with lots of oil, so we can keep it in an air tight container in the fridge and it will last for at least 2 weeks. We can also use it as a part of gravy for vegetables and tadka for lentils.

In Rajasthan if you have seen this chutney, you will find that oil will be floating in the container and chutney is red in colour as lots of dry red chillies are used here. I didn’t want so much of oil, so reduced the quantity of oil and instead of dry red chillies, I have used raw red chillies as they were available in my kitchen.

Ingredients :

Peeled garlic cloves 100 gm
Red chilli 🌶 50 gm
Oil 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Salt as per your taste
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp
One small onion and small tomato 🍅

Keep peeled garlic cloves, red chillies, tomato and onion together.

IMG_20190627_094408651

Chop onion and tomato and grind everything together in a smooth paste.

IMG_20190627_095451313.jpg

In a small wok, heat oil, crackle cumin seeds and asafoetida and add garlic paste. Cook it on sim heat for 15 minutes. Let it cool down completely and use it as any part of your meal.

IMG_20190627_175503674.jpg

 

Sweet tamarind chutney

Indian chats (snack) are incomplete without chutney – either sweet or savoury. Buy samosa or kachori and you will get sweet and savoury chutneys along with them.

Bhel puri, sev puri, dahi puri, papdi chaat or dahi vada; all are incomplete without chutney. At my parents’ house we never bought any chats. My mother used to prepare everything from the scratch. So, after my marriage I also continued the same tradition. Preparing savoury chutney with coriander or mint leaves is regular in my kitchen. But I always felt a little lazy to prepare sweet tamarind chutney at frequent intervals and so instead in enough quantity that it will last for 6 months.

While cooking sweet tamarind chutney you might not be able to figure out exactly how it tastes because flavours really taste better the next day. Therefore, you wait till next day for the developed taste and if you feel something is less or missing, add accordingly.

Ingredients :

120 gm tamarind
3 +1/2 cups water
300 gm sugar/jaggery powder
5 dates

For the rest of the ingredients I am not giving specific measurements as you can add them according to your taste. You can prepare it as sweet tamarind chutney or it could be tangy tamarind chutney by reducing sugar little bit – choice is completely yours!

White salt
Black salt
Ginger powder
Garam masala powder
Red chilli powder

Process :

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 2 hours.

In a separate pan soak dates in water.

IMG_20190625_115034821.jpg

After 2 hours, mash tamarind and sieve it. Add rest of the water in tamarind, mash it and sieve it again so that the whole pulp comes out.

IMG_20190625_115953254.jpg

Boil this sieved tamarind water and pulp on sim heat by adding de-seeded dates and sugar for at least 1+1/2 to 2 hours. If you are interested in thick consistency, boil for at least 2 hours but if you like thin consistency, boil for 1 to 1+1/2 hours. Just 10 minutes before chutney is done, add rest of the ingredients as per your taste.

IMG_20190625_121232151.jpg

Let chutney cool down completely before filling in  an air tight container and storing that in the fridge.

IMG_20190627_093956265.jpg

IMG_20190627_174717309.jpg

 

 

Moong ki daal ke pakode (green lentil fritters)

I love Makar Sankranti festival the most! In Jaipur Makar Sankranti is celebrated in its full galore. Before a month itself you can feel the vibes of the festival in the air. Even a small street corner general store starts selling kites. Immediately after coming back from school, kids will be seen on terrace with their kites till their mother starts calling them to come down because it is going to be very cold – after all it’s peak of winter season. Mothers will be drying up sesame seeds in hot sun for preparing sweets as til ki papdi and til ke ladoo. 

Kids keep their kites ready the previous night of Sankranti itself. Gaajar ka halwa is prepared and split green moong daal is soaked previous night of Sankranti. I remember at my parents’ house we used to take bath with cold fresh tap water early in the morning on the day of Sankranti (a religious custom). Mother used to be busy with her pooja preparations and we used to wait for Sun to come so that sky can be clear of fog. I remember, once my brother, Sunny, and I, tried to fly kite very early in the morning when it was still dark. We found some neighbours also along with their kites on their terrace. But unfortunately because of fog kites became wet and everyone returned disappointed.

Sankranti is the best day to be soaked up in the Sun. Whole day family members are on the terrace. If guests or neighbours visit you, they also join you on the terrace.

Streets are also full of kids – some will be there to fly kites and others to catch the kites. Have you ever caught a kite flying in from somewhere in the sky, and somehow you guessed that it’s going to cross through your territory…it creates such a wonderful scene!! Everyone on your terrace is on full alert, sometimes including your parents, not to leave no stone unturned to catch the incoming kite!!!! And the person who succeeds in catching that kite will have a wonderful sense of proud feeling!!

