Spicy Pan Fried Eggplant/Brinjal

Remember the spicy dosa/ Uppu huli dosa a popular South Kanara dish that I had posted earlier?  The one in which the batter does not require fermentation and the dosas can be made instantly? With the batter you can makes the dosas (of course) but then with the left over batter you can make these spicy pan fried eggplants. 

Crispy on the outside, soft in the inside and coated with delectable batter, they make good side dish with rice –daal or rice –rasam, yogurt rice. The idea for this comes from “Heerekai dosa” a traditional specialty of Karnataka made using ridge gourd. It is a unique one of a kind dosa in which these rings coated in batter are placed in the form of a circle. Batter in poured in the spaces, holding it together giving a lacy appearance. 

However I prefer cooking them individually (instead of a circle) as I feel it is easy to handle and control. You can substitute eggplant/brinjal with other vegetables like potato or ridgegourd/heerekai.

Ingredients

Method

  • Have the dosa batter (Uppu huli dosa) ready. It should have consistency of thick buttermilk.
  • Take a bowl of water and mix some salt in it. Now clean the eggplant/brinjal, thinly slice them into discs along with the skin and drop it in the bowl of water (the thinner it is sliced the better).
  • Heat a griddle/tava. Take the sliced brinjals (drain the water completely) and put them in the bowl of batter.
  • Coat each of the eggplant completely with the batter and place them on the hot tava. Continue placing the coated batter brinjal on the tava until it is filled. (not too crowded)
  • Pour oil onto the side of each of the disc and let it cook. After a minute or so, turn it around, drizzle some more oil and let it roast.
  • When it has correctly cooked on both sides, take it off from tava and serve.
  • This can be eaten as is or can be used as a side dish to go along with plain daal/ rasam rice. 

 

Easy Black Eyed Peas Salad

Did you know that in the Southern United States, eating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is thought to bring prosperity in the New Year? Quite frankly I did not know this either and heard about it only recently from a friend. Not sure if it brings good luck or not, but I am pretty sure that they are good for you. Black-eyed peas are very good fiber sources, rich sources of potassium, natural sodium and zinc.

These legumes are pretty versatile. They can be used for making dry stir fry, soups, gravy based curries and salads of course.

I like preparing salads like these ahead of time so that the flavors of the dressing can marinate and incorporate with the peas and the vegetable. I make a big batch of this and snack on them when I am hungry. It is not only filling but then I feel good about what I am eating. 

The predominant flavor of this salad comes from the lemon juice, so use it liberally. Substitute the beans and veggies with your choice if you do not prefer the ones that I have suggested here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black eyed peas (rinsed and drained )
  • 1/2 cup red onion chopped
  • ½ cup chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup corn (fresh/frozen)
  • 1/2 cup bell pepper chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • handful cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp Pepper powder /crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbsp oil

Method

  • If using canned black eyed peas then drain the liquid and rinse the beans. Drain water completely.
  • Else you can soak the black eyed peas overnight and pressure cook the following day. Drain the cooked liquid (or use it for something else) and use only the cooked beans.
  • In a big bowl add the veggies first and toss it gently. Add the cooked peas, cilantro, corn and combine them well.
  • Add salt, sugar, lemon juice, pepper powder and stir well.
  • Let it sit aside for an hour or so, so that veggies soak up all the goodness. 

Corn flakes Cereal Chivda (Spicy Indian Mixture Recipe)


Chivda is a snack popular in Maharashtra and North Karnataka usually made of flattened rice/poha. The poha is first deep fried and it is then spiced with masala mix and jazzed up with other ingredients like peanuts, raisins, cashews etc. Crispy and delicious it is a wonderful tea time snack or also as an appetizer.

Referred to by different names in India, it is one of the important snacks made during the festival of Diwali. It is simply referred to as Mixture in South India

As I have said in an earlier post, the poha can be substituted with corn poha and made the usual way. You can see the deep fried version of regular poha chivda and Corn Chidva here.

In this version of Chivda/Mixture, I have used the cereal Corn Flakes and dry roasted it along with some masala mix and raisins, peanuts etc. This is quick and low –fat version and does not involve deep frying. I have adapted this from the Veg Inspirations recipe and followed her advice of making roasted curry leaves and red chilli powder for the spice mix. That makes a huge difference to the taste, so do not skip it.

You can make this day ahead and store it in an air tight container.

Recipe Adaptation: Veg Inspirations

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups corn flakes (I used this brand)
  • 1 cup readymade Boondi/sev
  • 3/4 cup peanuts (raw with skin)
  • 1/2 cup raisin (optional)
  • 3 Tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 3-4 green chillies(slit)
  • A pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 4 dry Red chillies [to make powder]
  • 2-3 red chillies (dry for seasoning)
  • 1 tsp Aamchur powder
  • 10-15 curry leaves
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste

Method:

  • Heat a small pan and roast red chillies and curry leaves in a drop of oil, until the chillies start turning darker and the curry leaves loses its green color and looks dry. Keep aside to cool.
  • Spice mix: After it is cooled, grind it in a dry grinder/spice grinder. Transfer it to a small bowl, add sugar, salt, aamchur (dry mango powder) and mix well. Check for taste, as this has to be pretty strong.
  • Heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan, add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add the hing/asafetida, 2-3 red chillies (broken), green chillies, peanuts, and raisins to this and sauté until the peanuts turns crispy.
  • Note: Make sure it is on medium flame else the peanuts/groundnuts will turn brown.
  • Add the corn flakes cereal to this and stir it well for about 30-40 seconds until the seasonings coats well.
  • Sprinkle the spice mix/ ground spice mixture in small batches and mix well.
  • Add the readymade boondi or sev and mix again. Stir on low flame for about 3-4 minutes until it gets crispy.
  • Allow to cool and transfer to air tight container.

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