Masala Baigan / Eggplant cooked in spicy gravy

You  either like or hate eggplants . I happen to be one who likes eggplant. Masala baigan is one of the recipes that i look to cook. It looks and tastes special so good for cooking for company too provided your guest likes eggplant:).  Here is my take on masala baigan. I use tomato and tamarind both but you can use only tomato too but the combination of tamarind and jaggery gives this curry its signature taste.

Eggplant - 10 ( Small purple or green)
Onion Puree - 1/2 cup
Tomato Puree - 1/2 cup
Tamarind Paste - 1/2 tsp ( tamarind gives the curry a unique sweet
                                          sourness which tomato alone will not do)
Jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Groundnut - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds  - 1 tsp
Dry Coconut  - 1 tbsp grated
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Chilli Pw - 2 1/2 tsp
Coriander Pw - 2 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

1. Roast groundnut , semame, coconut on at a time.
2. Grind it together to a smooth powder.
3. Heat oil and add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute.
4. Add onion puree and cook till onion turn golden.
5. Add turmeric, coriander, chili and cook for 1-2 minutes.
6. Add tomato puree and tamarind  cover and cook till oil starts to separates.
7. Add the powder from step 1 and mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
8. Slit each eggplant three quarter of the way into 4 halves .
9. Add it to the mixture and add jaggery and  1/2 cup of water.
10. Add garam masala and cover and cook till eggplant is done.
11. Garnish with coriander leaves and  serve.

The gravy can be used to cook other vegetables too . I like to add fried Okra , Broccoli , Cauliflower and  Potato in the gravy.

I'm sending this to event  Think Spice : Tamarind   @ seduceyourtastebuds started by  Sunita  : Think spice

Also sending this to  MLLA23 @ thewellseasonedcook

Lauki Kofta / Bottle gourd and chickpea flour dumplings in gravy

Lauki/Bottle gourd is a highly nutritious vegetable . I remember my mom always using it in sambar . Preparing kofta is one of the favorite way of using this vegetable. Kofta is a north indian preparation and is made of all kind of vegetables and is a staple in weddings etc . 

For Kofta

Grated Lauki - 4 cups
Bread Slice - 1
Besan/Chickpea Flour - 1/4 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Green Ghilli -  1 tsp , chopped fine
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

1. Squeeze as much water as possible from the grated lauki .
2. Add ginger garlic paste , salt, chilli , bread and besan to grated lauki.
3. You should be able to make small balls of the mixture .
4. To get the consistency add more flour if needed.
5. Heat oil to 350 F .
6. Make small balls of the mixture and drop in oil and fry till golden and keep aside.

For Gravy

Onion Grated -  1/2 cup
Tomato Puree - 1 cup
Ginger Garlic Paste - 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Chilli Pw - 1 tsp
Coriander pw - 2 tsp
Garam Masala Pw - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Pw - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp

1. Heat oil and add cumin and fry for a minute.
2. Add ginger garlic paste and onion and cook till golden.
3. Add chili, turmeric,coriander ,salt and cook for 2 minutes.
4. Add tomato puree and cook till oil separates.
5. Add 1 cup of water , garam masala and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
6. Add fried kofta /dumpling to the gravy and simmer for another 5 minutes.
7.Garnish  with chopped cilantro and serve.

I'm sending this to  MLLA23 @ thewellseasonedcook

Rasmalai / Cheese balls in Milk Sauce

This months ICC recipe was Rasmalai. There are only very few people who doesn't like rasagulla and this cousin of rasgulla is my all time favorite. As i was a little unwell because of the change of weather i was not posting anything for a week but thought of making rasgulla cheered me up and finally ended up making it y'day but was very tired to post it and missed the deadline.But still thought of posting it anyways today.

Milk - 3 litres (2 litres for making paneer and 1 litre for making Rasa/Milk syrup.)
Vinegar- 3 tbsps
Water-5 cup's
Sugar- 16 tbsp (8 for Sugar Syrup and 8 for Rasa/Milk Syrup)
Nut of choice -10 finely chopped
Maida flour- 1 tsp
Cardamon-2 (crushed)

1. Preparation of Whey Water:

Boil Two Litres of milk and let it cool. Refrigerate the milk for 12 hours. The next day or after 12 hours, remove the thick layer of skin/ paal adai/meegada formed over the milk. Now boil the milk, when the milk boils, add vinegar. wait for a minute or two. the paneer will start floating on top and the whey water will stay on the bottom of the vessel. Now with a muslin or a cotton cloth, filter the paneer and pour 2 cups of water on it, to remove the sourness of vinegar and then tie it well and let it hang on for one hour, till the whey water drops out.

2. Preparation of Paneer:

As we have tied and hanged the paneer in muslin cloth to let out the whey water, wait for an hour and squeeze them well. remove from the cloth and shift to a broad vessel. Now just prepare the paneer, as we knead the dough for chapathi/roti, in the same way knead the paneer, for 5 minutes atleast, till you feel it dont have much moisture content in it. now add a spoon of maida flour to the paneer and make it as small small ball's remember the balls will become double in size after putting it and boiling it in sugar syrup. so make a medium size paneer ball's. with 2 litres of milk you can prepare 12 or 13 paneer ball's.

