Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Monday night supper fit for a Vegetarian: Indian Eggplant

Monday night is a good night to chill with friends. It gives you something to look forward to and something that will help drive away the Munday-Blues. We decided to convene at my friend's pad for dinner. Since he was rushing back from San Jose, he didn't have time to prepare a feast. Something simple would suffice.

I was the first one there so I popped open the bottle of sparkly that I brought over as I watched him prepare the eggplant.

Cheese and crackers
It was also served with slices of homegrown apple which were crisp and refreshing.

Indian eggplant
This is my friend Uday's family recipe, so you know it's authentic. I love eggplants. They are rather substantial and they are a good canvas for whatever spices you choose to use. The recipe is simple and I love how it doesn't call for curry powder. In the words of guest chef Suvir Saran from The Next Iron Chef, "What makes you think we use curry powder in India?" Oh Snap!

Naan from Trader Joes (onion and regular)
Why bother making it from scratch when TJ has them pre packaged and oh so tasty. Just a simple warming up in the oven and you're good to go. The kitchen smelt of garlic and spices in no time.

Mushrooms and baby tomatoes
Another simple vegetarian recipe. Balsamic vinegar lent a sweet and tart flavor and the basil gave a freshness to the dish. I reckon this dish tastes even better when marinated overnight.

Broccoli with garlic
Simple and delicious. Garlic really infuses a nice flavor to an ordinarily boring vegetable dish. And you won't feel guilty for getting seconds.

This wasn't meant to be a vegetarian dinner per se, it just ended up that way. The eggplant was delicious and it's a rather hearty vegetable that you wouldn't even realize that there wasn't any meat at the table. And honestly, this was such a simple and quick preparation that you wouldn't have to spend the whole day in the kitchen slaving away. It's a perfect Monday night menu for entertaining close friends. And oh just for one day, you COULD be a vegetarian.

Bangan ka Bhurta
from the Mathur family recipe

1 large eggplant
2 medium red onions
2 medium or 1 large tomatoes
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red chili powder
1 1/2 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric

Fire roast eggplant or coat in oil and bake for an hour. Worst case, microwave for 15 minutes. Remove skin
Saute finely chopped onions with oil. Once they turn clear, add spices.
Puree tomatoes, then add to a saucepan and bring to a slow boil.
Add chopped or pureed eggplant and slow cook for 20 minutes
Serve with bread or paratha

Marinated Tomatoes and Mushrooms
From allrecipes.com

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
1 (8 ounce) package fresh mushrooms
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

Whisk together the balsamic vinegar, vegetable oil, sugar, salt, and pepper in a bowl; add the tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and basil; toss until evenly coated.
Cover and chill in refrigerator at least 3 hours. Stir before serving.

Serves 8

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