Aloo Baingan

A simple vegetable curry with use of the most humble vegetables to brighten your day. One of my most favorite vegetable curries that comforts me.

Asian Eggplants, PEI Potatoes and Ontario grown Tomato

The soft and velvety texture of cooked and potatoes eggplants along with the slight sourness from the tomatoes makes this curry very juicy and delicious. Enjoy it along with pulao, naan or paratha.

Aloo Baingan – Potatoes and Eggplants in a tomato gravy

Ingredients:

Asian Eggplant – 3, washed, pat dried, and cut into semi-circles (you can use any variety of eggplant)
Potatoes – 3, medium sized, washed, pat dried, peeled and quartered
Tomato – 2, medium, roughly chopped
Green chillies – 4, finely chopped
Canola oil
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Roasted Coriander seed powder – 1/2 tsp
Cilantro – for garnish, finely chopped

Aloo Baingan – Potatoes and Eggplants in a tomato gravy

Method:

1. In a kadai, pour oil to deep fry the chopped eggplant and potatoes. Once the oil is very hot, deep fry the cut potatoes and eggplant until they attain a slight brown color. Using a slotted spoon remove them into a wire mesh strainer to let the excess oil to drain away.
2. In a pan, pour about 1 tbsp oil and as soon as it warms up, add the cumin seeds and let them splutter. Add the green chillies, ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, roasted coriander seed powder, salt and turmeric powder. Mix well. Add the deep fried potatoes and eggplant and give a gentle mix. Add a little bit of water and cover with a lid for 3-5 minutes. Check to see if the potatoes are done. Garnish with chopped cilantro, remove from heat and serve.

Note: 1. You can also add boiled/frozen peas to the curry in the end.
2. You can even add a little bit of kasuri methi or fresh chopped methi in the end for a different flavor.
3. You can skip the deep frying of the potatoes and eggplant and directly add the chopped vegetables into the gravy. You will have to increase the cooking time as well as add a little bit of water to aid in the cooking process. Deep frying the vegetables makes them soft and adds a good flavor.

Luv,
Mona

Tamatar ka Saalan

I remember my Ammi used to prepare all the dishes she wanted to serve at parties and events which my parents used to host during our childhood with her own two hands in her own little kitchen. Sometimes a maid would come for help when the party was large, but it was all under Ammi‘s strict supervision. She never opted for ordering food from a catering company or something like that. I have very vague memories when my mother was young and we were little kids, of the parties and the array of traditional food she used to prepare. I did not have an interest in cooking back then. I never entered the kitchen to help Ammi with parathas in the mornings or helping her with cutting and preparing vegetables on the weekends at the least. I regret, I wish I had paid attention and worked along with her. I was either busy studying, or being rebellious like a typical teenage child. It was only when I choose Nutrition as my subject that my curiosity for cooking evolved.

Today I call my Ammi and ask her on the phone of the doubts I get, but I lost the best chance of actually learning from her in action. I have learnt that sitting and enjoying meals in ones parents house is a blessing. But one should try to develop interest in all that is offered for them to learn at their parents house, from learning their mothers cooking, to the hobbies they master, to the little traditions they follow, because life while at parents house is the best time to learn from the best teachers you will ever get in your life. Parents should also encourage children to develop interest in learning to cook and teach them from a tender age, atleast so that they get in touch with their traditional activities and so that all that does not get lost with time. I am glad alhamdulillah I am able to document and preserve my family’s recipes through my blog, and this way help many young woman alongside as well.

Just like the famous Mirchi ka Saalan and Baghare Baingan, Tamatar ka Saalan is also ubiquotous to Hyderabadi cuisine. All these three mentioned curries, the perfect sides to a Biryani, have the same base gravy, with only brinjals in Baghare Baingan, chillies in Mirchi ka Saalan and tomatoes here in Tamatar ka Saalan. You can also add fish to the same curry base and you get Machli ka Saalan. I have used cherry tomatoes for the curry. Usually regular tomatoes are used which are simply cut into two halves. Tamatar ka Saalan is also referred to as Bagharay Tamatar by some people.

Cherry Tomatoes

Whenever in Hyderabad, I recommend food enthusiasts to attend high class weddings of traditional muslim Hyderabadi families in order to get in touch with the traditional Hyderabadi food which is not very easily available in restaurants or hotels. Or if you are lucky, enjoy home cooked traditional meals locally at a friends house.

