[vegetarian cook's diary]

In my kitchen

Baigan in Batata Boat!


Broiled baigan, broiled bell pepper, broiled potato along with cooked onions and tomatoes mixture stuffed in potato skin

Broiled baigan, broiled bell pepper, broiled potato along with cooked onions and tomatoes mixture stuffed in potato skin

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How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

Eggplant purposed for baigan bharta had almost reached trash can. With bell pepper, potato, onions and tomatoes in line with eggplant, I started out with broiling eggplant and pepper. Then decided to broil potato as well and the following happened.

Ingredients:

  • 1 organic eggplant (one of those big ones)
  • 2 med organic russet potatoes
  • 1.5 med organic heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 med organic cooking onion
  • Salt to taste (I think I used ~1 Tbsp)
  • 0.25 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.25 tsp mustard seeds
  • 0.25 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dhana-jeeru powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 2 TBSP oil
  • lime juice

Garnish ingredients:

  • chopped cilantro

What did I do?

  1. Wash and dry the eggplant
  2. coat with oil and make cuts (go through the skin) along the entire length of the eggplant
  3. i made about 6 of them; this pretty much helps with removing the skin once broiled
  4. put in preheated oven for broiling at high temp
  5. Wash and dry the bell pepper
  6. coat with oil and put in the oven along with eggplant for broiling
  7. would need to rotate every few minutes once the side towards heat is charred
  8. bell pepper would get done earlier; take it out and replace with washed oiled potato halves
  9. place hot pepper in the glass container and cover it — this will help peel off the skin easily
  10. meanwhile, take out the eggplant and potato (time to turn off that oven)
  11. remove the skin from the eggplant and rinse with cold water
  12. chop the eggplant and bell pepper and mix them in a bowl
  13. scoop out the potatoes from the halves and mix it in eggplant-pepper mixture
  14. keep the skins for stuffing
  15. heat the oil, add hing, jeeru (should crackle), rai (should crackle), green chillies (if you want), chopped garlic (if you want)
  16. add the chopped onions and brown them
  17. add the spices and mix them in
  18. add the mixture of eggplant-pepper- potatoes
  19. add the chopped tomatoes
  20. add the spices and let
  21. cook till tomatoes are cooked
  22. sprinkle lime juice right after turning off the stove

Garnish:

  1. Garnished this with cilantro

Serving:

  1. stuff the mixture in the potato skins OR
  2. Serve with cooked rice (you can actually mix rice with the mixture before stuffing) OR
  3. Serve with paratha

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration:  typical Indian curry

Nutritional Fact: No clue, but pretty sure everything was destroyed in that broiler 😦


Some grilled veggie curry


I can not recall what is this. I found this pic on my old cellphone. I have blurred memories of grilling celery and another vegetable (sliced) on propane grill and then making curry with black beans. I also remember erring in not cleaning up celery properly. In terms of inspiration, I think I had celery for some reason and the idea of grilling it occurred to me when I saw my roommate grilling bunch of veggies. Anyway, it tasted different and yummy!


Lotus root curry

Lotus Root curry

Lotus Root curry

Lotus root (actually it is not a root, but a rhizome) curried with green peas and onions;

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

Saw a package of frozen sliced lotus root in Indian grocery store and decided to make a curry of it … and then decided to use frozen green peas from the fridge to add some color.

Ingredients:

  • 1 package frozen sliced lotus root
  • 1/2 package frozen green peas
  • 1 med onion chopped
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 green chillies sliced
  • 0.25 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.25 tsp mustard seeds
  • 0.25 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dhana-jeeru powder
  • 0.5 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBP oil

Garnish ingredients:

  • plain yogurt
  • chopped cilantro

What did I do?

  1. Heat the oil and then add chillies, cumin seeds and mustard seeds
  2. Once crackling stopped, added onions
  3. Once onions were transparent, added rinsed (but not thawed) lotus roots and green peas
  4. Cooked with the pot covered
  5. Often stirred and checked if the roots became soft/tender
  6. After 5min or so, added salt and turmeric and continued with the cooking
  7. When roots were tender, added rest of the spices and covered the pot
  8. Let it sit for few minutes before garnishing and serving

Garnish:

  1. Garnished this with cilantro and yogurt and served with paratha

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration:  typical Indian curry

Nutritional Fact: No clue, but you can check them out for lotus root itself here ….yummy!!