Whole day will be gone in watching and flying kites, making loud hullabaloo if you are successful in snapping others kite’s string, gossiping, and munching roasted groundnuts, gazak, revadi, til papdi and hot moong ki daal ke pakode /vade.

Oh, I miss so much Makar Sankranti celebration in Jaipur, 😢 I guess I can write a lot about this festival. It is that one festival which is celebrated from morning till night. After sunset also some people fly kites with lamp, even though it gets very cold.

After shifting to Bangalore I hardly saw kids flying kites. But a few days before Sankranti I read that at some place kite festival was being organized. And today when we went out to our nearby shopping complex in Banashankari 3rd stage, I was amazed to see kites being sold in shops. Just like rakhi now there were kites to attract kids with their favorite cartoon characters like Doremon, Dora, Barbies etc. Even our honourable Prime Minister Modi kite was there.

mk3

mk 2

I really hope that in coming 3-4 four years we might see sky of Bangalore filled with colourful kites on Makar Sankranti.

The main attraction of food in the whole day of Makar Sankranti is ‘chilke vaali hari moong ki daal ke pakode‘. Daal is soaked the previous night, and in the morning it is ground, spices added and this batter is used the whole day for family members and guests to have hot pakode. These are very tasty and crispy and you can have them with your hot evening tea.

Ingredients :

Split green moong daal,  green chillies, ginger, salt, red chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and water.

Process :

Wash nicely and soak daal overnight or just for 2 hours in the morning – it puffs up nicely.

IMG_20190115_084051694.jpg

Add salt, red chilli powder, green chillies, asafoetida and ginger. Without water grind it in a mixer. We need thick batter, so don’t add water while grinding.

IMG_20190115_085535368.jpg

Heat oil in a deep pan and with your finger tips take very small quantity of daal batter and drop it carefully in the hot oil. If this tiny pakoda/fritter floats in the oil, it signifies that oil is hot enough to fry. In the same way fry rest of the pakode. You can use spoon also to drop the batter in oil.

 

IMG_20190115_092532969.jpg

 

On medium heat fry pakode nicely by turning them upside down.

IMG_20190115_092929737.jpg

Take them out with a handled sieve to drain out extra oil.

IMG_20190115_093350014

Serve hot and crispy pakode with any sauce or chutney.

pakode daal

 

 

.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Daal paalak (split chickpea lentil with spinach)

Spinach tastes excellent in baked quiche, paalak paneer and paalak fritters(pakoda). But you prepare it as a vegetable, kids will ignore it. With spinach, tomatoes enhance its taste a lot. I always have a liking for paalak ki sabzi. Honestly speaking, I was a good kid with my eating habits probably because at my parent’s house it was compulsory for us to eat everything which was served in meals. My younger sister Nandini was a little rebellious with this rule and to get food of her choice she started cooking at an early age. I guess I was happy by having a variety of food (cooked by Nandini and mother) on the table, so never bothered to trouble myself in the kitchen till I was forced to live out of the town because of  my job.

Coming back to spinach, my mother used to prepare daal (lentils) along with spinach. Mostly she used green split moong daal (chilke vaali moong daal) and chana daal (split chickpea lentil). I use chana daal for daal palak.  Chana daal is slightly heavy for digestion so I feel that adding spinach will balance it. For tadka (seasoning) in daal I mostly use mustard oil or olive oil, but desi ghee will enhance its taste a lot and you will get wonderful dhaba style daal.

IMG_20181229_144105589

Ingredients :

Chana daal             1cup
Shredded spinach 1/2 cup

Water- to boil daal     4 cups (after boiling if you feel daal is too thick, add some more water)

Salt-                                        1 tsp (add or reduce as per your taste)
Turmeric powder-slightly less than 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder-                1 tsp
Asafoetida (hing) –                1/8 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) –            1/2 tsp
Green chillies –                       1-2

Tomato medium size            2 (chopped, grated or puree)
Grated ginger                          1/2 tsp ,
Onion                                      1 (chopped)

Process, :

Wash nicely and soak chana daal in three cups of water for an hour.

IMG_20181229_080156830.jpg

Wash and chop spinach leaves finely.

IMG_20181229_115333058.jpg

After an hour mix chopped spinach leaves and soaked chana daal together in a  pressure cooker, add salt and turmeric powder and cook it until chana daal is cooked properly.

IMG_20181229_115808597.jpg

Now we will prepare our seasoning or tadka for daal. Chop onions and green chillies finely. Grate ginger and tomatoes.

IMG_20181229_133811152.jpg

Heat 2 tbsp oil/ghee in a pan and crackle cumin seeds and asafoetida. Add onion, ginger and green chillies till onions are light brown. Now add tomatoes and fry everything till it starts leaving the oil from sides.

 

IMG_20181229_135041401.jpg

When daal is completely cooked, add daal in this tadka, mix it properly and serve hot in lunch or dinner.

IMG_20181229_140155923.jpg