Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Aloo Baingan dry curry (potato and eggplant curry)

Since I am the only one in my house who likes eggplant, I don’t get to eat it as often as I like. My friend, Hema, is the only other person I know who actually looks forward to eating kathirikkai.  I remember drooling over kathirikkai curry that one of us would bring for lunch.

Now, I sneak it in with occasionally when I make aloo curry at home.                                                             

Aloo-baingan is a great combination – if you know how to make it.  If you don’t make it right, the eggplant gets mushed up and slimy and makes the whole thing look unappetizing!

My trick to make sure this doesn’t happen is to cook the potatoes and eggplant separately and then mix them together in the end. 

You can serve this with either rice or rotis.  I love mixing this with piping hot rice, drizzled with sesame oil.  Just put some rice on your plate, put a heaping serving of this curry on top, drizzle some sesame oil and mix gently with your hand (you have to eat with your hand - put your silverware away!) and dig in.  If you have some papad or chips on the side - you won't need anything else.

 Here is what you need:

  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. channa dal
  • ¼ tsp hing (asafetida)
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 Japanese eggplant, top cut off and diced
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp. red chili powder
  • 2 tsp. fresh masala powder           
    • 2 tsp. coriander seeds
    • 2 tsp. channa dal
    • 1 tsp. urad dal
    • 1 tsp. black pepper
    • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
    • 3 red chilies
    1. Dry roast coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, black pepper, cumin seeds, and red chilies.
    2. Cool and grind this to a coarse powder.


    Here is how I made it:

    1. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.  When they sputter, add the cumin seeds, channa dal, and hing.
    2. Once the channa dal changes color, add the onions.
    3. Fry for a bit till the onions turn translucent.  Now add the potatoes, a little bit of the turmeric powder, a little chili powder, and some salt.
    4. Cover and cook for a few minutes till the potatoes are cooked.
    5. Remove the potatoes into a bowl.  In the same pan, now add the eggplant, the rest of the turmeric powder, salt, and chili powder.  Toss to coat well.
    6. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes.  Uncover and toss (don’t stir with a ladle/spatula if you don’t want to get the eggplants mushy).
    7. Now add the potatoes back in and toss to mix well.  Add the fresh masala powder and cook on medium to high heat for a couple of minutes.

    Yummy potato eggplant curry is ready!
    Serve hot with rotis or rice.  I love mixing this with plain rice and eating it :)

    Tuesday, February 9, 2016

    Simple beans curry / thoran

    If you have been following my blog, you know by now that in my house, potatoes rule.  We have potatoes at least a couple of times a week.  On the other days though, I love to make some green vegetables.  Cabbage and beans are my favorite. 

    Here is a simple beans curry recipe you can eat with rotis, rice and rasam or dal, or just by itself in a bowl. It has only a few ingredients, but has the makings of comfort food for me.

    Here is what you need:

    • ½ cup split moong dal, soaked in water for about ½ hour
    • 2 tsp. oil
    • 1 tsp. mustard seeds
    • ½ tsp. channa dal
    • 1 tsp. split urad dal
    • 2 red chilies, broken
    • 2 lbs. beans
    • salt to taste
    • ¼ tsp. turmeric
    • coconut for garnish (optional)

     Here is how I made it:

    1. Wash, string and cut the green beans.
    2. Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.  When they sputter, add red chilies, channa dal, and urad dal.
    3. When the chilies turn color, drain the soaked moong dal and add it to the pan.  Add the cut green beans and about ½ cup of water.
    4. Cover and cook on medium – low heat for about 10 minutes till the beans are cooked.
    5. Add turmeric and salt.  Mix well and let it cook uncovered for a few minutes.
    6. Turn off the heat and add the coconut (if you are using).  Mix well.

    Serve with rice and rasam, or with rotis.

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