Monday, November 3, 2014

Sweet & Spicy Brinjal

Brinjal or Eggplant or Aurbergine is most people's favourite vegetable. because I have seen people longing for varieties of  Brinjal dishes. Recently I saw one of my face book friend Sneha Ramakanth's, where she posted Delhi's very famous dish " Brinjal Bartha". I was really tempted and remembered the days I spent with my Doddamma (Mum's elder sister) near Udupi. (South Canara).

In Udupi (Karnataka) and near by areas we get a type of Brinjal from a place called "Mattu". " Mattina Gulla " ( Brinjal from Mattu) is a special variety of Brinjal grown only in Mattu. It is really a tasty variety of brinjal and we Udupi people enjoy eating  many dishes prepared with this brinjal. This is just a introduction to this brinjal dish though I am not using the "Mattina Gulla" for these dishes. The method is the same. Brinjal is applied with oil and kept on the gas burner to be cooked. Until it turns soft and you will be knowing by seeing the brinjal that is cooked or not cooked. In those days the brinjal is put it into the fireplace to be cooked and taken out once it is done. Now we just keep it on the gas stove burner and cook it. Then remove the outer layer and use the inner pulp to prepare some dishes. The aroma of this burnt brinjal is really awesome.

Sweet and Spicy Brinjal is one of the traditional recipe which I learnt it from my Doddamma. She is a great cook. Most of the time I do follow her footsteps in cooking which helps me to cook really a good, healthy and tasty food.

Now lets see some benefits of eating Brinjal in our dietary.
Eggplant or Brinjal is a very low calories and fats. It is rich in soluble fiber. They are rich in anti oxidant,and good amount of many essential B complex groups of vitamins. They are also good source of minerals like manganese, copper, iron and potassium.

I have prepared two varieties of dishes here with one big brinjal. You can use a whole brinjal to prepare one type of dish. 
Sweet & Spicy Brinjal can be served as a side dish with plain rice, chapati, poori, roti and Even with Rice Rotti. No Onion or Garlic is added to these dishes.

One whole brinjal and divided in to two portions. Added cut green chilly, ingh and coriander leaves and the mustard splutter.  One portion I have added tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt. For the other portion is added curd and buttermilk diced chilly. (Fry in oil along with mustard splutter).
Remember to choose the good Brinjal.  Even the small dot in the brinjal may contain worms or the brinjal may be spoiled.

Things Needed :  (Both type of dishes )

Brinjal : 1 (Big One)
Salt : as required
Green Chilly : 2
Mustard seeds : 1 Tea spoon
Urid dal : 1 Tea spoon
Ingh : a pinch
Coriander leaves : 2 Table spoons

Method : Step  1

1. Wash and apply oil to the whole brinjal ( just a drop will do for the whole brinjal). Wash green chilly, coriander leaves and curry leaves. Cut it into small.

2. Now put on the gas burner and place the brinjal on it and cook till it is soft.
3. Cook on all the sides. Change the sides at time and let it cook nicely.

4. Once it is cooked put off the gas and cover that with a big bowl for 1 to 2 minutes.
5. Remove the outer skin completely.

6. Put this cooked brinjal pulp on a big bowl and smash nicely.

7.. Add cut green chilly and mix it well.
8. Divide the smashed brinjal pulp in to two portion.

Sweet and Spicy Brinjal ( With Jaggery and tamarind pulp)  : Step 2

Cooked Brinjal Pulp : 1Cup
Tamarind Pulp : 2 Table spoons
Jaggery : 2 Table spoons
Salt :
Oil : 1 Tea spoon.( I have used coconut oil).

Method : 

1. Put a portion of brinjal pulp in a big bowl.

2.Soak tamarind (small marble size) in hot water and squeeze out to get the pulp.
3. Powder the jaggery.
4. Put jaggery, tamarind pulp and salt. Mix it well.

5. Keep a small pan on the fire and add oil. Put a spoon of mustard seeds and urid dal.
6. Add ingh (Asafoetida) to it. Let the mustard splutter. Add curry leaves .

7. Add this mustard splutter to the sweet and spicy brinjal mix.
8. Add cut coriander leaves and put it in a serving dish.
9. Serve as one of the side dish with hot rice or chaptis.

 Note : Do not add any water to the pulp. 

You can add cut onions to this mixture and add garlic also along with mustard splutter.
Adding more or less jaggery is optional.
Check the hotness of the green chilly before you add. (you can reduce or increase the amount of green chilly).

Brinjal pulp in Curd   : Step 3

Cooked Brinjal Pulp : 1 Cup
Curd : 1 Cup
Butter milk diced Green Chilly : 1  (Majjige menasu (Kannada).
Oil : 1 Tea spoon

Method :

1. Put the brinjal pulp and curd in a big bowl.

 2. Add salt and coriander leaves. Mix it nicely.

3. Keep a small pan on the pan and add oil. Heat. Add mustard seeds, urid dal and butter milk diced dry green chilly.
4. Let the mustard splutter and chilly turn bit black. Add curry leaves and ingh,  add this to brinjal curd mixture.
5. Mix it nicely and shift it to the serving bowl. Add some cut coriander leaves .

