Iyengar Karnataka Eggplant

iyengar eggplant

Ingredients:

2 long eggplants, cut into 1 inch lengths (then I cut each 1 inch cylinder into six long pieces)

eggplant

1/3 tsp tamarind paste diluted in 1/2 c warm water
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp coconut powder

Spice Powder

2 tbsp urad dal
2 tbsp chana dal
1/3 tsp paprika
3 tbsp coriander seeds
1/2 ” cinnamon stick
1 clove

Tempering

enough oil to cover bottom of heavy bottomed wide pot (I use a sesame oil and peanut oil combination)(make sure you have a lid for this pot)

pot

1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp chana dal
4-5 curry leaves

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Combine spice powder ingredients in pan on stove. Dry roast until fragrant. Dals will be golden. Taste the dals to make sure they are cooked. When done, let cool and then grind in grinder until fine powder. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy pot over medium heat. Add tempering ingredients in order given. Add eggplant. Sautee. Add tamarind water. Add turmeric. Add salt. Mix well. Cover with lid. Let cook over medium low heat until eggplant is tender and liquid is absorbed.
  3. Remove from heat. Add spice powder and coconut powder. Mix well.
  4. Enjoy!

Recipe is adapted from Simply Southern by Chandra Padmanabhan. Buy this book, you won’t regret it. There are a lot of really great South Indian recipes in it, which you won’t get at any restaurant. And as far as spiciness is concerned — do what I did, and omit the red chilies and replace with a minute amount of paprika powder.

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Stuffed Eggplant (Baked)

This is an improvement of the Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal recipe, which is cooked on the stove. I tried that, but my spices burned, so I decided to bake the eggplant dish instead.

Stuffing:

VAGHAR:

2 tsp oil
2 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp urad dal, picked over and rinsed
2 tbsp yellow split peas, picked over and rinsed
2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hing
3-4 dried red chillies, seeds removed

ADD:

1 c flaked coconut, dry roasted till brown
salt to taste
1.5 tsp tamarind concentrate
1/2 c water

THEN:

Blend it all together into a thick paste.

STUFF paste into 12 baby eggplants.

Eggplants should be slit into quarters lengthwise, and not cut through entirely.

Fill the eggplant slits with stuffing and set aside. NOTE: Slit eggplants only AFTER stuffing is ready, or eggplants will become discolored.

Preheat oven to 250 F.

Arrange stuffed eggplants in greased pyrex.

Take leftover stuffing, add water (around 1 c) to make a stuffing that is just slightly more runny than pancake batter. Pour over eggplants.

Cover with foil and bake 30 min. Check. Bake for longer as needed until cooked. (Mine took just over 2 hours).

Serve hot with rice.

ALTERNATIVE: Can stuff green peppers instead of eggplant if you want.

NOTE: Tastes great, turned out well. Missed the roasted eggplant taste. Next time will split the difference — will cook the eggplant on the stove FIRST (after it has been split, before it has been stuffed) and then dunk it in the watered down stuffing and let it simmer on the stove or in the oven. A local South Indian place serves its veggies like this, and now I know why.

Stuffed Eggplant Poriyal

This is a South Indian style stuffed roasted eggplant adapted from the book “Dakshin”.

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Stuffing:

VAGHAR:

1 tsp oil
1 tbsp coriander seeds
3/4 tbsp black gram dal OR  urad dal, picked over and rinsed
3/4 tbsp bengal gram dal OR yellow split peas OR chana dal, picked over and rinsed
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp hing
1/2 dried red chili

ADD:

1/2 c flaked coconut (or 1/2 fresh coconut, grated), dry roasted till brown
salt to taste
a spoonful of tamarind concentrate
a little water

THEN:

Blend it all together into a thick paste.

STUFF paste into 2-3 baby eggplants.

Eggplants should be slit into quarters lengthwise, and not cut through entirely.

Fill the eggplant slits with stuffing and set aside.

NOTE: Slit eggplants only AFTER stuffing is ready, or eggplants will become discolored.

