Achari Brinjal Moju

Achari Brinjal Moju
Brinjal lovers will love this dish which has its roots in Sri Lanka, and is a staple in most Sri lankan homes and restaurants. This is basically a fried brinjal pickle, which is served at meals normally with rice, but I prefer having it with a chappati.(flatbread). This dish comes together in no time . The crunch of deepfried brinjal and shallots, subtle tangyness of vinegar and mustard and sweetness of sugar give this simple dish a balance which is amazing. There are many twists to this recipe, each one having its own charm. In my recipe today, I have added dijon mustard to enhance the tartness and sweet mango pickle instead of sugar. You can add honey or sugar instead. Tweak the recipe at your will.
This purple coloured vegetable called eggplant or aubergine is popular in many cuisines world wide. Be it the bhaigan ka bharta in north India, where the brinjals are flame roasted, mashed and cooked in an onion tomato gravy. Or the Greek Mousakka, where aubergine, minced meat sauce and potatoes come together to form a hearty casserole. As for me, my childhood memories of eating Brinjal are not very greatūüėäthe only way I really liked it was fried and sprinkled with dry spices. Mom would cut the brinjals into round pieces, give small cuts on the surface, and soak them in salted water for a while. Then squeeze the water out and deep fry till crisp. This was normally served with khichdi or pulav. It was much later that I developed a taste for brinjal cooked as a sabzi. And today its one of my favourite vegetable.ūüėä The aroma of brinjal being fried in the kitchen always draws me in to grab a few pcs of fried brinjal ..top on my listūüėä

Do try this simple and tasty recipe.

Ingredients
250 gms purple brinjal
2 tbsps flour
2 tbsps cornflour
10 shallots
2 green chillies and 2 red chillies ( cut slantingly)
1 sprig curry leaves
1 tbsps chopped garlic
1 tbsps finely chopped ginger
1/2 tbsp freshly powdered mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
2 tsps black pepper powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp vinegar
2 tbsp homemade sweet mango chutney or achaar (pickle) or honey or powdered sugar. I have used my homemade sweet mango achaar.
2 tbsps fried onions
2 tbsps coconut oil
Some chopped corriander leaves.
Salt to taste

Method..
1..Cut brinjals into finger stick size.
Soak in salted water for an hour, squeeze dry, roll in a mixture of flour and cornflour. Deep fry till crisp. Keep aside.
Also deep fry the shallots and sliced chillies.

2… Mix mustard seed powder, dijon mustard, vinegar and sweet mango chutney together in a small bowl.

3…Heat 2 tbsps of coconut oil and saute curry leaves, ginger, garlic till fragrant. Shut the fire and add cinnamon, pepper and salt..mix well

4..Add the dijon mustard mix, fried brinjals, fried shallots and chillies.
Stir well and serve garnished with chopped corriander and fried onions.

** can be eaten at room temperature.
***best made at time of serving and consumed immediately.

Vegan omelette with Premix Recipe.

In a world where instant is becoming a norm, whether its instant noodles or instant meals which only need to be reheated. Everyone wants to cook something that is not time consuming or tedious and at the same time, nutritious. Today’s recipe is all that, instant and quick. A premix is always handy to have around in our pantry, and if it is a homemade premix, rest assured you are stress free knowing no preseravatives and chemicals are in it. HOMEMADE is the new normal now, especially since the world wide lockdown. A vegetarian omelette premix, which is also vegan is a boon to have, breakfast and snacking or even a light meal are suitably covered.
Growing up in Pune, my mom made a vegetarian omelette from besan(chick pea flour) frequently. This was our meal on days when she did not feel like cookingūüėä. 2 slices of white bread and a crisp besan omelette and tomato ketchup. Soul satisfying. I have added oats and flaxseed powder to the premix, making it more nutritious. This premix quantity will yield about 275 gms, which is good enough for about 15 medium omelettes. This premix stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Ingredients

1 cup besan( chick pea flour)
1 cup oats
1/4 cup semolina
1/4 cup flaxseed
3 tbsp white sesame seeds
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp red chillie powder
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp saunf ( fennel seeds)
1 tsp jeera( cumin seeds)
1 tsp ajwain( carom seeds)

