Baghara Baingan

I have never been able to make a typical south indian Baghara baingan using peanuts... The curry is so different than what we north indians are used to. I always wanted to learn this curry base. And one of our friends makes this soooo well and we eat frequently at their place. So I had to learn it. It came close, though not exact... which can never happen. Even if you use the same ingredients and the same method, the cooking hand makes slight differences... But it was yummy...

Preparation Time: 5 min
Cooking Time: 30-45 min
Serves: 4-5

Ingredients:

Baby eggplant – 8-10
Onion – 1 large chopped
Peanuts – ½ cup
White sesame seeds – ¼ cup
Ginger- garlic paste – 1½ tsp
Coriander pwd – 1½ tsp
Coconut flakes – 2 tblsp
Cumin pwd – 1 tsp
Cinnamon – 1” stick
Tamarind concentrate – 2 tsp
Haldi – ½ tsp
Jaggery – small 1" piece, powdered
Oil
Red chilli pwd - to taste
Garam masala – ½ tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Salt - to taste
Water - 2-3 cups


Method:

  1. Wash eggplants and slit them both ways without removing stems. Put in a microwave plate and sprinkle 1-2 tsp oil on them and cook for 4-5 min or until they get almost 3/4th cooked and set aside. OR you can cook them in a pan with little oil till tender.
  2. In a non-stick pan, dry roast peanuts and set aside. Add sesame and roast till light golden and set aside. Add in coconut flakes and roast and set aside.
  3. In the same pan, add 2 tblsp oil and stir fry onions. Add haldi, salt, coriander, cumin, cinnamon, ginger-garlic paste and cook for 3-4 min. Add roasted peanuts, sesame, coconut. Mix and take off the flame. Add tamarind and about 1 cup water and blend to a smooth paste.
  4. In the same pan, take a little oil and splutter mustard. Add the ground paste, red chilli pwd and garam masala. Cook for a min. Add jaggery and about 1 cup water.
  5. Add eggplants and mix gently. Cover and let cook for 10-15 min on low-medium heat. Stir gently inbetween.
  6. Serve with roti/parantha. Goes very well with Biryani.

Tips

  • I just add jaggery as a piece. By the time everything boils, its melted. You need to make sure to mix it well though.
  • Once you know how to make the curry any vegetables can be added. Mirchi ka salan is the same gravy with mirchi instead of eggplant.
  • I use pre-roasted peanuts you get in the grocery store. I am sure there are cooks who swear the taste is better if you roast peanuts yourself. but for me these small steps are time-savers.
  • I pre-roast sesame and keep. So I don't have to roast when I use it.

Safari Crunchies



We had this at my friends place some time back.. VERY YUMMY... I had it written down, never posted it as never tried it... But am finally posting it so that it shows up in my list of "To Try".

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
Serves:

Ingredients:

2 cups oats
1 cup flour
1 cup coconut
1 cup brown sugar
250 gm margarine
1 tblsp vanilla syrup
1 tsp soda


Method:

  1. Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut.
  2. Melt margarine and syrup and then add soda.
  3. Mix margarine and flour mixtures
  4. Pat mixture into greased tray.
  5. Bake at 350 F for about 15-20 min until golden brown.
  6. Cut into squares while still hot and then allow to cool

Alfredo Sauce



My "To Try" List...

Preparation Time:
Cooking Time:
Serves:

Ingredients:

1 stick butter
1 cup Heavy cream
Parmesan cheese - as much or as little
white pepper to taste
a pinch nutmeg


Method:

  1. Melt a stick of butter in a small saucepan over low to medium heat.
  2. Add a cup of heavy cream. Stir until the cream is warm.
  3. Begin adding grated parmesan, a little at a time, stirring constantly until it melts and is incorporated in the butter and cream. Keep adding and tasting and stirring until you like the flavor.
  4. Add some white pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
  5. Increase heat to medium and continue to stir till you have the right consistency.

Tips

  • Make sure to heat the bowl you combine the ingredients in, then add the pasta TO the sauce in the bowl, not vice versa.

Quick Vegetable Quesadilla



This is one of my kids favorite lunch recipes. Its quick... I make it in the morning when packing lunch. Well...I use frozen veggies. You can use fresh vegetables...it would take a little longer or you can make the veggie mixture the night before ...



Preparation Time: 0
Cooking Time: 10 min
Serves: 1-2

Ingredients:

1 cup frozen veggies - I normally use the mixed vegetable pack which has broccoli, carrots, zucchini, cucumber etc
salt to taste
1/2 tsp garlic powder
black pepper to taste
2 flour/wheat tortillas
cheese - whichever you prefer - mozarella, cheddar or a mix


Method:

  1. Microwave the frozen veggies with 1/2 cup water for about 5 min till soft.
  2. Drain and add salt, black pepper and garlic powder
  3. Heat a griddle. Place a tortilla on the heated griddle. Sprinkle a little cheese on half the tortilla. Add a layer of vegetables. Sprinkle some more cheese on top. Fold the tortilla into "D" shape. Cook both sides till crispy and cheese is melted. Ensure that the tortilla is not too brown. Monitor the heat.
  4. Cut like pizza slices using a pizza cutter or knife.
  5. Serve with sour cream and salsa

Tips

  • You can increase cheese quantity based on preferences.
  • You can make a plain cheese quesadilla if you want.