Friday, August 3, 2007

Egg Plant Masala


Egg plant is widely used in Indian Cooking. It's not only good in taste but also carries good nutritional value.

There are Indian chefs who can cook the eggplant in 1000 varieties.

This post describes one of the methods Egg plant or Brinjal(as it is called in India) (Vankaya - Telugu, Bhaigan - Hindi & Kathirikai - Tamil) can be cooked with a tangy tamarind juice.
This dish is a perfect condiment for Biriyani.

In most of the Indian Biriyani Stalls this is accompanied with a plate of Lamb or Chicken Biriyani. And therefore whenever I cook Biriyani I make it sure to add this too to my menu.

Egg plant - 6-7 Small, or 3-4 Medium - Cut into small cubes
Oil - 1 Tbsp

For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon 1 big or 2 small
Cloves- 4
Cardamom - 3
Green Chillies - 2
Onion - 1 Small or 1/2 Medium
Curry leaves - 8-10
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp

For gravy/sauce:
Tomato Paste - 2 Tbsp or 1 Tomato cut into small cubes
Salt - to taste
Red Chilly Powder - 1/2 - 1 tsp depending on how spicy you want.
Tamarind Juice - Made from a small lemon size tamarind ball soaked in 1/3 cup of hot water

For Flavor:

Black Pepper balls : 10-12
Finely chopped Coriander leaves

1. In a deep pot add oil after heated. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds.
2. After the mustard cracks add the whole spices and sauté till they change color.
3. Add cut onion, green chillies; curry leaves - sauté till onions change color.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and mix well so that it doesn't stick to the edges and get burnt.
5. Add tomatoes or tomato paste and mix.
6. Once cooked add the cut cubes of egg plant, add salt, chilly powder and mix well to coat all the pieces with the masala.
7. Add 1 cup water, mix and cook for 15- 20 minutes covered.
8. Keep mixing in between and add more water if necessary.
9. Once the egg plant is almost cooked, add the tamarind juice, mix well and add the black pepper balls.
10. Cook for another 5 - 7 minutes and add the coriander leaves, cook for another minute and remove from heat.

Leave the gravy to set for 1/2 - 1hour, so that the egg plant will absorb the tanginess of the tamarind.

DSC02981 Serve with Rice, Biriyani or Roti.

Broccoli Stir Fry

This was one vegetable I never used to pick up in a grocery store. It looks like a small tree(as my son Josh describes it) and absolutely tasteless. But the nutritional value of high fibre and the Vitamin C it has would always made me feel guilty that I'm missing good health by giving importance to taste.
Finally one day I got to try this vegie, in a restaurant, just a stir fried. It did'nt taste bad at all. Rather it tasted good.
So the next time I did grocery shopping I added this in my list, and ever since this is a part of my list every time.

Broccoli falls into those cruciferous vegetables that have made news with reducing the incidence of breast cancer. As a high fibre diet also helps eliminate negative estrogen which leads to a proliferation of abnormal cell growth in the breast tissue.

Some other supplements popular for maintaining heatlhy breasts are indol-3 and carbinol (13C) and DIM. These products are made from an extract in broccoli. It aids the liver in detoxifying harmful chemicals and estrogen.

This stir fry is as simple as it can be and requires only 1-2-3 ingredients.

Ingredients :

Broccoli - 1
Butter/Magarine : - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Black Pepper : 1/4 tsp (Optional)
Soya Sauce : 1 tbsp (Optional)



1. Heat up a non-stick pan, add butter.
2. Add the cut/washed brocolli florets after the butter melts.
3. Add salt and give it a nice mix, to coat all the florets with butter and salt.
4.Stir fry for 4-5 minutes.
5. Add the optional ingredients if desired and stir fry for a minute or two.
6. Remove from heat when the florets are still crispy.

Vegetables Carrot, Beans Cabbage and this one taste best when the stir fry is crispy.


Goes well with any accompaning meat dish.