Tag Archives: Eggplant

Meatballs with Eggplant puree and Radish pesto

After a hectic week I unwind with experimentation of ingredients and spices. Weekends that have nothing to do with my technology work are a way to meditate, unwind and reconnect with living a simple life with natural clean organic cooking.

IAS_0627The weekend is always a time for me to center my energy. Some music, some reading , some quality grounded time with my soul mate and some poetry. Here is my Rumi inspiration from the weekend

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.

Don’t go back to sleep.

You must ask for what you really want.

Don’t go back to sleep.

People are going back and forth across the doorsill

where the two worlds touch.

The door is round and open.

Don’t go back to sleep.

 

——Rumi

With some ground lamb  and free range turkey from the local market I found flavors that yet again favor Mediterranean and Indian spices. My food always needs to be kicked up with some tang and some spice 🙂

For vegetarians, this can totally be made with veggie or lentil meatballs – try black lentils and zucchini.

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Summer is also a time to play with you dips and chutney. The beautiful red radishes sprouted in my garden and are a base for this amazing pesto.

IMG_6112Ah and the bread, the bread. So the very creative and inspiring Suzanne posted this pita recipe promising it to be super easy. And easy it was!!  I have made it twice already. Thanks Suzanne 🙂 Please do check out her blog and the recipe here.

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  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

a true fusion dish with lebanese and indian flavors

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 1/2 lb lamb
  • 1/2  ln turkey
  • Combine the minced lamb and turkey
  • Add 1 tsp pink salt
  • 1 tsp ground fennel
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2  tablespoon gluten free pancake mix ( secret ingredient)
  • 2 tablespoons of mustard oil ( or olive oil)

Eggplant puree

  • 3 Japanese eggplant
  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 4 cloves whole garlic
  • 1 green chili
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil or butter
  • Himalayan salt to taste

Radish Almond pesto

  • 2 cup fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  • 5 fresh red radish with leaves
  • Handful of chives
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup soaked and peeled almonds
  • 1 cup walnut or olive oil
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Grated peel of 1 lime.

Directions

Meatballs

  • Combine the lamb and turkey and mix in the onion and ground spices with your hands. Add the oil, pancake mix and crack in the egg. Combine well.
  • With wet hands make the meatballs the size of golf balls and line them on a baking tray
  • Bake at 375 F for 20-25 mins. Remove from oven and set aside

Eggplant puree

  • Roast the eggplant over an open fire or on a broiler setting in your over until it is charred and the skin breaks.
  • Let is sit for a few minutes and remove the charred skin by hand collecting the pulp in a bowl
  • In a pan add butter or oil on medium heat and add the garlic and green chili.
  • In about 1 minute add the cumin and let the spices roast for about 2 minutes
  • Add the eggplant pulp and sauté for a few minutes.
  • Add chopped cilantro and remove from heat.
  • Blend this with the tahini and add any additional water needed to make a paste.
  • Set aside

Pesto

  • Blend the ingredients together with salt to taste and set aside

Plating

  • In a large plate, spread the eggplant puree and top it with the meatballs
  • Pour the pesto and some extra glugs of olive oil
  • I topped it with chives, my homemade Hibiscus spice mix with a side of Pita and some extra pesto

For the perfect Pita recipe, check out my friend Suzanne’s blog.

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I am bringing this to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. Co hosts this week are Monika, Everyday Healthy Recipes, and Juhls, The Not So Creative Cook.

Keema Baingan ( Eggplant with Minced Lamb)

This dish is inspired by my amazing and talented sister in law, Sadia Durrani who specialize in classic Old Delhi food and teaches culinary skills in India. She posted this over 2 years ago and I can’t believe it took me this long to make it. If you want to watch the original recipe from her check out this link

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My vegetable garden here in Virginia is overflowing with the cutest purple eggplants that I have used in this dish. I kept a few whole just slicing them to the stem. The rest I cut in cubes with the skin on.

Minced lamb and eggplant can be found in many cuisines, my favorite is the Egyptian or Lebanese Mahshi when the eggplant is stuffed. You can find the vegetarian version in my post Mahshi Batinjaan Bi Zayt – Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant.

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If you have been following my blog you know that I use a pressure cooker for a lot of my cooking. You can use a pan and increase the timing,

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Ingredients:

5-6 Purple eggplants

1 lb lamb mince

1 medium onion, finely chopped

2 green chilies

2 chopped tomatoes

1 tbsp. garlic ginger paste

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric

1/2 tsp red chili powder

salt to taste

1 tbsp. oil ( I used avocado oil)

1 tbsp. ghee

Chopped fresh mint and cilantro for garnish

Putting it together

  • Chop the eggplants, keep a few whole just slicing in quarters until you reach the stem.
  • In a pressure cooker, add oil and the garlic. Add the minced meat.
  • Fry until it loses the pink color ( a couple of minutes)
  • Add cumin, turmeric, coriander, red chili and salt and continue frying for a few minutes
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until the tomatoes have broken down.
  • Add the eggplant, about 1 cup of water and pressure cook for about 5-6 mins. If use a pan, cook for about 30 mins until the eggplant is blended with the meat.
  • Add chopped green chilies and chopped mint and stir
  • Heat the ghee in a pan, brown the onions in it and pour over the dish.
  • Garnish with mint and cilantro and serve with naan or rice. A side of cucumber raita would make it perfect.

