Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blueberry picking and Bagare Baingan

Saturday night I had to bribe Miss Bubbly to sleep. It was my third bribe that day!

'..(yawn) ..I wish I wake up tomorrow and (yawn) do everything we did today alll over again'. She was asleep in 2 minutes.

After a fun day blueberry picking, we stopped on our way back to buy her a promised treat. Back home and after lunch, Miss Bubbly and her dad had way too much fun the rest of the afternoon while I napped dreaming about muffin morning tomorrow. I woke up and started napwalking to the coffee machine. What a pleasure to wake up to the smell of extra strong mocha brewing fresh. Talk about a caffeine kick!

The purple blueberries had reminded me of the purple baingans waiting for me in my fridge. Tonight is a baingan night.

All my efforts to make bagare baingan taste like my moms have ended up futile. Mom's recipe involved deep frying baingans. I gave in and did it anyway the few times I made it. They tasted better than average. Just not quite as fingerlicking as hers. Finally I had found a simpler recipe (!) which I had written down. Tonight I decided to give a shot.
I am glad I did.

Ingredients -
Brinjals - small, round- 8 -10
Onions - 2 large, sliced
Ginger - 1 inch piece, minced
Garlic - 2 pods, minced
Jeera - 1/2 tsp

To grind -
Groundnuts - Roasted and peeled, 1/4 cup
White sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Channa Dal - 2 tsp
Coriander Seeds - 1 tbsp
Red Chillies - 3 or 4 according to taste
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Cloves - 4 or 5
Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cardamom - 3 or 4
Tamarind pulp - extracted from a lemon sized tamarind ball
Jaggery - a small piece

Method -
Slit the cleaned brinjals into 4, keeping them intact on one end.
In a pan, roast all the dry spices separately and add them one after the other to a mixie jar. Now pulse a few times, until it is well powdered.
In the same pan, heat about 1 tbsp oil and fry half of the sliced onions. After 1 or 2 minutes, add the minced ginger and garlic and fry again. Add the fried onions and ginger garlic, the tamarind pulp and the jaggery to the mixie jar and grind to a smooth paste and keep aside.
In the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil and fry the remaining half of the onions and the jeera and fry well until the onions are soft. Remove the fried onions to a plate.
Add 1 tsp oil and saute the slit brinjals. Sprinkle about 1 tsp salt and some turmeric powder. Saute for a good 4 or 5 minutes. Now remove the pan from fire and slowly add about 1/2 cup of water.

Yes, there will be a little bit of spluttering involved. My fire alarm got worried at this point.

After adding water, return the pan to fire. Cover and cook for a good 15 minutes. When you open it, You should see that the baingans are reasonably cooked.

Remove them to the same plate as the fried onions, reserve the cooking liquid. To this pan, add the ground paste and 1 tbsp oil. Fry well for about 7 or 8 minutes until the raw smell disappears.
Add the fried onions, the cooked brinjals with the reserved liquid, about 1 cup of water and check for salt. Simmer covered for another 5 minutes. Remove from fire, and set aside while you chop the coriander leaves for garnish.

I like to make Rotis at this point giving the spices in the curry a chance to mix n mingle. Grandmas call it paathra-paakam.

After the rotis are made, transfer the curry to a serving dish - (I served it as is - It was 10 PM!)
Thank god it is a Saturday.

For Miss bubbly, I made a deep fried baingan subji to eat with rotis. All this spice in the curry is too much for lil bubbly. Thanks to my loving friend for sharing this delightful kid-friendly recipe.

Fried Brinjal Subji -

Slice about 4 cleaned brinjals. In a bowl, add the sliced brinjals, salt, turmeric powder, 1 tbsp coriander powder, and mix well. Add chilly powder if you like.

Dip the discs into hot oil and drain on paper towels. Bubbly loves her rotis with dry sabjis.
Roti, Subji and curd. So simple. So blissful.
Mommy loves a slice of raw onion to go with it. Add 1 whole green chilly? Bliss++.

So Mommy fed the half asleep bubbly while she listened to her favorite tale of Basil Fretfrumos who bravely fought and defeated the witch Kloyanthsa & the six dragons. Basil couldn't do all this without the help of the pretty Elana Kosinsana whose big brother was the mighty Sun himself.

Another bed time story? We'll read it tomorrow, love.
Err.. tomorrow will be here in about 30 minutes.

(Yawn) (Yawn).

The bagare baingan was declared a big success.

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