I started eating aubergines quite late in my life. I will never forget the day when our neighbor aunty had made some and given to my mom. Till that time, my mom was the only one who used to be interested in the bharit. The aroma of the bharit pulled me towards it and for the first time in my life, I tasted it. It was divine! I wonder how I ever stayed away from the smoked and mashed aubergine preparation that we lovingly call bharit in marathi. There are quite a lot of variations when it comes to vangyacha bharit, but this is how I make it, in a most simplistic manner ever possible.
- 1 elongated aubergine (There is a special variety that you use for making a bharit, in Maharashtra, there is a green variety in the normal bharit aubergine, which is what I use frequently; I have used the same today)
- 5 cloves of garlic, stamped upon and roughly chopped
- Green peas, boiled, as much as you like
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 3 green chilies
- A handful of coriander leaves
To make the Vangyacha Bharit:
- Place the aubergine that is poked by a fork at several places and rubbed with some oil on a naked flame. Roast it from all sides.
- Put it in a bowl and cover it so that the outer burnt skin would come off easily later.
- When you are roasting the aubergine, roast 2-3 chilies with it.
- Grind the roasted chilies, some garlic and some coriander leaves with a pinch of salt, preferably in a mortar and pestle. If you grind in a mixer, grind coarsely, barely for a minute.
- In a pan, heat some oil, add and saute chopped garlic. To this, add the green chili-garlic-coriander leaves mixture and saute.
- Add chopped onions and saute till they become translucent.
- Peel and mash the aubergine coarsely. You need not turn it into a paste, just ensure there are no long threads in the skin. Let it be more like a pulp that a smooth paste.
- Mix the mashed aubergine in the pan and cook for 5-10 mins.
- Add salt and check seasoning, serve hot with hot bhakris/polis.
Tip: If you are a big fan of garlic, like me, you can add a bit of chopped garlic when you mash the aubergine and then mix in the hot pan. You get a slight taste of raw garlic, which goes fantastically well with the smokey bharit. I also add chopped coriander leaves as I like them a bit raw as well 🙂
Hummus with Pita and Grilled Veggies
Navratri starts tomorrow. Deven observes a strict fast for the next nine days. By strict, I mean that he survives only on fruits and milk and one light mean a day. This regime continues till 9 days after which he will break his fast on Dusshehra – an Indian festival celebrating victory of good versus evil.
Although I never fast, this period is a period of less eating for me as well. I try to make it a simple fare. This prompted me to celebrate today’s dinner by making something that we are extremely fond of – Hummus. I wanted to make hummus since sooo long but was afraid to try as I have never tried anything so foreign till date. I am not a cook-at-heart. I would rather prefer watching someone else cook and just tasting it :). Yet, here I was…struggling thru the zillion recipes of hummus online to find the easiest one!
So here it is, hummus with pita bread and grilled veggies 🙂
For the Hummus
Chick Peas (Boiled) half a cup
Garlic 2-3 pods
Chopped Parsley/Dried Parsley
Cumin Powder/Chilli Powder
Salt and Pepper
For making Tahini
Sesame Seeds 3tbsp
Salt and Pepper
For grilled Veggies
Tomato, potato and capsicum cut in thick, long strips
Just Like That
To make hummus, first you need to make Tahini. Tahini is sesame paste that is typically used in Greek and middle eastern foods. It is incredibly simple to make and rarely will go wrong!
To make Tahini
- Slightly roast the sesame seeds in a hot pan. Take it out and let it cool.
- In a blender, blend sesame seeds, crushed garlic pods, salt and pepper to make a thin, smooth paste.
- Add a spoon of olive oil and lemon juice and blend again.
- Check the seasoning.
- Add chilli flakes and mix well. Our tahini is ready!
To make hummus
- Boil the chick peas till soft.
- Blend them with garlic and olive oil.
- Sprinkle with cumin powder, add Tahini to the chick pea mixture and mix well.
- Add salt and pepper as required, drizzle with olive oil and serve with pita bread.
To grill vegetables
- Cut tomatoes, potato and capsicum (you may add the red and yellow peppers if you like) in long and thick slits.
- In a bowl, mix the veggies, add olive oil, crushed garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper and keep aside for 10 mins.
- In a very very hot pan, add a dash of olive oil and pour in the veggies + the oil marinade.
- Toss them for just two minutes till they get a grilled look and take them out.
To lay them on a plate
Place the pita bread, grilled veggies and hummus on a plate. You may split a pita, place the veggies and hummus and eat it, like I did 🙂 or just dip the pita in hummus like my husband did! either way, you are gonna love it 🙂
Couldn't resist a bite
Cold Cucumber Soup
I recently joined a new organization and as part of the weekly call, we have a fun thing going on – Question of the Week. It is basically a fun part to break the work monotony. Since this is my first week and I have already told everyone about my food passion 🙂 the question was based on food –
What is your favorite soup?
I immediately wanted to say my mom’s tomato soup – with cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon and all Indian spices 🙂 but hey, then I suddenly remembered how when we were kids, I and my sister Shilpa, used to make a cold cucumber soup. Since it was cold, it was best to make it on a summer afternoon or a hot night :). I shared the recipe and everyone loved it. So here is the most simplest recipe:
Yogurt or Buttermilk 1 cup
Salt and Pepper to taste
Coriander for garnishing
- In a blender, blend diced cucumber and garlic. You can leave it a bit chunky if you like the soup that way.
- Add yogurt, salt and pepper and blend again to give it a soupy consistency. You may add buttermilk to make it more liquidy.
- Place in a soup bowl with coriander sprigs on top and voila! there’s our soup ready 🙂
Tip: You may also add mint sprigs while blending the cucumber to make it more summery and refreshing 🙂
Enjoy this cold soup with freshly baked garlic bread 🙂
Let me know how it turned up 🙂