Monday, November 27, 2017

Gongura Eggplant Thokku (Chutney)

Have you driven around in the quiet country side and watched cows grazing peacefully on a meadow or on a gently rolling hill and thought to yourself how gentle and peaceful they look? Living in a farm is not all gentleness and peacefulness. The labor is hard and you should be able to get dirty and who knew that cows grazed all through the night?



So couple of weeks ago, our dog starting growling under his breath and his growl slowly started getting louder and louder. And then there was this cow who kept mooing bloody murder. All this at 2:00AM! So we come out to see that a bunch of these cows had found some grass greener on the other side of fence and broke through it. On this clear moon light filled night the cows could not resist the greener looking grass on the other side of the pasture while the grass on their side looked brown and worn out. Who can blame them?




Luckily our puppy dog who is a shepherding dog and DH got most of the cows to get back into the pasture behind the fence. We they got back and sighed and was just about to fall asleep the mooing started again. The cows had come back out. The wonderful moonlight did not help and the cows could see for themselves what they were missing.



This time the dog chased them and they scattered to the farthest side on to our neighbor's farm so the dog riding shotgun and DH on his vehicle took half an hour to herd them back. The next day was spent mending the fence. Just to set your minds at peace, no cows were harmed and the cows are not ours either.

Just another day at the farm!

Anyway now on to the recipe, this thokku or chutney was made over the summer when there were fresh eggplants and gongura leaves. Gongura leaves are new to me in the sense I did not know about till few years ago.



There were not readily available in the grocery stores so I started using them when my neighbor who used to grow them gave it to me and now that I grow it myself. It gives that subtle sourness that works its taste magic in a lot of dishes. Though my favorite is the chutney or thokku more like a pickle.



Gongura leaves can also be added to chicken, bitter gourd and many other vegetables. While I would just cook the chutney with just the leaves a friend told me that she adds eggplants to the chutney and it gives the chutney a different taste. Since I had plenty of eggplants on hand decided to give this a try.

The recipe in pictures,

Saute the eggplants and gongura leaves and add the spice powder. Cool and blend.
Heat oil and add the garlic pieces and add the blended paste and cook till the oil comes on the side.

The pickle stays good even for a month if refrigerated.



Gongura Eggplant Thokku
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 lb Gongura leaves
  2. 1/2 lb Eggplant washed and chopped into small dice
  3. 1/2 cup red onions or shallots chopped
  4. 10 green chilies chopped
  5. salt to taste
  6. 1/2 cup of sesame oil
  7. seasoning: mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves
  8. 4 garlic cloves sliced lengthwise
  9. Powder
  10. 1/2 tbsp of coriander seeds
  11. 1 tsp cumin seeds
  12. a few pepper corns
  13. a pinch of asfoetida
  14. a few mustard seeds
  15. '.

Method
  1. In a saute pan take 2 tsp of oil and when hot add onions,green chilies and saute till they are translucent.
  2. Add in the eggplant and saute till the eggplant is soft and mushy. Add salt.
  3. While the eggplant is cooking dry roast the spices in the to powder section one by one and let them cool, powder the spices in a spice grinder.
  4. Add in the gongura leaves and saute till the leaves look mushy. Add in the powdered spices and saute for couple more minutes. Turn off the heat and let cool and blend to a smooth paste without adding much water.
  5. Now in clean wide mouthed pan add the rest of the oil and when hot add in the seasonings. When the mustard starts to pop add in the blended paste. In low flame cook for about 15 minutes till you see oil pooling on the side.
  6. Cool and store in airtight bottle for a week or refrigerated for a month or more.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

New to the Farm - Goats!



The goats came to the farm 2 months ago. Jittery and nervous when they came. Taking a picture was almost impossible with their natural skittishness and also being in a new place.



Watch them run when someone approaches them. DD2 had her birthday a few weeks after they came and a group of teenagers terrorized them by chasing them and getting them to eat out of their hands. I guess the brave one among the four did eat out of their hand. You know which one is the boldest by looking at the pictures.



Now 2 months later they are not as jittery and are pretty cute. They always hang together and run away together.



See the brave one approach,



Close enough to even capture a beautiful picture.



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Thursday, November 2, 2017

Persimmon Tree bears fruit

Do you grow fruit trees? Then you will understand what I am talking about. The pleasure and joy that comes from being able to pick fruit from the tree that you saw grow is nothing short of spectacular like seeing your child becoming accomplished.

So here I am a proud owner of a fruit bearing Persimmon tree.













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