Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bharwaan Baingain (Stuffed Eggplants)

Here is a simple and delicious recipe for stuffed baingan/eggplant. I have used the small round variety and stuffed it with dalia (roasted chana dal) and ground and roasted peanuts, along with the other Indian spices that are used in everyday cooking.


12 small baby eggplants
1/4 cup roasted dalia
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
2 heaped tablespoons dry mango powder (amchur)
3 heaped tablespoons coriander-cumin powder
1 teaspoon fennel powder (saunf)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon red chilli powder (or more, add as per taste)
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 and 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar or jaggery
handful of cherry tomatoes (optional)
Salt according to taste
Oil for cooking


Grind the peanuts and dalia and mix all the other spices with it, including salt. Make cross slits in each eggplant, keeping the ends with the stem intact. Fill in this dry mix with the peanuts and all the other spices. Stuff the eggplants well and keep them aside.There should be about 1/4 to 1/2 cup stuffing left. Keep that aside.  Heat oil in a pan and place these stuffed eggplants in it. Cook on medium heat, carefully turning them around to brown all sides. Once the eggplants have browned add the remaining spice mix to the pan and cover the eggplants with it. Add half cup of water, halved cherry tomatoes. Cover the pan and let the eggplants cook in the gravy. Keep checking and add more water if needed, till the eggplants and spices are all well cooked. Garnish with fresh cilantro leaves before serving.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Roasted Peanuts and Sesame Seeds Granola

My father loves making Indian desserts like kulfi, kheer, and peanut chikkis. He makes one of the best peanuts and sesame seeds chikkis and laddus :)
They are soft yet crunchy, the peanuts are well roasted and he likes to add a hint of spice like ginger powder or fennel seeds. I decided to follow one of his laddu or chikki recipes and post it here. To make the laddus you have to be quick and roll them into balls before it cools. And I thought to myself that maybe I can let it sit in the pan for a while and then just crumble it to give a granola type texture. So that is what I have done here. The recipe remains the same except that I reduced the amount of jaggery to make it more crumbly and ate it like any other granola with some fruit, sprinkle of chia seeds and milk. It is delicious and  can also be eaten dry as a snack.

Some other ingredients that can be added to make the granola are
Roasted almonds
Sunflower seeds
Raisins, dried blueberries, dried cranberries
flax seeds


2 cups roasted peanuts
(I roasted raw peanuts and then removed the skin)
1 cup roasted sesame seeds
1 and 3/4 cups soft jaggery/gud
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds/saunf
1/4 teaspoon ginger powder/saunth
1 teaspoon ghee


Grind the roasted peanuts and sesame seeds into a coarse mix. Do not powder it completely. 
Take a non stick pan and add 1 teaspoon ghee to coat the surface. Now melt the jaggery, stirring continuously. Once it is completely melted,  fold in the peanuts and sesame mix along with the fennel seeds and ginger powder. Mix everything well and turn the heat off. 
It will start setting in the pan as it cools. Crumble it with a wooden spoon or with your hands once it is cool to touch.