Broiled Summer Guniea Squash


baked eggplant n zucchini slices soaked in vodka with potato, onion, tomato & carrot curry filling;

Unfortunately, I forgot to type up what i did when i did it. So, i don’t remember the spice quantities for the curry. Said so, it should be like any other curry and to your taste.

Another unfortunate news, i am currently unable to upload the pics 😦

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

I was looking to make eggplant rollitini without eggs and cheese. Disappointed with the recipes I found, I just made this. I thought to make the curry with the vegetables at hand for the filling.  Towards the end I thought about adding some plain cooked rice to the filling mixture; but by then it was too late.

Ingredients:

  • 1 eggplant sliced lengthwise
  • 1 zucchini sliced lengthwise
  • 2 med potato
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 carrots sliced to coins
  • cumin seeds
  • mustard seeds
  • turmeric powder
  • chilli powder
  • dhana-jeeru powder
  • garam masala powder
  • salt
  • oil
  • 2 curry leaves

Garnish ingredients:

  • shredded coconut
  • chopped cilantro
  • lime juice

What did I do?

  1. sliced eggplant lengthwise as thin as I could (I managed six)
  2. coated in the oil and put it in the oven to broil
  3. soaked baked/broiled eggplant in vodka
  4. sliced zucchini lengthwise as thin as I could
  5. coated in the oil and put it in the oven to broil

Filling:

  1. Heated the oil
  2. Added cumin seeds and mustard seeds when oil was hot enough so that they crackled when added
  3. Added onions and browned them
  4. Added potatoes and carrots and cooked them covered (stirring occasionally) till tender
  5. Added chopped tomatoes and simmered for 5 more minutes

Cooking is done; now serving time: I tried three different ways

  1. lay the eggplant slice on the plate, layer the zucchini slice, layer the curry filling
  2. same as 1 above; but deck it up with another layer of eggplant and the filling
  3. same as 1 above with little less filling and then roll the eggplant

Garnish:

  1. Garnished this with raspberry, cilantro, shredded coconut, and/or lime juice

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration:  Eggplant Rollatini

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


Coccinia grandis – Die-eat[ing]-this


Tindora nu saak

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

Tindora (or Ivy Gourd in English) and potato curry is the traditional Gujarati dish. Tindora is rich is beta-carotene and as per wikipedia got these medicinal benefits:

“The juice of the roots and leaves is used in the treatment of diabetes. The leaves are used as a poultice in treating skin eruptions. The plant is used as a laxative. It is used internally in the treatment of gonorrhea. Aqueous and ethanolic extracts of the plant have shown hypoglycaemic principles.”

So diabetes or not, you can die eat[ing] this.

Ingredients:

  • 0.92 lb of sliced tindora (see pics)
  • 2 med white potatoes sliced
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • ~1/3rd turmeric powder
  • ~1/3rd chilli powder
  • ~1/3rd dhana-jeeru powder
  • ~1/3rd garam masala powder
  • ~0.5 tsp salt
  • 1 TBSP oil (used Olive oil because that’s what I got)
  • ~1 cup water
  • 1 long green chilly chopped
  • 4 curry leaves

Garnish ingredients:

  • about 1 TBSP plain yogurt
  • about 1TBSSP chopped cilantro

What did I do?


