Sunday, May 1, 2011

Aloo Baingan + Green Peas Pulao

Finally back in my kitchen after a lengthy stay in Egypt and then DC. After a month away I was craving some indian food and home cooking. I got started right away with some aloo baingan (potatoes + eggplant) and green peas pulao.

Green Peas Pulao

1-2 handfuls of raw cashews
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp black mustard seed
1 Tbs minced ginger
5 small hot peppers
1 cup rice
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
1 3/4 cup water
1/2 cup frozen peas

Sauté the cashews in a few tablespoons of ghee, then add the cumin and mustard seeds. Fry until the mustard seeds start to turn slightly grey and then add the ginger and hot pepper. Fry for a few minutes more and add the rice. Oh, but wait! The rice should be rinsed first! Fill a bowl with cold water and the rice, swishing the rice around a bit with your hand. This will cause the water to turn cloudy - a bit like dishwater! Drain the cloudy water out and repeat this process a few times until the water stays more or less clear following the rinse.

OK, now fry the rice for a few minutes allowing the grains to become coated by the ghee and spices. Add the turmeric and garam masala and mix in. Add slightly less than 2 cups of water (~ 1 3/4) and allow to come to a boil. Once things are good and boiling, add the peas and reduce to low heat. Cook covered until all the water is absorbed and the rice is nice and tender! Add a bit of salt to taste at the end.

Aloo Baingan

To accompany this fine pulao I decided to make some aloo baingan. This follows a similar route as you might expect:

2 tsp cumin seed
1 chunk of ginger, minced
several hot peppers (I used some jalapeños today)
1 tsp turmeric
1 Tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chile powder
3 medium/small potatoes
3 small eggplants
2 medium tomatoes

Fry the seeds in a few tablespoons of ghee, followed by the ginger and hot pepper. Add the powdered spices and after a few seconds, the potatoes. Add some salt here to keep the potatoes company. Fry the potatoes for 2-3 minutes on high heat. Add the cubed eggplant and cook covered on low heat until the eggplant becomes nice and is just starting to get a bit mushy (maybe 10 minutes). At this point toss in the chopped tomatoes, check the salt level, and cook a few more minutes until the tomatoes soften up.

Both of these could do well on their own. I put them together and topped it will some plain yogurt with salt and tomatoes (tomato raita)! Mmmm mmmm!

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