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.

BEST EVER DINNER ROLLS

BEST EVER Dinner Rolls / Indian Pav Bread / Indian Dabeli Bread
(Water Roux / Tongzhen Method)

STARTER

1/3 c flour (King Arthur bread flour or all purpose flour)
1c liquid (2/3 c water + 1/3 c milk)

Mix in saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until it becomes of pudding-like consistency. Let cool.

DOUGH

5c flour
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c milk powder (Carnation nonfat dry milk powder)
1/2 c half and half (or whipping cream)
3/4 c milk
2 eggs
4 tbsp (half a stick) butter
4 tsp (or two packets) yeast
1 tsp salt
All the STARTER

DIRECTIONS

Using stand mixer, mix all dough for 15 min. Dough will be sticky and stringy, silky and smooth.

Cover. Let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.

TO MAKE DINNER ROLLS

Roll dough into 12 equal-sized balls, 4 to a pan, in 3 pans. (Add stuffing to the rolls now if you want, for example red bean paste, or potato onion mixed vegetable, or meat). Cover loosely. Let rise 30 min. Rolls will smush together.

Glaze with milk or egg wash (1/4 c milk and 1 egg, mixed well). The egg wash gives a shiny finish to the rolls, the milk wash makes the rolls brown but not shiny.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cover loosely. Let rise 15 min to 30 min.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 40 min.

Indian Food: Potato Onion Vegetable

Potato Onion Vegetable (Gujarati-Indian-style)

Chop and peel 2 white potatoes (or yukon gold), put in water, boil in microwave (or on stove).

Chop 1 onion.

Chop 3 cloves garlic.

Vaghar (also called tempering):
Oil
Rye (poppy seeds)
Cumin (jeera)
Haldar (turmeric)
Hing (asafoetida)
Bay leaves (curry leaves)
Chana dal (if desired)

Add onion and garlic. Let brown a bit.

Add potatoes. Let cook. Mush.

Add water as needed.

Season with salt and sugar.

Personally, I like this by itself.  It tastes great to me with naan (punjabi style), roti (gujarati style), or even on an everything bagel (american style).  It can also be eaten with dosa and sambhar (south indian style).  All are yum yum yum yum yum.

Note: this is not a curry.  This is a gujarati recipe (from the Indian state of Gujarat).  Most indian restaurants in the US are punjabi (from the Indian state of Punjab).  A significant minority of Indian restaurants in the US are South Indian (usually called Udupi or Woodlands or something about Madras in the name of the restaurant).  There are very very few Gujarati restaurants, so if you want to eat this style of food (from the Indian state of Gujarati), you need a Gujarati friend.  You know these people.  They tend to have the last name Patel, Desai, Shah, Mehta, Bakshi, or something like that.  If you like stereotypes, they tend to own Subways, 7-11 stores, and hotels around the country.  Gujarati food is supposed to be fresh, low fat, and part of a balanced diet (a traditional meal [thali] has bread, two vegetables, one lentil soup, some mango pickle, a sweet, a salad, and papad [a lentil cracker]).

Note: Go to http://www.informationcorner.com/recipeglossary.asp for translations of indian ingredients.