Tamatar ka Saalan/Bagharay Tamatar – Tomatoes simmered in a creamy fragrant sauce

Ingredients:

Cherry Tomatoes – 8 (or medium sized tomatoes, each cut into two semi circles)
For masala paste:
Khus Khus/White Poppy seeds – 1 tbsp
Till/Sesame Seeds – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Groundnuts/MoomPhalli – 1/2 cup/50 gms
Dry Desiccated Coconut – 3/4 cup/50 gms
Coriander seeds/Dhania – 1 tsp
For gravy:
Canola oil – 1/4 cup
Yellow Onions – 3, large, each quartered into 4 pieces
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Salt – 1 tbsp
Red Chilli Powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric/ Haldi – 1/4 tsp
Cilantro/ Kothmir – 3 tbsp, finely chopped
Thick tamarind pulp – 3 tbsp
For baghaar/tempering:
Cumin seeds/ Zeera – 1 tsp
Curry leaves/ Kariyapaak – 2 sprigs
Mustard seeds/ Rai – 1/2 tsp
Nigella seeds/ Kalaunji – 1/3 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/ Methi dana – 1/8 tsp

Tamatar ka Saalan/Bagharay Tamatar – Tomatoes simmered in a creamy fragrant sauce

Method:

1. Wash the cherry tomatoes well. Discard the stalks and make four incisions, perpendicular cuts (an X) from the stem end of each cherry tomato, taking care the other end is intact. Keep aside.
2. Puree the onions into a smooth paste. Also, smoothly/finely grind all the ingredients seperately under the heading ‘for masala paste’ adding just a few drops of water if needed.
3. Heat oil in a heavy non-stick pan at medium heat and as soon as it is warm, add the baghaar ingredients – cumin seeds, curry leaves, mustard seeds, nigella seeds and fenugreek seeds. Once they start spluttering, add the pureed onion paste and mix. Cover with a lid for a minute. Uncover and keep frying until the raw smell of the onions goes away. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and chopped cilantro and the masala paste and mix well. Keep cooking until the raw smell of the masala paste goes away and you can see the paste leaving oil on the sides. Add a few drops of water if needed during the process. This might take about 5-10 minutes. Later add tamarind pulp and mix well. Now pour in about 4-5 cups of water (or less) and mix. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add the prepared tomatoes and cover with a lid. Let cook for 5 minutes. Once the tomatoes are soft, remove from heat and serve the curry along with Pulao or Biryani. (In the picture you can see that I have prepared a loose consistency of the curry. You can cook it furthur until you achieve the desired consistency. The preferred consistency of this curry is semi-loose.)

On an another note, my blog has been selected for Best Of Indian Blogosphere 2010 polls by blogjunta.com. Please vote for me here.
Thanks.

Luv,
Mona

Khare Seviyan

It has been snowing very hard here in Toronto since a few days. Everyday I get up, and draw the curtains only to see thick layers of snow on roofs, ground and everywhere. Even now it is still snowing.

source

Magical, amazing wonder, but still a pain as it needs shoveling everyday, makes walking and driving on the slippery roads difficult and dangerous, and the unbearable chilly winds. I am wishing that the sun comes out as soon as possible and I get to see color everywhere soon inshallah. In the meantime, keep warm everyone.

Capellini pasta rolls

I love to prepare khare seviyan, or sometimes a simple tomato and leftover chicken + oats soup for breakfasts as a change to the very usual parathas, idli, egg sandwiches or cereals. As the name suggests khare seviyan are savory thin vermicelli noodles cooked in a tomato based sauce. Easy to prepare, simple yet filling. You can prepare it totally vegetarian or add leftover prepared qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or even paneer if you wish. Other than enjoying it as a quick breakfast, I also sometimes prepare it as a snack or even as a packed lunch.

Khare Seviyan – Savory Breakfast Noodles
Serves – 5

Ingredients:

Canola oil – 2 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Nigella seeds – 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Green chillies – 4, finely chopped
Bell Pepper – 1, cut into thin strips (I used green bell pepper)
Tomatoes – 4, large, red and ripe, finely chopped
Leftover qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or paneer – 1 cup (optional)
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Salt – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Water – 4 cups
Capellini pasta rolls – around 300 gms, broken into small pieces (or any semolina vermicelli noodles)

Khare Seviyan – Savory Breakfast Noodles

Method:

In a large pan at medium high heat, pour oil and as soon as it warms up add mustard seeds and nigella seeds. As the begin to crackle, add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute. Add green chillies, turmeric powder and bell pepper. Fry them for about 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, leftover qimah or shredded chicken or lamb meat or paneer, salt and red chilli powder. Mix well and let cook covered until the tomatoes are soft. Add water and cover. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, add the broken pasta and mix well. Let it come to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium low and let cook until the pasta has absorbed all water. Serve immediately along with boiled eggs if you wish.

