With all that is going on right now, the calmest and the happiest thing to do right now is to be in the kitchen cooking with garden fresh vegetables. With the temperatures falling, the garden is starting to sport a forlorn look. If only I can prolong it by a bit with some Fall vegetables. I should have started earlier I guess.
I am also on the look out for vegetables and greens that might survive through the winter outdoors in the North East. I don't know any and it would be great to find a few and fresh vegetables in the winter. What would be suitable for a container garden indoors?
I might have just harvested the last of the brinjals for this season though I still see a lot of buds and flowers. The curry I chose to make with them is Indira's Bagara Baingan (Nune Vankaya Kura) This would be an entry to Zlamushka's Tried and Tasted event. This has since become one of my favorite ways of cooking brinjal. I have cooked them stuffed or just added the brinjals to the sauce. Both are tasty.
Indira's love and appreciation for food and its preparation comes through in each and every one of her recipes. Though I have tasted and relished Andhra food, never actually cooked them the traditional way till I stumbled upon food blogs and Mahanandi in paticular. The majority of the dishes are similar to what is cooked up in Tamilnadu but the recipes are slighty different. Besides peanut chutney, I have never really noticed peanuts being used for sauces in TamilNadu cuisine. The peanut based sauce especially for brinjals is like a match made in heaven. Since I did not have enough brinjals added a few fresh banana peppers given by DDs piano teacher, harvested from her garden. They added a lovely color to the dish as well.
Serves : 4-6
1. Purple, White small brinjals 15-20 (mine were tiny) - slit but not cut in two
2. 4-5 Banana Pepper cut into rings and the seeds and fiber removed
3. 1/2 red onion chopped fine
4. seasoning: mustard seeds and curry leaves
5. tamarind a small lime sized soaked in water
6. 1 tsp jaggery
For the Paste
1. 1 1/2 tbsp of peanuts
2. 1/2 tbsp of channa dal
3. 2 tsp of split urad dal
4. 3 dried red chilies
5. 1/2 tbsp coriander seeds
6. 1 1/2 ts cumin seeds
7. few pepper corns
8. few methi seeds
9. 1 tbsp grated coconut
Dry roast ingredients 1-8 and heat the coconut for a bit and then blend together into a paste
1. In a heavy bottomed pan/ kadai/pressure cooker heat oil, add the seasonings and the onion and saute till translucent
2. Add the slit brinjals and saute till they start getting black spots on top. Add the bell peppers
3. Now add the blended paste, along with the tamarind and about a cup of water and let it cook for a bit.
4. Add salt and close the lid and cook for a whistle if in pressure cooker/ or cook till the brinjals are soft and cooked completely.
5. Open and let it cook if too watery, add the jaggery and turn off the heat.
Tastes best with rice but goes well with rotis as well.