Tag Archives: appetizer

Borani banjan- Eggplant in garlic yogurt sauce

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Borani banjan- Eggplant in garlic yogurt sauce

Let me confess, I love eggplants in any shape and form. Stuffed, roasted, pan- fried with chick pea flour, I love them all. So for me saying that this is one of the favorite ways to cook eggplant is a big deal.

A friend of mine had made this when I had dinner at her home a few years back and since then I make it at least once a week.

For the past 2-3 years I have been very mindful of what I cook. I have been trying and making an effort to eat only organic whenever possible. I also have been trying to buy only local produce and majority of that from the farmers market. I love going to the farmers market. I love the vibrant colors, the freshness in the air.


I love it when I get to interact with the person who has worked on bringing such great produce to me, I love chatting with them as it gives me a feel for where my food comes from and provide a connection. It also gives me a great sense of appreciation when I learnt that they load up the trucks at 5:00 in the morning to bring the fruits and vegetables to the market.

I love to make things with that produce and share it with them. Last few weeks I have been making yummy strawberry roll ups, I brought some to the vendor whom I buy my strawberries from, it was so nice to be able to share it with them.

So back to my eggplant , I ate this first time and I fell in love with it. I love yogurt, I love mint and I love eggplant, so it was no surprise that I love this recipe.

It is very simple and you can make the two parts ahead of time and assemble it as you are ready to serve.

Borani banjan

Ingredients

  • 1 Large eggplant, sliced
  • 1/2 onion sliced
  • 1 large tomato , sliced
  • 2 green chilies
  • a few mint leave
  • a sprig of Cilantro
  • Sauce
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 small clove of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp olive oil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp dried mint leaves

Method

Cut the eggplant in 1/4 inch thich uniform slices. Sprinkle with some salt and set aside for 30 mins.


In the meanwhile slice the onions & tomatoes  in  slices, slit the green chili and remove the seeds if the chili is very spicy.

After 30 mins, the eggplant will give out some water. Sprinkling with salt  removes any excess bitterness the eggplant might have.

Heat some oil in a pan and shallow fry the eggplant slices until they are cooked. Make sure the heat is not too high, we want the eggplants to cook but not get crispy.


Take the cooked eggplant on a plate. In the same pan, heat some more oil and layer the onions in a single layer, saute till they are soft.


Top them with the slices tomatoes and slit green chilies. We don’t want the tomatoes to get browned but instead sort of get stewed. Add the chopped mint leaves and cilantro as well.

Top the tomatoes and onions with the cooked eggplant and let it cook for about 10-15 min on a low flame.

For the sauce

Mix all the ingredient for the sauce in a bowl. Keep the bowl in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

When you are ready to serve, make sure you bring the eggplant to room temperature. I feel it tastes much better that way.

To serve

Take the cooked eggplant mixture, mash it ever so slightly and top it with the yogurt mixture.

Today I served it with Mejadra, Turkey kabab. More on that later.

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Stuffed Paneer with Khubani Chutney

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Apricot -Paneer Tikka

I love it when a recipe looks like a million bucks, tastes like a trillion bucks and yet it is so easy to put together. I also like the fact that you can prepare parts of the recipe and simply assemble it when you are ready to serve.

Today’s dish fits that description very well. I just love how nicely the delicate flavors of the apricot marries with rich home made paneer. Paneer is a form of a cheese, very similar to ricotta cheese but firmer. It is made by curdling the boiled milk with some acid like lemon juice, white vinegar. It is an integral part of the North Indian Cuisine. You see this a lot in the Nawabi or Moghlai cuisine. These cuisines represent the dishes made for the kings and queens of India.

I love cooking with dried apricots. I love dessert made with dried apricot, another Nawabi dish from the southern state of Hyderabad in India, Khubani ka meetha. I will share that recipe some time soon. I also love making stuffed apricots and Apricot Alomond cake.

Back to our recipe today, I got this recipe from a dear friend Harjeet, a very talented chef. I l love how he put together simple ingredients to make delectable food.

I have also been playing with food photography. I recently bought these pewter plates from a flea market, I have used them in the photo today, I love how they contrast the bright yellow tikka.

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Stuffed  paneer with khubani chutney

Ingredients:
1 lb Paneer
1 tbsp thick yogurt ( I make mine by hanging plain yogurt in a cheese cloth)
Salt to taste
1 tsp Turmeric

For the paste
2 tsp Mustard oil
1 tsp Yellow chili powder
1 tsp Deegi mirchi power
2 tsp Ginger garlic paste 

For the chutney
Khumani (Dry apricot)chopped 3 tbsp

1 tsp Cilantro chopped
1/2 tsp green chili chopped
1 tsp chopped mint
1 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Black salt
1/2 tsp Roasted cumin seed 



Methods


Apricot chutney

Boil some water and add chopped apricot and cook them for a while till it becomes soft.
 
Now add sugar, roasted cumin seeds, chopped ginger, chopped green chillies, chopped mint,black salt, salt,Deggi Mirch.
Cook it on slow fire till chutney thickens and can be easily mashed with the back of a spoon. 

For paneer 
Make paneer cubes about 3/4 -1 inch thick. Make a slit in the center, make sure you don’t cut it two pieces.
Mix salt and turmeric and coat the paneer with that mixture.

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In a separate bowl mix mustard oil, turmeric, ginger garlic paste.

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Stuff the paneer pieces with the apricot chutney. Make sure that the chutney is pushed in all the way through so each bite will get a bit of chutney with it.

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Cover this stuffed paneer with the yogurt mixture.

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Now heat a little fat in a pan and pan seared this stuffed paneer till it gets a nice golden brown color.

Close up Apricot Paneer Tikka

Close up Apricot Paneer Tikka