My Mom’s Tomato Thokku/ Chutney

My mom is a wonderful, gutsy, amazing woman. Some of my first memories of her was playing volleyball with her students, her saree tucked up. She was the first person in her village to go to college. She is a sportswoman who was a sports teacher at a college in Bangalore. She treated her students like her kids; sometimes making me jealous. She was hard working and passionate about her profession. I must have imbibed that from her. She has slowed down with age, but she is still that gusty woman. I don’t think I have ever told her this, but I am so proud of her and look up to her!

My mom

My mom never cared about cooking much; maybe with her busy schedule. However, there were certain dishes that she made superbly. There were some dishes which are not common, some of them are from Coorg, others she picked up on the way. Today is her birthday and thought I would put up one of her recipes in her honor. Happy birthday, Mummy!

My mom made a lot of chutneys. One of her favourite was coriander chutney. She also made a mint chutney to go with sandwiches. I remember her making mint chutney sandwiches to take for her students when they went for day long athletic events. This is another chutney my mom makes. It does take time to make but it stays for at least a month in the fridge. The ingredients are few, but it packs a punch. It goes really well in sandwiches, idli, dosas and methi roti/theplas. I used heirloom tomatoes for this. But any tomatoes will work, preferably meaty ones.

Ingredients

  • 3 kg ( approx 6 pounds) tomatoes, (try to get meaty tomatoes)
  • 4 tbsp salt
  • 10-12 dry red chillies (or fewer if you do not want it spicy)
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida powder
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp oil

Directions

  • Cut tomatoes in pieces. Sprinkle salt and let it sit in the fridge for a day
  • Drain the tomatoes in the colander and let it sit
  • Squeeze the juices out of the tomatoes
  • Spread it on a pan
  • Preheat oven to 200F (approx 100C)
  • Place tomatoes in oven for about an hour till it dries out. (My mom dries it in the sun)
  • Cool
  • Grind the tomatoes with garlic, asafoetida and red chillis
  • Heat oil. Add tomato mixture and fry on a low flame
  • Cook for about 30 mins and keep mixing
  • Cool and store in an air tight container
  • Stores for at least a month, if it lasts that long

Roasted Stuffed Zucchini

This is an easy dish to make and a low carb, keto friendly dish.

Ingredients

  • 2 small zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1 8oz (200 g) packet mushrooms, chopped fine
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp italian seasoning
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 2 tbsp bread crumbs + 1 tbsp chopped nuts (optional) + 1 tbsp parmesan cheese( optional)

Directions

  • Heat oven to 375ºF (190ºC)
  • Slice zucchini in half, lengthwise and scoop out the middle.
  • Wipe dry, sprinkle a little salt and pepper on it.
  • Place on oiled baking pan
  • In a pan heat oil. Add onions and garlic and stir fry till golden brown
  • Chop the scooped out zucchini and add to pan with mushrooms.
  • Stir fry till cooked and dry. Add spices.
  • Mix ingredients for bread crumbs
  • Spoon in the mushroom mixture into the scooped zucchini
  • Sprinkle with bread crumbs and bake for 20 minutes.
  • If bread crumbs start to brown, cover with aluminium foil to avoid burning.
  • Serve with tomato sauce on the side

Baingan Bharta and Baba Ghanoush An aubergine by any other name would taste as good…

This recipe was posted Jan 2018. I had served this at a dinner party with people from different parts of the world and was loved by all. Reposting the recipe again.

Aubergine, brinjal, eggplant, baingan, katrikkai, badanekai – All names for the same vegetable. This is one of my husband’s favourite vegetable and will always order it at any restaurant- indian, chinese or italian.

In the next few posts I plan to post a few eggplant recipes. Posting this recipe for eggplant dips. Both starts with ‘B’, both are roasted and have a smoky flavour, one is indian and the other middle eastern.

Baingan Bharta

This is a north indian dish usually served with roti but i served it as a dip with pita bread and it was really good.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

2 large eggplants

2 large onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

1 green chilli, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 inch piece ginger, chopped finely

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp garam masala

salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp coriander leaves, chopped

Method:

Roast eggplant on a gas stove. I stick a knife into the eggplant and roast. (I have a knife I use just for this). You could also roast it in an oven if you don’t have a gas stove. Once roasted (skin gets black), wash under cold water and remove skin.

