Monday, March 10, 2008

Eggs kobbari vepudu (eggs in coconut seasoning)

Ingredients to make this dish:
6 boiled eggs (not very hard)
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 green chili, slit vertically
1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1/2 - 1 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tablespoons freshly grated coconut meat
1 tablespoon coriander (cilantro), finely chopped
For tadka/popu: 1 tablespoon cooking oil, 2 sprigs curry leaves, 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds (optional), 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)
Salt to taste
  • Heat oil on medium heat. When the oil is heated, add curry leaves, mustard seeds, jeera. When the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add onions, green chili, turmeric powder. Stirring occasionally, saute until the onions have softened and are light brown in color.
  • Add salt and red chili powder, mix gently. Add ginger and garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add eggs, coconut, lower heat, cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cilantro, mix gently, remove from heat.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Weekend in Houston

Hidden in the middle of Houston's concrete jungle is this beautiful (green) jewel, maintained by Museum of Fine Arts, Houston is Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens. The Gardens are breathtaking. Simply beautiful, elegant and calming. We initially planned for an hour visit. Soon, we forgot hunger and wandered in the gardens for good 4 hours, yet thirsty for its beauty.

Here are some pictures I've taken.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Guthi Vankaaya (stuffed brinjal) in old-world way

Many a time, a great meal need not to include extensive list of ingredients or a complicated procedure. This is the recipe that my great-grand-aunt has always made. Two words to describe it...simply superb. Her everyday meals were made with very few ingredients and in a relaxed manner. After a day's work with farming activities, no time toiling around the stove fueled by wood. The meals she made were always full of flavor, thanks to fresher ingredients and simple cooking methods.

What you need to make this flavorful curry:

10-12 small eggplants (brinjals)
3-4 sprigs curry leaves
a handful of cilantro, chopped coarsely
masala Red chili powder (see below)
salt to taste
2-3 tablespoons cooking oil

Masala Red chili powder:
Usually, this powder would be made well in advance and then used daily in cooking.
2 tablespoons red chili powder
1/4 teaspoon dhania seeds, dry roasted
1/8 teaspoon jeera seeds, dry roasted
1 small garlic clove
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a coffee grinder or mortar and pestle, powder together all the ingredients. Dry it for few minutes (moisture comes from garlic) and blend it one more time.
How to make guthi vankaaya:
  • Pick brijals without any bugs. Trim the ends. Place them in a heavy bottomed, wide skillet. Arrange them in a single layer and pour the oil on top. Cover with lid and saute on medium heat till the brinjals (eggplants) are cooked well on one side. This might take 5-7 minutes.
  • Reduce heat to low, and turn each brnjal so that the other side can cook. Bring back the flame to medium-high, cover with lid and cook until the other side also coked well.
  • Remove from stove, cool a little.
    Take out all the brinjals from the skillet. Puncture each brinjal in the middle without breaking it into pieces. Put 1/4 teaspoon (to 1/2 teaspoon) masala red chili powder in the puncture. Close gently ( it would not close all the way...that's ok).
  • Return the same skillet back to medium heat. Add curry leaves and cilantro, salt. Saute until curry leaves are fried well. Place the brinjals back in the skillet and saute gently. Lower the heat, cook for a minute and remove from heat.
Best way to enjoy this is, mash the brinjal and mix very well with rice. Adjust salt (usually this dish will have less salt as the brinjals are roasted full). You may add a teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter). Yum!