THEN:

VAGHAR:

3 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp black gram dal OR urad dal, picked over and rinsed
1 tsp bengal gram dal OR yellow split peas OR chana dal, picked over and rinsed
1 red chili, halved
a few curry leaves

ADD:

Stuffed eggplants, salt to taste, and a little water.

Sprinkle leftover stuffing over eggplants.

Cover and simmer over low heat until eggplants are tender.

Remove lid and saute for a few more minutes, without stirring too much. Take care not to break the eggplant.

Serve hot with rice.

OPTION1: Can stuff green peppers instead of eggplant if you want.

OPTION2: ALTERNATE (EASY PEASY) PASTE:

3/4 c roasted peanuts
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
salt to taste

Add 2 medium sized chopped tomatoes after eggplant is tender.

NOTE1: Eggplant did not cook when I made it as above because I used a big baby eggplant instead of those really small baseball sized eggplant.

NOTE2: If using a big eggplant, it is advisable to slit, stuff, and wrap in aluminum foil and let cook at 400 F for 30 min or so, then proceed with VAGHAR above.

NOTE3: Next time, do not add the extra masala to the pot as the same time as the eggplant; it burns. Add it after the eggplant has cooked, and then let it simmer for five minutes or so.

 

Fried Eggplant Slices

~ Tareli Vengna ni pori (fried brinjal slices) ~

By Rohinton Ronz

Wash and clean 1 medium sized big brinjal, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices to get about 8-10 slices,

mark each slice on both sides in diamond or cross shaped marks with knife,

soak in water until all done as brinjal tends to blacken as soon as its cut.

Remove from water and squeeze dry lightly to shake of all water.

Put in a large vessel and add:

1/4 salt
1 tsp harad(turmeric) powder
2 tsp chilly powder
1 tbsp dhana jeera powder
tsp khambati (parsi sambhar)
squeeze of 1/2 lemon
Keep for 1/2 an hour.

In a thick bottomed pan add 3 tbsp oil on full flame

when hot, put to medium flame and lay out it brinjal slices

fry until bottom side is crisp golden brown then flip side

now sprinkle with your fingers a few seeds of black while mustard seeds and allow the other side to crisp golden brown and close the flame

lay the slices on paper towels and sprinkle a pinch of sugar over the fried Vengna slices

Tawa Baingan

Rasika and Rasika West End, Washington, D.C.

Vikram Sunderam made this stacked eggplant and potato dish at his 2010 Beard House dinner.
Yield: 4 servings

Eggplant:

2 Holland eggplants, or 1 Italian eggplant, sliced thinly
6 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black pepper
Salt to taste

Mashed Potatoes:

2 Idaho potatoes, peeled and boiled until tender
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
Scant 1/4 cup chopped red onion
Scant 1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon chopped ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon sliced Thai green chile
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

Coconut Sauce:

2 ounces jaggery or 1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon red chile flakes
Scant 1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt to taste

Method:

To make the eggplant, combine the eggplant slices, garlic, olive oil, black pepper, and salt in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

To make the mashed potatoes, grate the potatoes into a large bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a sauté pan and add the cumin seeds. Toast until they start to crackle, about 1 minute. Add the onions and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, and Thai chilies; cook until the tomatoes are soft, about 3 minutes. Add the chile powder and chaat masala and cook until very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer the contents of the pan to the bowl of grated potatoes. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Season with salt.

To make the coconut sauce, melt the jaggery in a saucepan over a low flame. (If you are using brown sugar, you do not need to melt it first.) Add the coconut milk and chile flakes and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and mix in the peanuts, lemon juice, and salt.

Heat a sauté pan over medium heat. Working in batches, sauté the marinated eggplant slices on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes each side. Transfer the cooked eggplant to a baking sheet lined with paper towels to drain.

Heat the mashed potatoes in a medium pot.

Place an eggplant slice on a plate and top with a spoonful of warmed mashed potatoes. Continue adding alternating layers of eggplant and potato until you have at least 4 layers of eggplant and 3 layers of potato. Drizzle the warm sauce over the stack.