Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Spicy aubergine curry

I didnt want my blog to be a recipe blog but I figure I can pay public tribute to my friends or acquaintances /their parents whenever I cook their recipes.

And then came my good pal Vaishali's blog about eggplant. hmmmyum!

..then came a trip to H-mart and my drooling over these little brinjals in the vegetable corner.

..then an attack of memories as I opened my recipe box. This was several years ago when I went to Austin with my ex-husband. The only thing I remember about the trip were the all day cards sessions that everyone (but me) played while I played hide and seek with my head. And Nagesh's mom's fantastic brinjal curry. That curry was a remedy to lonely blues.

So here's to a variation on Nagesh's moms recipe! Again, there's no quantity specified, apologies.

Cumin seeds
Roasted peanuts
Red chilly powder
Turmeric powder
Tamarind pulp
Onions, finely chopped
Ginger paste or finely chopped
Garlic past or finely chopped
Garam masala powder (optional)
Tomato paste (little bit)
Cilantro leaves chopped

Heat oil and add cumin seeds. Add onions. When the onions are golden, add ginger paste, garlic paste, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Fry a little, then add tamarind pulp, a little tomato paste. Add roasted peanuts. Grind the masala. Keep aside.

Cut brinjals into quarters, if you get the small ones like I did. Else you can chop the brinjals into 1/2 inch thick slabs. Salt the brinjal pieces, add a little red chilli powder and shallow fry the pieces. Drain the fried brinjal pieces on paper.

Add the ground masala to a pan and reheat. Salt to taste. Add the fried brinjals, add garam masala powder if desired and then chopped cilantro.

No pictures, but this is a yummy dish with rotis or parathas.

Chocolate truffles with rummy cherried hearts

Several of my close friends are incurable chocoholics. So when I came across the barefoot contessa's wonderful truffle recipe, I knew that Ina had her finger on the sweet beats of my chocolate loving friends' hearts. I made it a couple of times, each time leaving behind a trail of happy smiles. And then I thought of a twist for it, so here goes:

1/2 lb bittersweet chocolate
1/2 lb semi sweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons orange flavored liqueur
1 tablespoon prepared coffee
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cocoa powder
Cherries soaked in rum

Chop the chocolates finely. Place them in a mixing bowl.
Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just boils. Turn off the heat and allow the cream to sit for a few seconds. Pour the cream into the bowl with chocolate. Slowly stir the cream and chocolates together until the chocolate is completely melted. (If all the chocolate does not melt, heat the bowl over a water bath and stir till the chocolate melts) Whisk in the orange flavored liqueur, coffee, and vanilla. Set aside - you can pop the mixture in the fridge for a little while till they are stiff enough to be molded.

Spoon round balls of the chocolate mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper after adding a half a rum soaked pitted cherry in each. Roll each ball of chocolate in your hands to roughly make it round. Roll in a mix of sugar and cocoa powder. Refrigerate.
Rum soaked cherries: Soak fresh red cherries in rum, add a bit of sugar and store them in a Mason jar in the fridge. They will be ready to use after about a month or so. Remove the cherry pits before stuffing the truffles. (They are darned yummy on their own as well!)
PHOTO: Fort Collins, 2008