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Fiesta Friday # 130 is on and I am taking this dish.  Thanks to our co-hosts this week, Aunt Juju and Petra.

Eggplant and Chickpea Stew

A simple eggplant stew with Moroccan flavors, can’t go wrong with this hearty dish.  A quick weekend light dinner or a side that stays in the fridge to go with many main courses.

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Chickpeas are soaked overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins or in a pan for 30-45 mins

I roast my cinnamon, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them but the good store bought versions are just fine.

You can salt the eggplant for 20 mins and drain the juice before cooking. In season and fresh eggplants don’t need any salting.

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Eggplant and chickpea stew

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Eggplants
  • 1 medium onion (large diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
  • Cilantro and mint chopped for garnish
  • Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

Putting it together

  • Chop eggplants into 1 inch cubes and salt for 30 mins.
  • Coat a large deep-sided frypan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly brown
  • Add the eggplant,  tomatoes and chickpeas. Add the vegetable stock.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes approx. The consistency should be thick with some sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with cilantro and mint and serve over rice or by itself.

Mahshi Batinjaan Bi Zayt – Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant

I am back again with yet another eggplant/aubergine dish. This one has its origins in Lebanese and Egyptian cuisines.  When I travelled to Egypt I think I tried out more stuffed vegetables that I could imagine and the inspiration for making this Lebanese recipe came from my travels and love of the middle eastern flavors and spices.

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This dish is called Mahshi Batinjaan. Batinjaan is eggplant. You can prepare the dish stuffed with meat or vegetable. I have used a stuffing mixed with rice. Any leftover stuffing can be cooked to a side dish.

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The eggplants here are small and cylindrical  ( Indian eggplants).

Chickpeas are easy to soak overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins.  I avoid the canned version but they can certainly be used here.

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I have also  used my “go to” cooking  companion – the pressure cooking for cooking the Mahshi. It really does make life easier. You can, however, slow cook in a pan – just add some extra water and time.

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Mahshi Batinjaan

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

  • 15 small batinjaan (eggplant)
  • 1  cup rice – washed1
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 1/2  cup chopped tomatoes ( canned or fresh)StuffedLebaneseEggplant4-1
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped zuchinni
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 cup canned chopped  tomatoes in juice

Putting it together:

  • Wash the eggplant and  cut thin slice from the round end, hollow carefully with small spoon, or an apple corer. Keep the stem/cap on, just trim it a bit. Sprinkle with some salt and set aside while you prepare the stuffing.
  • Make the stuffing by mix the rest of the ingredients and moisten with a cup of water – reserve the last 1/2 cup of tomatoes.
  • Stuff the eggplant.
  • Place 1/2 cup water and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes with their juices  in a pressure cooker.
  • Place stuffed eggplant on top of tomatoes in neat layers.
  • Cook under pressure 10 minutes, then simmer uncovered until mahshi are very tender and sauce has thickened
  • If the stuffing remains you can cooked it as a rice pilaf as I did to serve with the dish.
  • Sprinkle with some parsley and serve warm of cold.

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Sharing this at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with the fab cohosts  Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Ashley @ Too Zesty

Eggplant Chickpea Tagine topped with eggs

I love Moroccan flavors which favor the spices used in Indian cooking like coriander and cumin. This is inspired by those flavors. Although I own a beautiful clay tagine bought from a friend who carried it from Morocco, I made this in a skillet – not sure why:). Equally delicious so the point is that you don’t need to own a Tagine to get the delicious flavors.

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Chickpeas are easy to soak overnight and then cook in a pressure cooker for 10 mins. The pressure cooker is my best friend and I avoid the canned version but they can certainly be used here.

 

I roast my cinnamon, coriander seeds and cumin seeds and then grind them but the good store bought versions are just fine.

 

As I can’t get enough of eggplant this is another recipe that I go to over and over again. I have used clarified butter but Olive oil is used in the origins of this dish.

 

You can salt the eggplant for 20 mins and drain the juice before cooking. In season and fresh eggplants don’t need any salting.

 

The eggs with runny yolks on top makes this a complete meal. You can serve it over rice or couscous but I served it on the own and it was completely satisfying. Stays in the fridge really well and leftover ( if any) can be frozen without the eggs.

