Posts Tagged ‘Eggplant’

A lazy Saturday afternoon lunch…

Today was one of the days where we actually woke up kind of early enough to have breakfast. But after some bagels and coffee Amit decided that he needed a late morning, early afternoon nap. So I decided that I would make some eggplant for lunch following the recipe that my Mom used to make at home.

I started making the eggplant and realized that I did not have a key ingredient, tomatoes. So I decided to improvise and make a different gravy. So instead of the onion tomato gravy that I was going to make for the eggplant, I decided to make a coconut onion gravy instead. And I am so glad I did not have tomatoes to make the original recipe; this one is just as good. It takes about 15-20 minutes to make the gravy and depending in how big a frying pan you have, about 5-10 minutes for each batch of eggplant slices. I had to fry the eggplant in about 4 batches so it took me about 30 minutes to be done with the frying, and the gravy was ready in the meanwhile. It takes close to 40-50 mins prepare the dish. It serves about 3 – 4 persons.


  1. 1 large eggplant
  2. 1 tsp oil
  3. 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  4. 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
  5. 1 onion
  6. 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  7. 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
  8. 1/2 cup thin coconut milk
  9. 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves
  10. 1 tsp coriander powder
  11. salt to taste

For frying the eggplant

  1. oil
  2. 2 red chilli powder
  3. 2 tsp ginger powder
  4. 1 1/2 tsp dried mango powder (amchur)
  5. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  6. 1/4 tsp garam masala
  7. salt to taste
  8. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds


  • Slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Mix the oil with the ingredients listed under ‘For frying the eggplant’. Brush the eggplant slices on both sides with the oil mixed in with the dried spices.
  • Heat a pan and fry the slices on without any oil. The oil brushed on the slices to saute/fry  it.
  • While the slices are frying you start preparing the gravy.

  • Heat some oil in a pan and add the cumin seeds and red chilli flakes.
  • Once the cumin seeds are browned add the chopped onions and fry it till it is browned slightly.
  • Next add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone.
  • Now add the coriander powder and fry till the dry spice is cooked.
  • Next add the thin coconut milk and let it some to a simmer. Now add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Once the coriander leaves are thoroughly mixed, add the thick coconut milk and salt and bring to a simmer.
  • Once the eggplant slices are all fried, transfer them to a baking dish.
  • Now pour the gravy over the eggplant slices in the baking dish.
  • Place the baking dish in the oven for about 10-20 minutes or till ready to serve.

Amit is my eggplant expert. He is the one who buys and makes eggplants for us at home. But today since he was taking a nap, I decided to make eggplant and he loved it. So it’s Amit certified!!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy this dish as much as we did. Its definitely different from the usual recipes I have made with eggplant before. Thank you for reading this post and have a great rest of the weekend.

A secret passed on from Mother to Daughter

All of us have that one dish that come what may, whoever else makes it, it’s never perfect. It has to be made by your mom and no one else. One such dish for me is the sambhaar she makes. I grew up having sambhaar every week either with rice, dosa, vada or idli. Being a south indian that hardly surprising. Given that I was so used to having sambhaar in my daily diet, I asked my mom to write down the recipe for me before I came to the US 4 years ago. And guess what she wrote down the recipe but since she never actually made the sambhaar based on measurements or a recipe, she never gave me the measurements either. But I guess it’s in my genes, and I managed to make a pretty decent sambhaar based on the measurement less recipe. But I decided that I am going to put down the recipe on paper someday. And then Cook, Eat and Relax happened and then a good friend of mine, Amol, asked me if I would ever be blogging about sambhaar. I promised him that I would, so here goes my version of my Mom’s Sambhaar from scratch. I do not use the readymade sambhaar masala that you get at the store. I make the masala from scratch just like mom used to.

Also my blog crossed the 1000 hits mark on the 21st Dec 2010. Thank you everyone who’s visited my blog, I hope I can keep it interesting so that you continue to read about my adventures in the kitchen. So to mark the special occasion I am going to blog about a this special recipe that’s very close to my heart. One which takes me back to my mom’s kitchen in an instant. This recipe takes about an hour from start to finish, a little more or less depending on how ready you can keep the ingredients before you start.


