Monday, June 22, 2015

Baghare Baingan - Eggplants in a nutty gravy

I am a self confessed brinjal lover. I am always on the lookout for new ideas. I regularly eat the bharta,the bhaja,the pora(chargrilled),the baked - just about everything. One fine morning I just googled to know of more brinjal recipes and that's how I discovered Baghare Baingan. I am kicking myself for not making it earlier. Its like giving a super royal treatment to the the aubergines and turning them into this delicious dish without much sweat. Typically (and me too) used baby brinjals but one could easily use the big variety, just cut them into thick roundels.

Ingredients :

Brinjals - 8-10 the small sized ones

Turmeric powder - a pinch

Salt - to taste

Onion - 1 medium sized - roughly chopped

Garlic - 2 pods - crushed

Ginger - a small piece - crushed

Green chillies - 2-3 - adjust as per taste

Peanuts - a handful

Dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp. You could also use fresh coconut pieces

Poppy seeds - 1 tsp

Coriander seeds - 1 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Tamarind paste - 1 tsp

Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for frying the brinjals

For tempering -

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Red chillies - 2-3

Fresh coriander - for garnish


Wash the brinjals. Pat dry and make deep slits in it keeping them joined at the stem. Smear a pinch of turmeric and salt and keep aside.

In a pan , heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the brinjals. Drain and keep aside for further use.

In the same pan , add the chopped onion , garlic and ginger. Fry till fragrant. Add the chillies, peanuts, coconut,poppy seeds,coriander seeds and cumin seeds and sauté till slightly browned. Season with salt.

Remove from heat and set this mixture aside to cool. Once cooled, grind this mixture into a smooth paste .

In another pan, add a little oil and splutter the mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Next tip in the brinjals and the masala paste. Give it a good stir and add some warm water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.

Give it a gentle simmer and garnish with some fresh coriander.

Enjoy the nutty gravy with soft brinjals along with some steamed rice.


Sunday, June 21, 2015

Paranthewali Gali - The Paratha Festival @ Swissotel, Kolkata

Parathewali Gali - the name itself packs in so much memories when taking those rickshaw rides from  D school to the lanes of Chandni Chowk was just a matter of few minutes and we would be there to gorge on sinful yumminess - oil drenched ofcourse! But that seems like eons ago. So when KFB received an invite to preview the Parthewali Gali festival at the fine dining Indian restaurant "Durbari" at Swissotel, I jumped at the idea. I mean what could be better than reliving those memories sitting right here in Kolkata. The special menu developed here has an array of parathas - your staple aloo and gobhi to the more creative chicken tikka and cheese! Not to mention the Malabari Paratha - that was a show stealer for me! Crispy and absolutely oil free served with the flavourful , little sweet Vegetable stew. I would definitely go back for this one.

Then came the Warqi Paratha - a lucknow speciality - with flaky layers and served with a simple aloo ki sabzi , raita and an array of home made pickles.

A steady stream of pararthas followed from here on - there was the Soya Parantha - filled with soya granules. It was nice but I would have loved a more spicier version of the same as soya granules does tend to get bland at times. The Chicken Tikka and Cheese Parantha deserves a special mention - as was rightly pointed out by Aashish - the F & B Manager at Durbari would go extremely well with a pint of chilled beer. We ended our calorie laden( well you have to pay a price for such sin) meal with the quintessential - Bengal's favourite - Moglai Parantha - stuffed with minced chicken and deep fried with an egg wash.

The Paranthewali Gali festival is on at the Durbari at Swissotel Kolkata till 28th June.The menu is extensive and very reasonably priced with good portions. All paranthas are served with a side of aloo bhaji,pickle , curd and laccha onion. For reservations call - 033-66266666
Monsoons have come calling to Kolkata and this seems to be the best time to indulge in some Parantha goodness.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Keema Bruschetta - A DIY Party Snack

So you have a party coming up and you want to rustle up some easy snack/ starter. Worry not, this DIY (do-it-yourself silly!) Keema Bruschetta is the perfect party item. The keema can be made a day in advance( or few days in advance and frozen ), all that needs to be done after that is assembling. I had some leftover keema and this is the outcome! You can use your usual keema recipe or use this one here.