3. Preparation of Sugar Syrup:
In a wide-bottomed pressure cooker, add three cups of water and eight table spoons of sugar. let it boil. Now when it boils, add the paneer ball's one by one on to it. dont afraid of the ball's getting broken. if you have kneaded the paneer well, it wont get broked. let it get pressure cooked for 10 minutes in slow flame or for 2 whistles.
Now let the steam get out and open the cooker and see the double-sized paneer ball's. slightly press each and evry ball to emit the excess sugar syrup.

4. Preparation of Milk Syrup/Rasa:
When you are starting to prepare sugar syrup. start making milk syrup/rasa side by side. Have one litre of milk in a wide bottomed vessel and let it boil and get reduced into half of the quantity. add eight table spoons of sugar and mix well. add  crushed cardoman to it and mix well. put the paneer ball's into the rasa/milk syrup. cool it down and refregirate it.

5. Serve
Serves chilled  with chopped nuts on top.

Masala Mushroom / Mushroom cooked with whole spices

Mushroom  are not an everyday item in my kitchen but i'm slowly warming up to it. Here we get many varieties of mushroom in the market and some of them very exotic and expensive . I really want to try all of them :) and  started with the most common one . Few days back i cooked button mushrooms like i cook chicken and worked well with chappati . So thought of documenting it .
Mushroom - 2 cups , cubed into four or six piece each
Onion - one small 
Ginger - 1/2 '' piece
Garlic - 2 cloves
Tomato - 1 medium
Indian Bay leaves - 1
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 1
Cinnamon Stick - 1/2'' piece
Oil - 1 tbsp
Chili Pw - 1 tsp
Coriander Pw - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

1. Grind onion ,ginger garlic to smooth paste .
2. Grind tomato to a smooth puree.
3. Heat oil and add bay leaf, cardamom,cinnamon,cloves.
4. Add onion paste and cook till oil separates.
5. Add chili , turmeric,coriander powder,salt and cook for a minute.
6. Add tomato puree and cook till oil separates.
7. Add mushroom and mix well and cover and cook.
8. Mix light handedly now and then and let mushroom cook low and slow.
9. Switch of flame and garnish with coriander leaves.

Maharani Dal / BengalGram Dal and Spinach soup

Dals (split pulses , lentils or legumes) are staple source of protein in Indian diet . Makes delicious  soups.  One day i read a post about Chana Dal  and how good it is for people with Type I diabetes because of its very low glycemic index . Ever since i try too cook more with it . I have used spinach in this recipe but it is totally optional. 

Chana dal  - 1/2 cup
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Spinach - 3 cups , chopped fine
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Onion - 1/2 cup ,chopped fine
Tomato - 1 cup, chopped fine.
Cashewnuts - 8 
Peanuts  - 1/4 cup

Green Cardamom - 2
Black Cardamom - 2
Cinnamon - 1 '' piece
Cumin - 1 tsp
Bay Leaf - 1

Turmeric Pw - 1/4 tsp
Red Chili Pw - 1 tsp
Coriander Pw - 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Oil - 1 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp

1. Wash and soak chana dal and urad dal for 1 hour .
2.  Heat oil and butter in a heavy saucepan or pressure cooker on medium flame.
3. Add cumin,bay leaf,cardamom, cinnamon and nuts and cook for a minute.
4. Add ginger garlic paste and onion and cook till onion is golden .
6. Add turmeric, red chili, coriander pw and cook for 30 seconds.
7. Add tomato, salt  and cover and cook till oil separates .
8. Add spinach , dals and add 2 1/2 cups of water.
9. Cook till dals are well cooked.
10. I use pressure cooker and cook for 25  minutes or 3 whitsles.
12. Serve with rice or chappati with a lemon wedge and little butter.

I am sending this Delicious Dal Event @veggie platter .

Award , Thank You friends

Thank You  Krishnaveni  ,   Neetu   and  Yummyoyummy team  for passing me all these awards . Your appreciation encourages me to keep going.

I would love to share it with
Gita  :  Gita’s Kitchen,
Vinolia  :  Akal’s Saappadu
Sathya  : Samayal Corner
Meena  :  Dakshin,
Priya  :  Priya’s easy and tasty recipes
Prani  :  Pranis Kitchen,     
Jyoti : Panch Pakwan ,
Hari Chanana : Thecuisine   

Award , Thank You friends for encouraging me.

Thank You   Subhasini  and  Pranitskitchen   for passing me  these awards. Thank you guys again for thinking about me and appreciating my efforts at cooking.

I would love to share the awards with 
 Kalai : myrecipesdiary
 Ms Chit chat : chitchatcrossroads
 Sushma Malya :  authentic food delights
 Turmeric and Spice : turmericnspice
 Krishnaveni : Infoveni
 Neetu :  neetzkitchen
 Kairali Sisters  :  pazhampappadampayasam