Note :

Use the good brinjal. There may be worms inside. If you find worms after cooking do not use that brinjal.
You can also pressure cook brinjal instead of cooking on the gas burner. The taste differ.
You can cut them in to small pieces and cook them. This way you can be safe .
Adding sour curd gives a good taste.
You can replace red chilly for butter milk diced dry green chilly.
Do not make it more liquid. It should be thick.
Adding more or less chilly is optional.
You can add cut onions to the mixture at the end.
You can also use garlic while spluttering process.
Time : 30 minutes (over all)
Serves : 2 to 3

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Huli Tovve (Veg + Dal Curry)

Huli Tovve is  one of the traditional vegetable curry in Karnataka. (Especially Bangalore and Mysore side). Huli  ((ಹುಳಿ) is prepared, using coconut and some spices. Tovve is Dal cooked with some spices. This Huli - Tovve is a mixture of both. Some vegetables are cooked using lots of dal with some spices.  I have eaten this Huli Tovve many times and each time I thought of preparing this curry.  I wanted to know more about this Huli Tovve and the spices and ingredients used in this curry. I asked my friends who live near by our houses and they are Bangalore. Without wasting time I collected the information. She suggested they normally use Red pumpkin, Ridge Gourd and Averekai (Field beans) to prepare this curry. I have tasted this type of curry prepared with Red Pumpkin and it tasted very nice. I wanted to try with Ridge Gourd and added Seeme Badane (chayote squash).

Lets see some benefits of eating Ridge Gourd.

Ridge Gourd is rich in dietary fiber. It is enriched with all the minerals like Iron, Magnesium, and other minerals. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. It is high in water content that helps to relieve constipation and healing piles. Ridge gourd helps to reduce sugar level in both blood and urine. It contain high level of Beta - carotene which is good for enhancing eye sight. Ridge gourd helps to purify the blood. It helps to manage acidity as well as ulcers. Ridge gourd is well known as a cooling agent and good for burning up experience with urine.

Here is a recipe of Huli - Tovve and it goes well with plain rice, chapatis, poori, idli, dosa, akki rotti and any type of rotis.
Onions and Garlic is not used in this curry and we can enjoy on time.

Things Needed :

Ridge Gourd : 1 bowl ( 2 medium sized)
Seeme badane ( Chayote squash) : 2 (Tender ones).
Toor Dal : 1/2 Cup
Coriander seeds : 1 Table spoon
Urid dal : 1 1/2  Tea spoon
Channa Dal : 1 1/2 Tea spoon
Methi seeds (Fenugrik seeds) : 1/4 Tea spoon
Jeera (Cumin seeds) : 1/2 spoon
Cinnamon: A small piece ( 1/2 Inch)
Red chilly (Byadagi Chilly) : 5 to 6
Coconut : 1/2 Cup
Salt : to taste
Tamarind : Small marble size (Optional)
Curry leaves : 6 to 8
Coriander Leaves : 2 Table spoons.
Ingh (Asafoetida) : a pinch
Turmeric Powder : a pinch
Oil : 2 Tea spoons.
Mustard seeds : 1/2 Tea spoon

Method : 

1. Wash and cook toor dal in pressure cooker and leave it for cooling.
2. Wash and remove the outer skin of ridge gourd and Seeme badane kai and cut it into small and cook with required water.

 3. Grate coconut .

4. Keep a small frying pan on the fire and put a spoon of oil. Put channa dal, fenugrik seeds(methi seeds) and urid dal.
5. Fry them till they turn slightly red. Add cinnamon, red chilly and coriander seeds. Fry for 10 seconds.
6. Add ingh and 4 to 5 curry leaves and put off the fire. Add coconut to the fried mixture.( you can add jeera along with coconut).

7. Now grind this fried mixture with coconut and tamarind. Use little water while grinding.

8. Keep a bigger pan on the fire. Add a spoon of oil and heat.
9. Add 1/2 Tea spoon of  mustard seeds, channa dal and urid dal. Let the mustard splutter.
10. Add Ingh and curry leaves. Add cooked vegetables and cooked dal.
11. Add required salt, turmeric powder and mix it well. Let it boil for 1 to 2 minutes.

12. Add grond coconut mixture and mix it well. Add water if it requires. Let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes.
13. Boil it nicely and shift the Huli -Tovve to a serving bowl.
14. Add cut coriander and a spoon of ghee.
15. Serve it with the main dish you have prepared.  It taste excellent with Hot rice and a spoon of ghee.

Note : 

You must boil the Toor dal and vegetables nicely.
Adding jaggery is optional. ( I have not added)
Adding jeera also optional.
The curry consistency should be thick to get the better taste. ( Adding more water making the curry little more liquid type is also optional).
Using Red pumpkin, Ridge gourd and Field beans gives the best taste. (Cook field beans along with toor dal).
Time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4

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My name is Nalini Somayaji. Teaching is my profession. Cooking is my passion. Reading, travelling, visiting new places, having fun with kids are some of the hobbies I can say. My recipes are Healthy, quick, easy and simple. Grown up being a traditional family member I love and respect Indian culture and traditions. Love classical dance and music.
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