July 18, 2010

Eggplant in hot, sweet and sour sauce (Pacheri Terong)

sweet and sour eggplant

It was one of those perfect days, the sun was neither too hot, nor too timid. I had just managed to to find enough time to put the pickle I put every year (thanks again Manisha!) and I still had time. The little one was taking one of those rare long afternoon naps!

We were getting food ready for dinner. I had a eggplant and was wondering what to do with it when Aswin brought out one of our Madhur Jaffery recipe books. It dawned on me that I had not used one of those in a few months. So I looked up and found a Malaysian recipe - Pacheri Terong - that sounded fantastic.

We had all the ingredients, I adjusted it to match our tastes and started cooking. I have to say it came out delicious. I could taste all three - hot, sweet and sour - in perfect balance with each other. And the cinnamon in eggplant, I had not used it before, gave it a wonderful aroma as well.

Here is the recipe:
(Recipe courtesy: Madhur Jaffrey's Step by Step Cooking)

1 onion - sliced thinly
1 inch cube ginger - grated
1 tspoon cumin seeds
1 tspoon coriander seeds
2 red chillies
3 cloves
2 inch cinnamon
1 big eggplant - cut in cubes
4 tbsp oil
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp tamarind paste
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
3/4 cup water
Salt to taste

Grind cumin, coriander, red chillies, cloves, and cinnamon to a fine powder. Heat oil and then add onions and ginger. Saute it for a few minutes till the onions become soft and translucent.

Then add the powdered spices. After this, add water and turn down the heat and let it cook together for a couple of minutes. Then add paprika, tamarind, sugar and salt.

Put in eggplant, and cook for 20-30 minutes until eggplant is tender and the sauce is thick and sticks to the eggplant.

sweet and sour eggplant

Serve with rice or chapati.

July 09, 2010

Mango Gojju- another Tanjore Marathi delicacy

Mango Gujja

We has a couple of mangoes at home which were ripe, but not completely, so they were tart and firm. No one was interested in eating it when sweeter ones were available. So when my MIL was visiting, she took the two mangoes and made Mango gojju.

This is a completely new recipe for me. I had used ripe mango in Thai recipe before, but never tried it with Indian spices.

It was the perfect use of the mango. It was so delicious, perfect mix of fiery spices balanced with sour and sweet. We finished it the same day. Recently Aswin made it for a brunch and again it was over in no time.

Here is the recipe.
2tspoon urad dal
1/2 tspoon chana dal
1/4 tspoon fenugreek seeds
1/2 tspoon mustard seeds
1 tspoon coriander seeds
1/2 tspoon sambar powder
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
bunch of curry leaves
1/2 tspoon tamarind extract
2tsp jaggery
2 firm, ripe mangoes
1 tspoon besan (if needed)
1 tbspoon oil
Salt as per taste
chopped cilantro for garnish

Saute urad dal, chana dal, coriander seeds, fenugreek seeds in 1 tspoon oil and then grind to a smooth paste.
Cut Mango into small pieces . Add about 1 1/2 cups water or more if needed and bring it to a boil. Then add the paste, tamarind, Turmeric, jaggery and sambar powder. Let it simmer on low heat for 3-5 minutes.
In a separate vessel, temper the rest of the oil with mustard seeds, dry red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add it to the Gojju. Add salt as needed.

If you feel that the gojju is very thin, you can add either chickpea flour or rice flour to thicken it up. We didn't use it.

Mango gujja

Garnish with cilantro and serve warm.

July 08, 2010

Treat from Holland


Recently I met a school friend, who was visiting Ann Arbor, after 19 years. There I've dated myself!

It was nice, talking about school and other friends, not to mention sitting out in the sun, enjoying delicious food from Seva, as music filtered through from a neighboring concert.

She got us goodies from Holland which we've been enjoying. But I've saved some for the World Cup finals. Can I enjoy the chocolate and still support Spain?


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