Monday, November 23, 2009

Roasted Eggplant - Baingan ka Bhurta

3 medium-sized eggplants
1 med. onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
3-4 fresh curry leaves (kari pata)

1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. red chillies
1 tsp. tamarind paste (or whole tamarind soaked in water overnight)
4-5 sprigs cilantro
1-2 green chillies
2 tbsp. olive oil 
sea salt to taste

Serves 4                                             
-Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Roast the eggplant till soft; usually 30- 45 minutes. Remove and singe the skin over an open flame (use a blowtorch if available). Once charred, allow to cool and then simply peel off. Cut up the flesh and mash into a pulp consistency.

- Saute the diced onions till clear. Add the tomatoes and curry leaves (careful as these will sputter). Add all the spices and cook till the tomatoes are soft.
- Once done, add the eggplant and tamarind. Cook on medium heat till any liquid is evaporated; about 15-20 minutes.
- Add the chillies and chopped cilantro and cook for another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat, garnish with more chopped cilantro and serve with basmati rice.

* There is another, simpler version of this dish that I will post soon.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Tempered Tomato Stew with Eggs- Timatar Kat

A Hyderabadi specialty.  Although, we don't have direct familial connection to the region, there is great love for its tangy, tart and sweet food with the piquant, fragrant spices. Timatar Kat was prepared on special occasion and was eagerly awaited and devoured!

12 plum tomatoes or 1 can stewed tomatoes
2 tbsp. yellow split pea (chana daal)
1 tsp. cumin seeds                                           
2 whole red chillies                                           
2 tsp. tamarind paste (or whole tamarind soaked in water overnight)
3 tsp. ground ginger (about 2 cloves minced)                                          
1 tsp. ground garlic (about 1" ginger minced)                                           
2 green chillies                                           
3-4 fresh curry leaves (kari pata)                                           
1/2 tsp. sesame seeds (til)
1 tsp. brown sugar                                           
3 eggs                                           
salt to taste                                           
1/2 tsp. methi (fenugreek seeds)                                           
1/2 tsp. cumin seeds                                           
2-3 whole dried red chillies                                           
4 kari patta (fresh curry leaves)                                           

- Soak the daal for 2 hours. Remove from water and allow to dry.

- In a dry pan, roast the daal, cumin seeds, whole chillies and sesame seeds till fragrant and the mixture darkens slightly (this should happen fairly quickly). Set aside.

- If using whole tomatoes, blanch in a pot of boiling water and remove skin. Cook over medium heat in a little water till soft and mushy (water should be enough to result in a stew-like consistency). If using stewed tomatoes, skip to the step below. 
- In a saucepan, add the prepared spices, tamarind, ginger, garlic, green chillies, kari pata, salt and til to the tomatoes and cook on low-med heat for 30 minutes. Keep mashing while the mixture is simmering till a medium consistency is achieved.
- Separately, boil eggs. Once hard-boiled, set aside, let cool and then peel and divide into two parts.
- Make the baghar- Add oil to a pre-heated pan and immediately throw in the methi, zeera and red chillies. As they sizzle, add the kari pata (careful as this will sputter).
Let the mixture sizzle for another 30 seconds and then pour over the tomatoes and cover immediately and let sit for 2-3 minutes.
- Uncover and decorate egg halves in the kat and serve.