August 01, 2013

Noodles with eggplant and mango [New series: Cooking with Yotam!]

Noodles with eggplant and mango
It's been nearly two years since I made an appearance here on Ahaar. I've been cooking, of course, but blogging fell by the wayside for a variety of reasons. But I've been inspired to give food blogging another go in part because Mandira and I have been exploring Yotam Ottolenghi's Plenty over the past few weeks. And given how much we like the recipes in the book, we've decided to launch a new series here - Cooking with Yotam!

Needless to say, we're not going to simply reproduce recipes from Plenty. Besides, we're not the kind of cooks who plan meals based on recipes in a book. What we do most often is look for interesting new recipes and tweak them based on what's in our pantry. So, with due apologies to Yotam Ottolenghi if we're straying too far from his recipes, here's our first in our Cooking with Yotam series.

Having taken a quick look at our stock of fresh vegetables and fruits, I settled on 'Soba Noodles with Eggplant and Mango.' Perfect for a hot and humid summer day, I said to myself. Since this was an impromptu end-of-workday thing, I didn't have all the ingredients the recipe called for. But I did fine with I had in the fridge and the backyard vegetable patch. And it turned out to be a fantastic dish!

Here's the recipe with my very minor tweaks.
Noodles with eggplant and mango
(Serves 3)
1/3 cup rice wine vinegar
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 green chili (chopped)
grated zest and juice of 1 lime (I used about 3 tbsp of lime juice)
2 eggplants, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 pack whole wheat spaghetti
1 large ripe mango, cut into 3/8-inch dice
basil leaves (I ended up using mint leaves - about 7-8 sprigs - and I daresay basil wouldn't have worked as well)
cilantro (recipe calls for 2-1/2 cups. Too much, imho. I used a fistful)
1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced

In a small saucepan, warm the vinegar, sugar and salt until the sugar dissolves. I took this off the heat, added the garlic and chili and set it aside to cool. Hold off on adding the lime juice until the very end.

In a large skillet, heat up some canola oil and sautee the eggplant. Once they turn golden brown, transfer the eggplant to a colander, sprinkle them with salt and set them aside. The noodles can cook during this time (10-12 minutes for whole wheat spaghetti, slightly less for the soba noodles I would think). Drain the noodles and set those aside as well on a separate plate.

While Ottolenghi's recipe asks you to toss the noodles with the dressing, mango, eggplant, herbs and onion in a mixing bowl, I ended up mixing all this in the skillet (at low-medium heat) I used to saute the eggplant.

Noodles with eggplant and mango
To be honest, I wasn't entirely sure how this seemingly crazy mix of ingredients would come together. But the end result was brilliant! Easily my favorite pasta dish now :)


  1. Interesting recipe.. looks too good!!

  2. Can have this noodles happily rite now for my lunch.

  3. Hi Aswin, welcome back to the blog world! I've been on quite a break myself, so I am happy to see you in action. When I read the recipe I thought I was reading Japanese-Indian fusion with rice vinegar, soba and mango ;) I hadn't heard of Yotam; interesting to read about him on wiki. Your creation looks and sounds great!

    1. Hi Linda, I am glad that you are back to blogging too :)

  4. Such a unique & interesting recipe :)

  5. Noodles look so YUM! Thanks for posting so many plant-based recipes in this blog, good for our health and also our beautiful Earth...

    global vegan fare

    1. Thanks Kumudha. We do use a lot of vegetarian recipes in our cooking.

  6. wow, what an interesting mix of ingredients - i would never have thought of pairing them :). Will have to try this - especially after your whole-hearted approval has been given.


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