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Egpplant Chickpea Tagine

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

 

Ingredients

  • 2l arge eggplants (cubed)EggplantTagine-1-4
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 medium onion (large diced)
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or clarified butter
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon juice
  • salt and pepper

 

Putting it together

  • Chop eggplants into 1 inch cubes.
  • Coat a large deep-sided frypan with oil and heat over a medium heat.
  • Add the minced garlic, onion, chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Stir well to coat evenly. Cook until the onions have softened and slightly brown
  • Add the eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, tomato paste and chickpeas. Add the vegetable stock.
  • Simmer over medium-low heat, covered, for 20 minutes approx. The consistency should be thick with some sauce.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Once the sauce is ready, create 4 wells and break eggs into each.
  • Put into a 350 degree oven for 5-10 mins until the eggs are done but yolks are still a bit runny.
  • Squeeze some lemon juice, sprinkle with cilantro and serve over couscous, rice or by itself.

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I am sharing this with  Angie’s Fiesta Friday #107 where the co hosts are Margy @ La Petite Casserole and Su @ Su’s Healthy Living. Also sharing it at Mollies  Throwback Thurday #26

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Tamatar Wangun (Kashmiri Eggplant in Tomatoes)

Trying to stay warm on this stormy winder day in the North East. At least the fridge was stocked for a day or two…who am I kidding?, we could survive for the month between the fridge and the pantry staples 🙂

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My recipe creations of Kashmiri dishes continues. If you have been following my blog you know how much I love eggplant – every kind that can be possibly available. I had 4 long beautiful Japanese eggplants on hand and some great ripe organic tomatoes.

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In authentic Kashmiri dishes with eggplants and turnips they are fried before cooking in sauce. Did you know that eggplant are dried in Kashmir to be used in different dishes in the very cold winter. I have pan fried these in coconut oil for a healthier version. You can strain the oil out on a paper towel.

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Tomatoes are also cooked down to a paste to bring out the sweetness. Then the additions of fennel and dry ginger bring out the beautiful fragrant flavors.

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Best eaten with short grain rice…this dish will warm your soul.

 

Tamatar Wangun

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Ingredients:

4 long eggplants halved and cut in 1 inch strips

4 tomatoes chopped – or you can use canned tomatoes

1 tsp red chili powder

1 tsp cumin

4 cloves

1 inch cinnamon

1 tsp fennel powder

1 tsp ginger powder

1 tsp turmeric

2 tbsp mustard oil

Salt to taste

Coconut oil for frying

 

 

Putting it together;

  1. Salt the cut eggplant and let it drain for an hour – you can skip this step if you want
  2. Squeeze out the water and fry them in batches until golden. Set aside on a paper towel.
  3. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, add oil cloves and cumin seeds
  4. Once the splutter and the chopped tomatoes and allow them to break down.
  5. Add the rest of the spices and cook until the water starts to dry out and oil come to the surface. About 20 mins
  6. Add some water to bring back the sauce consistency.
  7. Add the fried eggplant and let it simmer for 10 mins.
  8. The sauce should be nice and thick
  9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice.

 

Stay warm everyone!

Warming up Fiesta Friday with my link. Thanks Angie,  Sonal @ simplyvegetarian777 and Petra @ Food Eat Love

Fava, Feta and Roasted Eggplant

A trip to the local farmers market inspired this Mediterranean influenced dish which wakes up you taste buds. I found a fresh bunch of Dill begging to be tried – it was so green and velvety, the stand for cheese looking so very inviting but the local feta sample had me sold and of course I still had eggplants in my garden.

Fresh Dill
Fresh Dill

Fava beans are usually in my freezer. Also known as broad beans, they have no saturated fat or cholesterol and contain a high concentration of thiamin, vitamin K, vitamin B-6, potassium, copper, selenium, zinc and magnesium.

Farm Fresh Feta
Farm Fresh Feta

Eggplants are sliced and roasted in a 450 degree oven for about 15 minutes. The tomatoes are pan roasted in olive oil and garlic and red chili flakes.

Left over Dill can also be used in Cacik’

Fava, Feta and Roasted Eggplant

Fava, Feta and Roasted Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of shelled and cooked Fava beans ( I used the organic frozen precooked bag from the local Trader Joes store)
  • 4  tomatoes, quartered
  • Sliced and roasted eggplant slices
  • 1 chunk of Feta cheese cut in cubes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • Crushed Red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • Chopped dill – approx 1/2 cup
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste

Putting it together:

In a large pan, add some olive oil, garlic and chillies and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and let them brown a little. They need to stay whole so do not over cook. Add the cooked fava beans, eggplant, cumin powder(if using) and heat through until combined

Add the Feta as you turn the heat off and combine. Mix in the chopped dill and salt/pepper. Serve at room temperature and enjoy!

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 For Fiesta Friday #88, thanks to  Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Liz @ Spades, spatulas, & spoons for being  co-hosts.