asafoetida · chilli · cilantro · cooking oil · eggplant · garam masala · gelling agent · Indian · masala · medium · mustard oil · onion · pepper · salt · side dish · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · yogurt

Thinking out-of-the-box with baby eggplants ~ Achari Baingan~

Our Sunday morning visits to the local farmer's market have become a weekly ritual that I really look forward to these days. Heading out to pick veggies for the week, brings about an innate sense of responsibility and satisfaction of going the extra mile to take care of the self. The soothing sight of fresh and vibrant produce complement the hustle and bustle of the accompanying frenzy and bring back pleasant memories of visiting a busy Indian vegetable market (much more cleaner and organized though!). If given an option, I would just about buy everything that looks fresh and appetizing. It's really that tempting! But one of the challenges that I often face when I am back home, is to step out of my thinking box and try something new especially when on a time crunch. The biggest criteria being - it has to be appetizing as well as healthy and easy to cook for a regular day to day meal. Personally, I try to experiment as much as I can by trying out altogether different recipes or on some

asafoetida · bean · chickpea · chilli · cooking oil · cumin seed · curry leaves · green chilli · Indian · jeera · legume · mango powder · medium · nut · peanut · peanut oil · pepper · rice · salt · snack · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized

Ushering in Diwali with Chivda a.k.a. Chuda mixture

Being away from something that you absolutely adore makes you feel in either or both of these ways – intermittent feelings of guilt for not paying attention and/or the unnerving tinge of self- doubt on returning to doing it. At this moment I feel the second while the first has been bothering me all this while I was away from this blog. Even though I am very thankful that new and exciting experiences like organizing events, teaching a class and learning a group dance, have been keeping me away, it nonetheless kept bothering me with the question – when am I writing my next post? Well now that I am back, that answers it I guess. Having done with explaining my absence from the blog, I shall now move on to the real reason and motivation of today’s post a.k.a. the Chivda. Relieved of my responsibilities as an event planner, I was now left with the much needed space to finally think of making something for Diwali. Diwali and snacks almost seem synonymous and my first post on the series of Diw

asafoetida · chaat masala · chilli · curd · curry leaves · eggplant · gelling agent · ginger · green chilli · Indian · masala · medium · mustard seed · onion · pepper · rock salt · salt · side dish · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · water · yogurt

Dahi Baigana/ Dahi Baingan – The Eggplant/Brinjal grandeur

My irrational inclination towards Eggplant (Brinjal/ Baigana as its known in my side of the world ) has always baffled quite a few people. Need I say, I adore it! It's meaty texture and distinctive oomph stand out on its own. Be it the simple stir fry a.k.a. bhaja (a generic Odia term for stir fried dishes) or the very subtle Baigana poda usually accompanying our dear Pakhala (a very authentic fermented water rice dish). It's variations are innumerous but no matter what, it does leave behind a cherished food memory. No wonder, that Eggplant Parmigiana is usually the substitute to numerous meat dishes in the Western menu. Makes a lot of sense. All said and done, I agree to the fact that its actually quite easy to mess up this veggie when ignorant of some essentials. Some tricks here n there and we are all set! Out of all the various renditions, one very distinctive preparation is the Dahi Baigana - Fried eggplant and onion marinated with savory yogurt. It's a raita- a yogurt based dish