My blogger buddy Tamanna has recently announced an event she is hosting on her blog – ‘Winter Comfort Foods‘~ Classic home cooked meals that make you want to come home and whip up that favorite meal you learnt from your grandmother that gives solace when you are feeling low and uplift your moods. Especially good during this harsh winter season. So do drop by her blog to go through the details and join in the fun.
Khare Seviyan is my contribution to the event she is hosting.

Luv,
Mona

The Hyderabadi Bakr-Eid Food Festival 2010~Roundup

I have been missing from the blogging arena for quite some time now. I apologise. Inshallah I will try to get back to blogging as soon as I can. Lately been busy since BakrEid. Till then, please enjoy the round up of the delicious entries sent by enthusiastic foodies for the BakrEid 2010 event. My aim through this event is to share traditional methods of preparation of Qurbani ka gosht (sacrificed meat) in Hyderabadi households, and to showcase Eid-ul-Adha special recipes.

Thank you all for joining in the fun and making this a success. Those of you who were not able to send in your entries this year, please join us the next BakrEid when I will again announce this event on my blog inshallah, and you can all participate once again. Here are the entries:

Blogger Entries: (all entries are in order of how I received them)
Click on the recipe title to go through the recipe.

Shobha, author of Foodmazaa – Shahi Hyderabadi Biriyani.

Jyothi, author of ShadruchuluMutton and Tomato Curry

“Its a good tradition of exchanging sweets, savories for festivals. We in our apartments exchange eatables for dasara, diwali, christmas, ramzan and bakrid. On bakrid day got Qurbani ka ghost from one of my husbands friend. Made this curry with the same mutton. This is very tasty and easy to make with less ingredients. This curry is best served with rice or rotis.”

Subhorup, author of Subho’s Jejune DietMutton Dalcha

“I was the assistant for this preparation recently, but it turned out so well that I had to post this. This goes well with hot chapatis, or with basmati rice, and recently I discovered the Hyderabad combo meal of jeera rice with dalcha.”

Yasmeen, author of HealthnutKheema Tamatar

“Eid special this year is Cherry Tomatoes and Minced Lamb(Kheema Tamatar),a juicy spicy side dish that would leave any meat-lover asking for more.I know meat is the attraction of this recipe,but what makes it even more special is the garden fresh Cherry tomatoes.”

Priya, author of Priya’s Easyn Tasty RecipesMutton Pepper Roast

“I rarely make dishes with mutton and this weekend I prepared this spicy delicious mutton pepper roast by preparing freshly grounded pepper powder. This mutton roast tastes extremely delicious and fabulous with hot rice and rasam. We enjoyed having this hot spicy mutton roast for our sunday’s lunch.”

Non-Blogger Entries:

Humera, a regular reader of my blog sends:
Oats Haleem
Ingredients:

Mutton- 300gms
Oats- 250gm
Black gram dal – 1/4 cup
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Yogurt – 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Onion – deep fried for garnish
Cashewnuts – 2-3tbsp
Green chillies- 2 -3 no.s
Whole garammasala- cloves,pepper,cardamom,dalchini,
Ginger garlic paste -1 tbsp
Oil -3-4 tbsp
Cilantro, Mint – 1/4 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 2-3 tbsp

Procedure:
Wash and soak the oats and the dals separately for 15 -20 mins.
Add ginger garlic paste,chilli powder,salt,turmeric powder,oil to mutton and pressure cook it till soft.Once done,add yoghurt and mix well and let it simmer for sometimes. Later,debone and shred it and keep aside.
Cook the oats with little water along with whole garam masala,green chillies and salt till it becomes little pasty in consistency. Boil the black gram dal and chana till soft.Keep it aside till it becomes cool.
In a blender add half of the cooked oats along with shredded mutton,boiled dals and make into a coarse paste.
Take a suitable vessel,add oil, add the remaining cooked oats and then add the blended paste and simmer it on low flame.
Finally add ghee and garnish it with fried onions,fried cashew nuts, boiled egg slices (optional) and chopped cilantro,mint and lemon juice and serve hot.

And the following are my contributions to the event:

Lamb Chops

Lamb Roast

For more Lamb meat preparations posted earlier on my blog, please refer here and here.

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That wraps up the roundup of this year’s Hyderabadi BakriEid special recipes. Feel free to go through the last years Hyderabadi Bakr Eid Food Festival round up as well. Enjoy these meaty delicacies and be sure to join in again the next year!

Luv,
Mona