  1. Heated the oil
  2. Added cumin seeds and mustard seeds when oil was hot enough so that they crackled when added
  3. Added potatoes and cooked them covered (stirring occasionally) till tender
  4. Added sliced tindora and cooked covered (stirring occasionally) till tender
  5. Added the spices and condiments about half way thru (5-10 min)
  6. Garnished this with yogurt and cilantro
  7. Served with parathas (indian bread)

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration: Traditional dish from Gujarat, India

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


Fansi bateta nu shaak


Garnished pita bread with curried green-beans and potato

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

Green beans gotta be the most boring vegetable out there. I have not yet figured out what to do with it besides this yummy gujarati dish.There is nothing new/creative about this dish; except for how I served it. It is a traditional gujarati dish. Gujarat is the western most state in India. I think the traditional recipe will call for some sweeteners like jaggery or sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 0.92 lb of green beans chopped
  • 2 med white potatoes chopped
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic shredded
  • 0.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 0.5 tsp mustard seeds
  • ~1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp dhana-jeeru powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 TBSP oil (used Olive oil because that’s what I got)
  • ~1 cup water
  • 1 long green chilly

Garnish ingredients:

  • about 1 TBSP plain yogurt
  • about 2 tsp shredded vegetarian Parmesan cheese

What did I do?

  1. Heated the oil
  2. Added cumin seeds and mustard seeds when oil was hot enough so that they crackled when added
  3. Added garlic and browned them
  4. Added onions and browned them
  5. Added potatoes and green beans
  6. Cooked them covered till green beans are cooked (tender)
  7. Took pretty long like 30-40 minutes
  8. Next time, I might boil the green beans b4hand in microwave cooker or something
  9. Stirred the mixture occasionally
  10. Added the spices and condiments about half way thru (10-15 min)
  11. Microwaved flatbread for 30 seconds <– naan/roti substitute
  12. Split opened the flatbread/pita bread and served half of curry on the bread
  13. Garnished this with cheese and cilantro

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration: Traditional dish from Gujarat, India

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


Bhagaare Baingan – Stuffed Eggplant


 

 

How often does it take someone two hours to garnish plain-cooked rice?????

 

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

There is nothing original about this dish. It is a traditional Indian dish; well-known in Hyderabad. First time  (and only time before this) I had Bhagaare Baingan was about three years back in Dallas, TX, US when I was visiting a good friend. This is lot of work – well, at least the way  I followed the recipe. I am not quite sure how authentic that recipe is, but it turned out delicious.

Ingredients:

  • 1.7 lb of eggplant (5 med sized)
  • 2 medium onions quartered
  • 2 medium onions thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic shredded
  • ~1 TBSP shredded ginger
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp for “paste”
    • 1 tsp for “sauce”
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4 TBSP coarsely grind roasted peanuts (got it from mom)
  • ~1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 5 TBSP oil
    • 3 TBSP vegetable oil
    • 2 TBSP olive oil (ran out of the other)
    • recipe called for 10-12 TBSP <—-seriously
  • ~1 cup water
  • 2 thai chillies

Garnish ingredients:

  • about 1 TBSP plain yogurt
  • chopped cilantro

What did I do?

  1. Dry roasted quartered onions – took like 15-odd minutes <— I had absolutely no idea what I was doing here
  2. Added cumin seeds while onions were dry roasted
  3. Mixed roasted mix, peanuts, garlic, ginger, turmeric, chilli powder, and salt
  4. Blended/grinded to thick paste
  5. Quartered the washed/dried eggplant such that they were still held together at the stem
  6. Filled roughly half of the paste into these 5 quartered eggplant
  7. Heated the oil & browned the thinly sliced onions
  8. Added cumin seeds & mustard seeds
  9. Once these seeds started crackling added rest of the paste
  10. in about 2 minutes, added the stuffed eggplant and water
  11. At low heat, cooked/simmered eggplant till tender
    1. took like 30-40 minutes – partly bcoz I added too much water
    2. click here to see what it looked like after 20-odd minutes
  12. Stir and flip/rotate the eggplant frequently so that they are evenly (and “quickly”) cooked
  13. Added some lemon juice & whole thai chilllies
  14. Simmered for another 5 min
  15. Garnished plain cooked rice with the final results
  16. Microwaved flatbread for 30 seconds <– naan substitute
  17. Garnished this with yogurt and cilantro

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration: Traditional dish from Hyderabad, India (click here for the original recipe)

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


Green Stuff!


Belly-up: Garnished with yogurt, cheese, & fried spicy noddles; fell as I was about to take pic ... works well!

