Tag Archives: Indian food

Baingan Bharta – Spicy Roasted Eggplant, Tomatoes, and Onions

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Baingan Bharta – Spicy Roasted Indian Eggplant

 With Oxford’s biggest boat racing on the river this weekend, it’s like we’ve all stepped into a romantic British novel. Silver skies, a dark blue river, and future members of Parliament sipping Pimms from the boathouses and screaming for their colleges. 

But even with summer just days away, the atmosphere is stormy and dramatic. Even the excitement of the races can’t make it warm and sunny.

When I want to feel sunny or warm, I cook something like this dish, with spicy peppers and brightly colored tomatoes and turmeric.

Ingredients:

1 eggplant

2 onions

5 tomatoes

3 green finger chilies (or 2 if they are big)

1-2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

1 garlic clove

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. chopped fresh ginger

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. red chili powder

½ tsp garam masala

½ tsp. salt

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Step 1. Begin by roasting your eggplant at about 375 for 45 minutes until the skin is scorched and wrinkled.

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Step 2. Chop the onions, tomatoes, finger chilies, garlic, and ginger in preparation

Step 3. Heat 1 tablespoon of virgin coconut oil and when hot, put in the cumin seeds. Allow to ‘pop’

(Note, heat should be about medium high)

Step 4. Add chopped onions to the cumin seeds, cook for about 2 minutes

(Note, I added an additional two tsp. of coconut oil at this point. You could add it at the beginning as well, but I prefer to keep some of my oil less cooked. You could also probably go without the extra oil if you want a healthier dish)

Step 5. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and finger chilies, stir and allow to cook about a minute

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Step 6. Add the turmeric, red chili powder, and diced tomatoes. Stir and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the tomatoes have cooked down to a sauce-like consistency and the oil begins to separate from the mixture

Step 7. Cut your cooked eggplant in half and scrap the inside pulp into a food processor or blender. It should be soft and easy to remove from the skin. Blend the eggplant with the ½ tsp. of salt

Step 8. Add the eggplant pulp and the ½ tsp. of garam masala to the pan, stir in, and let cook for an additional 2 minutes so mixture comes together

*Taste and potentially add between a ½ tsp and a full tsp. more salt to taste

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Warmth in a bowl! To contrast with gray cloudy days. 

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Gujarati Style Daal

ImageCooking is a form of translation, where my taste begins converting flavors and traditions from another culture into my own recipes. Indian food my be my favorite, because the ingredients are so colorful, so spicy, and so filled with life. Inevitably though, I make changes, like adding an onion, dropping a spice I don’t have, or taking out the ever present ghee to make the dish dairy-free with coconut oil

Gujarati Style Daal

Ingredients:

1c. lentils (urid daal that has been presoaked in water for 2-4 hours)

4 c. water

1 onion

1 tsp. cumin seeds

2 garlic cloves

4 curry leaves

2 tsp. ginger

3 finger chilies

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 cup pureed tomatoes (about 3)

1 tsp. turmeric

1 tsp. hot chili powder

at least 1 and 1/4 tsp. salt

Step 1. Cook the 1 cup of lentils in 3 cups of water and a teaspoon of sea salt for 30 minutes, and then smash the lentils with a spoon (every lentil does not have to be smashed, but smash enough so you begin to get a creamy consistency)Image

Step 2. Cook 2 tablespoons of virgin/cold-pressed coconut oil, drop a cumin seed in when gets hot, if it pops (a sizzling, crackling noise) the oil is hot enough and you can add all the cumin seeds

Step 3. When the cumin seeds have ‘popped’ add the diced onionImage

Step 4. Let onion cook 1-2 minutes (you don’t want it to brown) and add the diced garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and finger chilies. Allow to cook for an additional minute

Step 5. Add the tomatoes (which you should have pureed in a blender or food processor), turmeric, chili powder, and 1/4 teaspoon salt

Step 6. When the tomato, onion, and spices mixture has cooked about 5 minutes more, add this mixture to the lentils. Stir and mash further.Image

Step 7. Add 1 cup additional water to the pot and let cook on low for 10 to 15 more minutes, until creamy.

Step. 8 Serve with chopped cilantro, rice, and some naan or chapati

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Note: If you taste the daal and you think “hmm, it needs something, but what is it?” Add a pinch more salt at a time until that question goes away. This lentil dish might just need a little extra salt to taste)