  1. 3/4 cup toor dal (split pigeon pea)
  2. 1/2 cup chopped eggplants (1″ pieces)
  3. 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded coconut (frozen or fresh)
  4. 4 teaspoon coriander seeds
  5. 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  6. 5 dried red chillies
  7. 1/2 onion
  8. 3 garlic cloves
  9. 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  11. 1/2 teaspoon urad dal (black lentils skinned and split)
  12. 1 dried red chilli
  13. 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  14. 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  15. salt to taste
  16. 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves


  • Wash the split pigeon pea and cook in ample amount of water.
  • In the meanwhile fry the 5 dried red chillies, 1/4 teaspoon asafoetida, coriander seeds and the fenugreek seeds in a saucepan.
  • Chop the onion into big chunks and add it along with the garlic cloves to the slightly browned whole spices.
  • Let the onions turn slightly pink, then add the grated coconut. Fry this entire mixture taking care that the coconut does not get too brown.
  • Set this aside till cool enough to make a paste in a food processor. Add enough water to make a smooth paste with no chunks in it.
  • Fry the eggplant cubes in a little oil till they are almost cooked. Add these cooked/slightly fried eggplant pieces into the cooked dal.
  • Place the dal back on the gas on low heat.
  • Add the turmeric powder, tamarind paste and salt and bring to boil.
  • Add the masala paste to this (add a little at a time so that you can adjust the taste based on what you like) and let the mixture come to a boil.
  • You may need to add some more tamarind paste, salt or red chili powder depending on how you like your sambhaar.
  • Simmer the sambhaar for about 5-10 minutes so that the dal and masala paste and completely cooked together.
  • Set the sambhaar aside and add a teaspoon of oil to a small pan. Once the oil is hot, add the black mustard seeds. Once the seeds sputter add the urad dal, 1 red chili and the asafoetida.
  • Once the urad dal is slightly brown, add this (tadka) to the sambhaar. Garnish the sambhaar with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice, dosa, vada or idli.

This recipe lasts me for a couple of meals. A couple of nights back we had the sambhaar with vada for dinnner and then with dosa for the lunch on the next day. I just drink the sambhaar like soup also anyways so this recipe may actually last you for more than just 2 meals for two persons. You can substitute the eggplant with okra, small onions or almost any other vegetables. I do not put too much anyways as I do not like the sambhaar to be too thick. I hope you enjoy this recipe and if you like it, all credit to my mom.

Bharleli Vangi (stuffed eggplant) goes VIRAL!!!

I was supposed to post the recipe for the Indian style chicken wings next, but there was this big huge eggplant lying around in my refrigerator and would definitely have gone bad if I had not used it. I so wanted to have the Maharashtrian style stuffed eggplant but for that I need the smaller eggplants. So I decided to try something new, a fusion – if u will, of Maharashtrian cooking and Italian cooking. The stuffing is Maharashtrian style but the cooking method is Italian…

I used to look up the recipe for the Bharleli Vangi (Stuffed Eggplant) online when I initially started making it. But now that I have made it so many times, I have my own recipe. I wasn’t too sure how this amalgam of two recipes would work but but it turned out to be absolutely awesome!!! This recipe serves 2.


  1. 1 large Eggplant (Brinjal)
  2. 1/4 cup of unsweetened grated coconut
  3. 1/4 cup peanuts
  4. 3-4 dry red chilies
  5. 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  7. 2 teaspoon tamarind paste
  8. 1 teaspoon jaggery / brown sugar
  9. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  10. 1 1/2 tomato
  11. 1 green chili
  12. 3 cloves Garlic
  13. 1/2 cup chicken / vegetable stock
  14. 2-3 teaspoons oil
  15. salt to taste
  16. toothpicks


  • Dry roast the peanuts, dry red chilies, cumin seeds & coriander seeds.
  • Once the peanuts start turning a slight brown, add the grated coconut and fry till the coconut turns brown.
  • Grind this dry roasted mixture to a fine powder.
  • Add the tamarind paste, jaggery, turmeric powder and 3-4 teaspoons of water.
  • Grind the mixture once again to form a thick paste.
  • Now fill a large saucepan with water and salt and bring to a boil.
  • In the meanwhile cut the eggplant into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • Toss the sliced eggplant into the boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  • Dry the slices of eggplant on a paper towel.
  • Apply 1-2 teaspoons of oil on a large baking dish.
  • Apply the paste on the eggplant in the middle, roll the eggplant and use a toothpick to hold it in place. (Do not wash the grinder once you have used up all the paste)
  • Place the rolled eggplants in the oiled baking dish.
  • Put the dish with the eggplants into the preheated oven (375 deg F) and bake for 15 minutes.
  • Chop the tomatoes and green chili and grind it in the same grinder you used before.
  • Finely chop the garlic.
  • Heat a saucepan and fry the garlic till it browns.
  • Add the tomato paste to this and let it simmer.
  • Add the chicken stock to this and take the saucepan off the heat.
  • After 15 mins of baking the eggplants, pour the tomato sauce over the eggplants and leave the dish in the oven another 5 minutes.
  • Switch on the broiler after 5 minutes and let the eggplants brown. (This will take no more than a 2-5 minutes)
  • The rolled stuffed eggplants are ready to serve.

The entire recipe took about 45 minutes to complete. I served this with hot chappatis and garlic pickle / relish. You could also serve this with bread. If baking is not your thing, you could use the stove-top to cook it, you would make the tomato sauce and add the eggplants to it in the stove-top version. You may also want to increase the amount of chicken / vegetable stock to 1 cup instead of 1/2 cup.