Method
Roast the sesame seeds for few mins and keep aside.
Grind seperately the oats and and flax seeds to a fine powder.
Mix together all the ingredients in a mixing bowl .
Store in an air tight container

To make the omelette.
In a bowl, take 2 tbsps of the premix and add about 2 or 3 tbsps of water( you might need more) mix gently and add some chopped onions and corriander leaves, and if you like it spicy add chopped chillies. Now mix and add little water to get a batter which is medium thin. Not to thin nor thick.
Heat a non stick pan, brush with oil and using about 2 or 3 tbsps of batter spread out making a thin omellete. Pour little oil around the omelette. Once crisp on the underside, flip over and let it become crisp. Serve with a chutney or chillie sauce.

The sindhi beeh(lotus stem) pakora

The Sindhi kitchen revisited! ¬†Sindhi food is rather simple to make , in the sense that basically onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chillies is what would be required to start cooking and dish, we normally don’t have complex pastes made of various spices and the usage of cream or nuts is kept to the minimum while cooking. All the recipes handed down in my family are very simple and sometimes I myself get surprised when the food turns out to be delicious in its simplicity. Growing up in Pune , where most of my mom’s family used to live, we frequently visited my mami kala’s home, which was the headquaters of the mohinani family, many ¬†beautiful memories are attached to the nanaron( nani’s home) at kanyashala road.. those lazy afternoons where all the aunties and cousins gathered ¬†for scrumptious lunches arranged by my aunt, the wonderful aromas wafting from the kitchen where the cooks (bhaiyas) literally cooked up a feast, everyone just laughing and ¬†talking,memories of that bygone era are beautiful .Those were the days when the only way to have a group chat was to meet..:) and of course the admin was aunty kala. The snacks were ¬†more often than not fried, but no one cared, we just enjoyed the delicious food and company.

Today I would like to share a recipe of beehyan ja pakora  with you , which is not commonly served nowadays. This snack is quite simple to make and is my mothers recipe, making use of lotus stem or beeh as we call it in sindhi. My amma(paternal grandmom) was fond of this snack and would ask my mom to make it. This vegetable was served on special occasions   at home, especially when some  important guests were invited for lunch and dinner. Mom always cooked it in a rich onion gravy, topped with raw onion slices and a squirt of lime and some sev sprinkled over the curry, and served it with bread buns or pao, to make it easier to dunk into the delicious gravy.  Lotus stem on its own is a rather bland vegetable , but it blends and adapts the taste of any spice that it is cooked with.

Lotus stem is easily available here in Jakarta because a lot of chinese people also use it for cooking. In Pune it was a seasonal vegetable, because i remember the man who used to bring lotus stem and  pabharees( seeds of the lotus plant) all the way from Pimpri a small satellite town of pune. Nowadays it is more easily available throughout the year.  In those days I was not really too fond of the vegetable but have grown to rather like it. so here is the recipe, do try it and enjoy it.

Bheeyan ja pakora

Ingredients for the besan batter(chick pea flour)

1 cup besan ( chick pea flour)20161109_123703

1 tsp each cumin seeds/ ajwain(thymol seeds)

1 tsp red chillie powder

salt to taste.

1/8 th tsp of soda bi carb

Method..

Make a smooth batter of all above ingredients by adding cold water, make sure the batter is smooth and of dropping consistency. keep aside for half hour.

Ingredients for the beeh wada

I beeh stem about 25 cms long, peeled , cut into thick circles and boiled till tender.

1 tsp each ginger/ garlic/ green chilie paste

finely chopped corriander leaves

1 boiled and peeled potato

1 tsp corriander powder

1 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp amchoor powder

1 tsp shah jeeri

salt to taste

Method

Take a big bowl and roughly crush the boiled potato and the boiled beeh(lotus stem) , the beeh(lotus stem) and the potato should be chunky,  add all the dry spices, salt  and the ginger, garlic and green chilie paste and the corriander leaves

Make small balls and keep aside

Heat a wok half filled with cooking oil.

Now, dip the lotus stem balls in the besan batter( chick pea) and slide gently into the hot oil.. fry the balls until just light golden in colour, remove and keep aside.

When you want to serve the snack,  press each ball gently between your two palms until flattened and cracked.. now deep fry the flat wadas till golden brown and crisp.

Serve hot with cold mint chutney.