Tag Archives: Eggplant

Kashmiri Tangy Eggplants – Chok Wangun

My love for eggplants keeps me experimenting with new recipes from around the globe. This one is close to my heart and soul and so very easy to make.

IMG_8318-5Frying eggplants will fill your kitchen with an amazing aroma. I often chow down a few slices even before they make their way to the dish.

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This recipe has the flavor of cloves, ginger, and fennel and is a delicate yet strong blend to showcase the eggplants. The tamarind paste is what adds the tanginess. Use it to your taste.

Tip: Be careful not to burn the cloves or the chili powder but adding water quickly.

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Ingredients:

  • 4 eggplants – long or 8 small
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ginger powder
  • 2 tbsp fennel powder
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 4 black cardamoms
  • 1 tsp black cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp tamarind paste
  • Salt – to taste.
  • Mustard oil

 

Putting it together:

  • Soak the tamarind paste in 1/2 cup hot water. Put aside.
  • Chopped and fry the onion until golden brown and make a paste of the fried onions adding a dash of water
  • Cut the eggplants lengthwise into 3 to 4-inch lengths – keeping a part of stem on the end pieces.
  • Heat the mustard oil until smoking and deep fry the eggplants until golden brown. Drain on paper towels
  • In a wide pan take  3 tbsp of the remaining oil and bring to medium heat
  • Add the cloves, red chili powder and salt. Add 2 cups of water immediately not letting the red chilies burn. Add the garlic, turmeric and cardamoms fennel powder, ginger powder, onion paste and continue to cook for 10 mins adding 2 more cups of water if needed.
  • Add the eggplants and tamarind water and cook for 5 -10 mins to get to a saucy consistency.
  • Serve with a garnish of green chilies with white rice or roti.IMG_8320-6

Moussakah vegetarian

While I was in NYC for a conference, I had the pleasure of dining with my sister and brother in law at a fabulous restaurant  Cleo at Mondrian Park Ave. The chef certainly had a way with Mediterranean small plates but one particular dish that caught my attention was the vegetarian Moussakah with eggplants and feta immersed in delicious béchamel sauce.

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I have made Mousakkah many times with Lamb, beef and also with just vegetables and it always comes out warm and comforting.

Inspired by Cleo I experimented with a new recipe and it was a winner.

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Moussakah is a very popular Greek dish but there are many versions of it through the Mediterranean, all equally worthy of trying.

In a  traditional Greek Moussaka recipe,  minced beef (or lamb) is cooked in a tomato base and spices then layered with eggplants and topped with creamy béchamel sauce and cheese.

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In this vegetarian version, my basic ingredients are sweet eggplants and mushrooms. Then the béchamel sauce and the topping of feta and gruyere. I have made two small plates here for lunch but you can adjust and make one large one. The béchamel sauce has leftover which was wonderful. I have stored it for use during the week.

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Eggplants:

  • 1 large eggplant or 3-4 slim ones
  • Olive oil
  • Pink salt

Mushroom sauce

  • Cremini mushrooms – I box around 20 pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 of a cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 cup pureed tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Béchamel sauce

  • Stick of butter – 4 ounces
  • Whole milk – 3 cups
  • Flour – 4 ounces
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup Grated Gruyere
  • a pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions

  1. Cut the eggplant into slices (1 inch),  Season with salt and place in a colander for about half an hour.
  2. Squeeze the liquid from the eggplants with your hands and pat dry with a paper towel. Drizzle the eggplants with some olive oil and bake them for 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven until golden brown.
  3. Add olive oil to a pan over medium heat and stir in the chopped mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes,  add the garlic and chopped onions and continue to cook. Add the cinnamon and adjust the salt and pepper. Cook until the sauce thickens.
  4. For the béchamel sauce use a deep pan and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour whisking continuously to make a paste and add warmed milk pouring in a stream. Continue to whisk the whole time to avoid lumps and get to a smooth paste.  Remove the pan from heat and add the egg yolks, salt, pepper, a pinch of nutmeg and the grated cheese. Whisk to incorporate all the ingredient and get a smooth and creamy paste
  5. To assemble I have used 2 small dishes, you can use a large baking dish as well. Sprinkle the bottom with some panko or breadcrumbs and layer the eggplants. Add the mushrooms sauce and another layer of eggplants.
  6. Top with the béchamel sauce, feta, and more gruyere.
  7. Cook in a 400-degree oven for 15 mins until bubbly. Cool for a few minutes before digging in

 

 

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Sharing at Fiesta Friday where co-hosts this week are Diann @ Of Goats and Greensand Shinta @ Caramel Tinted Life.

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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