Iyengar Karnataka Eggplant

iyengar eggplant


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


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


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)


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


  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.

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.



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


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


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.

Dal Bukhara


1 can (12 oz) brown lentils (masoor)

In Blender:

1 tomato

1/2 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 inch sliced ginger

1/2 tsp Salt

1 tsp sugar

Vaghar (tempering) in medium sized pot:

2 tbsp oil

1 clove garlic, chopped

1/4 in ginger, finely sliced

4 black pepper

1 clove

1 in cinnamon stick

1 green pod cardomum (crushed)

1/2 tsp fennel

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp hing

1/4 onion, finely chopped

1/4 tomato, finely chopped

To pot:

Add blended mixture. Let cook.

Add lentils. Let cook.

Simmer on low heat for an hour.

Add 1/4 c whipping cream.

Add 1 tsp butter.

Enjoy with naan (buy prepackaged, glaze with buter[and garlic, if so desired], oven at 350 for 8 minutes or until light brown, top with chopped coriander).

Restaurant style amendment: increase amount of whipping cream to 1/2 c and increase butter to 1/2 stick. (Yeah, why do you think food in Indian restaurants taste so. damn. good.)

Vegan amendment: don’t add the whipping cream or butter. It still tastes awesome, it just doesn’t taste rich.

Vegetable Broth

Came home from the hospital recently on a restricted diet.

Here’s a recipe for vegetable broth that should be easy on your stomach and doctor approved:


Skip the parsley, dill and peppercorn until the doctor says you can eat them again.

And a tip for those on a clear liquid diet: you are allowed to eat lollipops! (You’re welcome!)

Mashed Potatoes


3 russet potatoes medium sized, baked, peeled, mashed
1 c whipping cream
1/2 stick butter
1 tsp salt (more to taste)
1/2 tsp ground black pepper


1. Set potatoes aside.

2. Combine remaining ingredients in saucepan on medium heat. Let simmer. Pour over potatoes. Mix. Enjoy.

Cubed Radish Kimchi (V2)

I tried the Maangchi recipe. It didn’t work out. (Too spicy, too garlicky, too acidic).

Here are my proposed amendments for the next time I make this.


YIELD: Makes 2 spaghetti sauce bottles full


4 lbs Radish/daikon/korean radish (rinse in cold water, pat dry, cut into 3/4 inch or 1 inch cubes)


2 tbsp salt
4 tbsp sugar

Let sit for 30 min.

Drain radish juice from bowl. Reserve. (DO NOT throw away!!)


1 tsp minced ginger
1/3 – 1/2 c mild coarse hot pepper flakes (tae yang cho, deol mae woon gochugaru) [DO NOT sub with paprika or Indian chile powder; it is NOT the same](First add the 1/3 cup then taste it; if you need more spice, another 2 tbsp will take it up to 1/2 c)
1/8 c soy sauce (optional)
1/3 c radish juice
1/2 apple, diced (optional, but adds natural sweetness)(I like fuji or gala apples)
1 small korean pear, diced (optional, but adds natural sweetness)(DO NOT substitute any other types of pears, it will wreck the recipe!!)

Mix well. Jar (I like glass pickle or jam jars, sterilized).


1. Right away.

2. Let ferment at room temperature a few days, then fridge, then eat. (I live in Chicago, and made this in the fall, when temperatures are 30-50 F; if you live somewhere warmer, you might need less fermentation time.)

The above are my proposed amendments when I make this recipe again.

Below is the original recipe. 


Full recipe here: http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/kkakdugi

Cliff Notes:



4 lbs Radish/daikon/korean radish (rinse in cold water, pat dry, cut into 3/4 inch or 1 inch cubes)


2 tbsp salt
2-3 tbsp sugar

Let sit for 30 min.

Drain radish juice from bowl. Reserve. (DO NOT throw away!!)


2 tbsp minced garlic (6 cloves)
1 tsp minced ginger
4 stalks of chopped green onions
2/3 c mild coarse hot pepper flakes (tae yang cho, deol mae woon gochugaru) [DO NOT sub with paprika or Indian chile powder; it is NOT the same]
1/4 c soy sauce
1/3 c radish juice

Mix well. Jar (I like glass pickle or jam jars, sterilized).


1. Right away.

2. Let ferment at room temperature a few days, then fridge, then eat.


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


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.


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


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.


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.

Swati’s Corn Cake

Swati’s Corn Cake

2 eggs
¼ c sugar
¼ c yellow corn meal
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ stick butter (1/4 c)
½ c defrosted corn (put in water and microwave for 5 minutes)
½ c yogurt
¼ c white flour
1/16 c oil
¼ – ½ jalapeno, finely diced

Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Result: Very moist, very good cake. Slightly crumbly. Might be able to do without the oil.

Swati’s Carrot Casserole

Swati’s Carrot Casserole

1 lb carrots, cooked, mashed (1 bag frozen carrots, defrosted)
1/2 c milk
1/3 c sugar + a touch for luck
1/2 c butter, softened
salt to taste
pepper to taste
paprika to taste

Put above ingredients in blender. Puree until consistency of mashed potatoes.

1 small onion, chopped
1 large jalapeno, chopped
1/2 c cracker crumbs for mixture

You can add some onions, jalapenos and cracker crumbs into the blender if you like.

Mix above ingredients in mixing bowl. Add pureed carrot to mix. Take the total mix and put it into a casserole dish (2 QT lasagna dish) or into an 8” x 8” square dish (brownie pan).

1/2 c cracker crumbs for topping (you can have these crumbled or blended)
some butter for topping (softened butter mixes better)

Mix above ingredients. Crumble the buttered cracker crumbs atop the carrot casserole mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 min until brown.
Makes 5 servings. Cut into pieces.

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):
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.