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

Well…this is a product of buying six-pack… of green bell peppers. I had mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, leftover avocado sauce, cilantro, tomato paste, sweet peas, yogurt and of course, bell peppers. Out of ideas, I thought why not try stuffed bell pepper.

Stuffing ingredients:

  • 1.5″ x 0.75″ x 0.25″ slice of mozzarella cheese (with vegetarian rennet)
  • about 1/3 cup of avocado sauce <— will post a link to that sauce sometime soon
  • about 1/3 cup of tomato paste from can
  • about 2 TBSP of sweet green peas
  • 2 whole thai chillies  <– adjust the heat by either piercing them or removing seeds ….
  • about 2 TBSP chopped cilantro
  • about 1 tsp maggie ketchup sauce
  • some shredded Parmesan cheese (with vegetarian rennet)

Garnish ingredients:

  • about 1 TBSP plain yogurt
  • some shredded Parmesan cheese (with vegetarian rennet)
  • some fried spicy thin noddles (also called sev)
  • some corn tortilla chips to scoop off the stuffing

What did I do?

  1. Wash & dry bell pepper
  2. Remove the stem via pierce around it & tried to scoop out as much white part as I could
  3. Stuffed in stuffing ingredients, except Parmensan cheese
  4. Topped with Parmensan cheese
  5. Broil on Hi for 15 min on center rack
  6. Broil on Lo for 5 min on lower rack
  7. Scraped off the charred skin
  8. Garnish

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration: Chile Relleno

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


Pasta Curryus


Pasta with Curried vegetables (onions, bell pepper, squash, mushrooms), cheese and yogurt

How did I manage to think about this? Or did I think?

I had oyster mushroom lying around … which meant most of it had gone bad. Of course, I didn’t know that till I pulled it out of the refrigerator halfway thru.

This turned out pretty good; except that it was little bit too hot. I think the thai chillies are little bit hotter than indian chillies. So either need to seeded them or use fewer.

Ingredients:

~3 cups pasta boiled in salted water till fork tender or al dente
~1-2 cups pasta broth (the liquid left over after pasta is cooked)
2 medium onions sliced and cut long
1 green bell pepper sliced and cut long
1 clove garlic minced
~1/4 tsp ginger minced
pinch mustard seeds
pinch cumin seeds
pinch astefoida
2-3 thai chillies chopped (too lazy to seed ’em)
1 tsp (or as famously said: “to taste”) salt
2 medium plum tomato coarsely chopped
1 medium zucchini sliced
1 medium yellow squash sliced
6-7 florets of oyster mushrooms
some cilantro chopped (for garnish)
some mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup plain blended yogurt
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam-masala
~1/4 tsp turmeric powder
~1/2 tsp grounded black pepper
~1-2 tsp xtra virgin olive oil

What did I do?

Njoyed it!!!

Inspiration: Boring pasta!!

Nutritional Fact: No clue….yummy!!


no more boring toast for breakfast!


this happened about 3 weeks ago:

toasted two slices of bread and then:
adventurous me: now what?
lazy me: how about some spicy sauces for freeze?
adventurous me: that’s it?
lazy me: what do mean that’s it? its maggie ketch up and sweeet tamarind chutney! what more?
adventurous me: but that’s just bread and sodium, pretty much!
lazy me: how about some sliced onions?
adventurous me: caramelized or raw?
lazy me: raw, of course!
adventurous me: that’s it? no protein?
lazy me: bread has protein
adventurous me: but only 6g between two slices
lazy me: ok! add some veggie mozzarella cheese
adventurous me: hot toast and cold ingredients? seems yucky
lazy me: damn…..put it in microwave
adventurous me (after 1.5 min): no fat? no cholesterol?
lazy me: what???
adventurous me: u gotta have a wholesome breakfast
lazy me: God….get 1/2 tsp of butter and put in top of top bread and continue microwaving
adventurous me: now u r talking

lazy me: time to eat
adventurous me: whoa….won’t u cut that thing in half….one for me and one for you? and how about that pic for FB?
lazy me feeds the adventurous me and then shoots adventurous me.