In a pan heat oil. Add onions and fry till golden brown. Then add the tomatoes, green chilli, garlic and ginger. When tomatoes are well cooked add spices and mashed eggplant. (If you want it to be creamy, you could blend eggplant). Add lemon juice and mix.

Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with rotis as a side dish or with pita as an appetizer.

Baba Ganoush

Ingredients

1 large eggplant

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 tsp oilve oil

2 tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)

1 lemon, juiced

salt to taste

1/2 tsp cumin powder

Method:

Roast eggplants and remove skin. (as described above)

In a pan heat oil and fry garlic. (Usually you use raw garlic but I prefer to fry it a bit)

In a blender, blend the  eggplant, garlic and tahini.

Add the lemon juice and salt and mix.

Sprinkle some cumin powder and serve with pita.

Roasted Eggplant and Tomato Soup

When I saw this recipe online on Martha Stewart’s website, I knew I had to try it. If you are following my blog, you will find a lot of eggplant dishes. As I read this recipe, I knew this would be a perfect winter soup. However, I wanted to use the lovely heirloom tomatoes and fresh eggplants from the farmer’s market so made it on a cooler evening and froze some for a cold winter night. It may not last in the freezer till then though. It was all that I thought it would and more. I improvised the recipe. The recipe calls for removing seeds but I did not. The recipe calls for curry powder, but as an indian, I would say there is no one curry powder. You could add 1 tsp curry powder instead. I found some nice peppers too in the market and roasted them too with the tomatoes. I used just a bit as they were spicy. But, oh so good!

I usually salt and rinse eggplants as this removes the bitter taste of the eggplant. This step is optional. Roasting the tomatoes and eggplants intensifies the flavours.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant, washed and diced
  • approximately 3 pounds ( 1 1/2 kgs) tomatoes, halved
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 8-10 cloves garlic
  • 2-3 carrots, diced
  • 1 red chilli/ pepper (not dried) – optional
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/2 cup chopped coriander leaves/ cilantro
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC)
  • Salt eggplant and let it sit for 15-30 mins. Rinse and pat dry (optional step)
  • Add tomatoes, carrots, red pepper and garlic in one pan. Toss it with 2 tbsp oil, salt and pepper. Place on top rack
  • Toss eggplant and garbanzo beans with 2 tbsp oil, cumin, coriander and chilli powder. Add it to the second pan; spread in a single layer and place below the 1st pan
  • Roast for about 45 minutes. Toss mixture every 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and peel and discard tomato skin
  • Add tomatoes, carrots and garlic to a pot. Using an immersion blender, blend to a puree until smooth. You could add to a mixer/blender and blend.
  • Add 3-4 cups of water and bring to simmer on a medium heat.
  • Stir the eggplant mixture into the soup and cook for a few minutes.
  • Taste and add salt and pepper.
  • Sprinkle cilantro (if freezing; leave out cilantro)
  • Serve with bread (optional)

Vegan Carrot halwa

vegan-carrot-halwa

This recipe was posted in February 2017. I am reposting some of my old but true and tested recipes.

Carrot is a very versatile vegetable. You can make stir fries or curries, salads, carrot cake or baby food. When I was a kid, I was told to eat carrots. I was told that it is good for eyesight. It is very high in Vitamin A. (For more information and health benefits check http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=21).

 I was always proud of my eyesight and always thought it was because of the carrots I ate. Unfortunately, today, even with all the carrots I eat, I need reading glasses. 😦

I love carrot halwa, but can’t eat it most time since one of the main ingredient other than carrots are milk. So, I make my own. I usually substitute milk with soy milk. Today, I have used almond milk instead. Try it and let me know, how it tastes. As I am writing this post, I am enjoying the halwa, not too sweet, just right and delicious!

Ingredients:

4 cups grated carrots (around 1 Kg)

2 cups almond milk (or soy milk)

6-7 tbsp sugar (according to taste- you could add more)

1/2 cup cashew nuts

1/4 cup raisins

1/2 tsp cardamom powder

1 tbsp oil or ghee

Directions:

In a heavy bottom pan, add the oil or ghee. To it, add the cashew nuts and fry till golden brown. Add raisins and fry for thirty seconds. Remove and keep aside.

In the same pan, add the carrots and fry for 5-6 minutes. 

Add milk and let it cook on a slow flame till most of the liquid evaporates. Add sugar and cardamom powder mix well till the liquid evaporates. 

Add cashews and raisins and mix. Serve it hot or cold.

Enjoy!