Friday, September 23, 2011

Nune Vankaya Kura / Stuffed Brinjal in spicy coconut gravy

This a very classic dish made my by MIL, she makes to such perfection that you can never stop eating it. It goes well with anything, with dosa, rice, roti… or just slather some gravy on the bread, wedge a lil aubergine between 2 slices add some fresh salad to it and you are good to go! It is a versatile, very forgiving dish; you can sneak in some more spices or just leave out some and it will still taste good.. But I followed my MILs recipe to the T as the hubby is not very happy with experimenting as he loves this dish as his mom makes it... so I dint have much freedom to fiddle with it..
What all is needed 1. ½ KG fresh small purple brinjals. ( Preferable even in size ) 2. ½ cup coconut pieces/1/4 cup shredded coconut 3. ¼ cup peanuts ( If allergic to nuts, replace with same amount of coconut/ add a large tomato ) 4. 3 tbsp white sesame seeds ( Dry roast and keep aside ) 5. Key lime size tamarind, soaked in warm water for 15 minutes / 2 tbsp thick tamarind paste 6. 6 cloves garlic 7. 1 large onion cut into chunks 8. 4 tbsp red chili powder 9. 1 tbsp coriander powder 10. Sprig of curry leaves 11. 1 tsp each mustard seeds, cumin seeds 12. ¼ tsp turmeric powder 13. 1 green cardamom,2 cloves, ½ inch cinnamon stick 14. ¼ tsp fenugreek powder ( Dry roast and grind fenugreek seeds ) 15. ¼ + ¼ cup oil 16. 1 liter tap water, add 2 tsp salt to it and keep aside 17. 1 bunch coriander leaves
Add the cocnut,peanuts (if using, else tomato ), toasted sesame seeds, onion, garlic, chili powder, coriander powder, tamarind paste in a food processor / mixie and pulse to form a smooth paste. Heat ¼ cup oil in a pan, add ingredients 10-13 to the oil and toast for 2 minutes, and then add the coconut paste and fry for 15-20 minutes on a medium heat till the oil separates and take off heat and let it cool. While the paste cooks, wash the brinjals, keep the stems intact, hold each brinjal near the stem and make a “+ “shaped slit from the broad base. Now put these slit brinjals in the salted water. Stuffing the brinjals: Gentle open the slits and put 1 tbsp coconut paste in the slit. Now, put a wide pan on heat and add ¼ cup oil and heat. Add the fenugreek paste and fry for 20 seconds, now gently place all the stuffed brinjals. Fry on each side for about 2 minutes. Now add the rest of the coconut paste, add 2 cups of water and half bunch chopped coriander , cover and cook for 25 minutes / till the brinjals are soft but not mushy ( Test by picking one brinjal by its stem, it should hold shape but should not fall off the stem/ press and see if it gives any hard resistance ) If using pressure cooker, cook on low flame till 3 whistles.
Garnish with some more coariander and serve.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Salted Caramel and crunchy caramel chocolates

This post will be dedicated to my darling husband!.. cause the recipe that I am going to share is a sweet one and the surprise is that the DH doesn't run away at the name of sweet... but he loves this as they taste similar to the Cadbury's 5 star chocolate and this was the first ever chocolate the DH had had as a child and loves it with his heart and soul!!
caramel.. as complicated as it sounds... it is one of the most easiest things that you can make... so here goes the recipe.. Ingredients for the caramel 1. 200 ml cream ( I used Amul cream ) 2. 1 1/2 cups caster sugar 3. 1 cup water 4. 1/4 tsp cinnamon 5. 1 tsp vanilla extract 6. 1/8 tsp salt in a heavy bottomed pan, pour in the water, add the sugar in the center of the pan. Let the sugar melt by itself on a low heat, restrain from stirring. once the sugar is completely melted add the cinnamon and vanilla, turn the flame to high and allow the sugar to turn a golden brown. The whole process may take from 10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on the pan as in no time the beautiful golden brown will turn to a black burnt mess. while the sugar is melting, heat the cream in microwave for about 30 seconds to bring it to a thin pour-able consistency. once the sugar is turned golden brown, reduce heat to low,wear oven mitts, whisk the cream into the sugar syrup. whisk for 2 minutes. Take off heat, add salt whisk and leave it to cool off completely.
ingredients for the chocolates 1. 100 grams semi sweet cooking chocolate 2. 20 grams rice crispies and corn flakes crushed slightly 3. and of course the caramel chop the chocolate into very small identical pieces, put it in a microwave safe bowl, heat in microwave for 30 seconds, take out the bowl and stir with a spoon. heat again for 30 seconds in microwave and stir with a spoon. Note : when chocolate is in the microwave do not go by the look of the chocolate, it will hold shape even when it is almost melted. take a chocolate mold, pour 1/4 tsp chocolate in each mold, then add some caramle, sprinkle some corn falkes mixture and fill the mold with chocolate again. Freeze for 20-30 minutes.