Saturday, September 25, 2010

Burnt Eggplant in Coconut Chutney

This is one side dish that comes into my mind instantly when I see eggplant! I used to dislike this veggie earlier, but now with a wide variety of dishes that can be prepared with the eggplant, I actually started liking it. This is quite easy to prepare - cook the eggplant on stovetop till the outer skin is burnt, after which the skin is removed and the inner part is added to a ground coconut chutney. Tastes great with chapathis, rottis, esp Ubbu rotti, and even with rice.
Burnt Eggplant in Coconut Chutney

Preparation time : 5 min
Cooking time : 15 min
Serves : 4

Eggplant - 3, medium sized, preferably purple ones
Coconut - 1 cup, grated
Green chilies - 5-6, depending on taste
Channa dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Coriander leaves - 1 Tbsp, chopped
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Jaggery - a small pinch (optional)
Tamarind - a small marble sized ball
Salt - ½ tsp or as per taste
Turmeric - 1 pinch
For Tempering:
Cooking oil - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A few sprigs
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafetida - a pinch, powdered

• Wash the eggplants, make sure there are no holes on the outer skin, which means there might be bugs inside
• Smear a few drops of oil over the eggplant
• Switch on the gas and place these eggplants directly over the flame
• Turn it around every now and then and ensure an even blackening of the outer skin. This will take around 2 minutes per eggplant.
• Poke the back of a spoon or a knife to check if it is cooked soft inside.
• Repeat this for all the eggplants and set aside to cool
• Meanwhile, roast green chilies, curry leaves and chana dal in a few drops of oil till they change color
• Grind the above with coconut, turmeric, salt, tamarind, jaggery, coriander leaves, adding a little water if needed
• Transfer the ground chutney to a serving bowl
• Once the burnt eggplant is cool enough to handle, peel the outer charred skin. A thick layer comes out easily.
• Mash this slightly or cut with a knife to get small pieces
• Add it to the ground chutney and mix well
For tempering / tadka:
• Heat the oil in a pan, add mustard and allow to splutter
• Add curry leaves
• Garnish with tadka

Tips n Tricks:
• Do not make the chutney too smooth – a little coarse consistency will give a better taste
• You can just bake the eggplant in oven too. But make sure to prick some holes all over, to prevent it from bursting inside the oven!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ubbu Rotti - Rice flour roties

Where was I all these days? Well I was right at home and at office but too tied up with lots of work and expectations. Well, the last month - Shravana masa as we call it will generally be quite hectic with me, with all those poojas and festivals. Though there were quite many special dishes cooked, I didn’t have any energy or enthu to click and blog. So just stayed back from blogging. Now here I am, back in full swing!
Coming to today’s dish, we have what we call Ubbu rotti - a roti made of rice flour, which just puffs up like poori when making, and is very soft and melts in your mouth. Not very difficult to make, though requires a little more time than the usual chapathis or so, but its really worth a try.This tastes great with some chutney, vegetable palya, esp any side dish made of brinjal/eggplant. The side dish recipe will soon follow.

Ubbu Rotti

Preparation time : 20 min
Cooking time : 20 min
Makes : 8-10

Rice flour - 1 ½ cups + for dusting
Water - 3 cups
Salt - ½ tsp, or as per taste
Cooking Oil - 2 tsp

• In a heavy bottomed pan, boil water by adding salt and a few drops of oil
• Once water starts boiling, add rice flour and let it remain for 10 minutes on medium low flame
• At the end of 10 minutes, take a strong ladle and continuously stir, avoiding lumps
• Cook for a couple of minutes more. The resulting dough should be similar to that of papad dough - soft, but non sticky
• Let it cool for a couple of minutes so that it can be handled
• Divide the dough into 3-4 parts and knead it well, smearing a few drops of oil. See tips and tricks below for easier ways.
• Once the dough is kneaded well into a soft but firm dough, take big small lemon sized balls and roll it using rolling pin like a chapatti/roti. Use a little amount of rice flour if it feels sticky
• Heat a griddle on high flame and cook the rolled rotti on both sides by flipping. Ensure not to brown the rotti. Appearance of light brownish spots indicates that it is done.
• Repeat the same with rest of the dough
• Serve hot with some palya/gojju/chutney

Tips n Tricks:
• To avoid your palms getting burnt while kneading the hot dough, fill it in thick polythene and cover it in a towel / thick cloth and knead it over it. This way a smooth and soft dough will be ready in a jiffy
• It is easy to knead the dough when hot rather than juggling it when it gets colder
• Knead it, make into balls before you start rolling. This saves time and effort, and it gets easier to roll and then cook simultaneously
• The better you knead, the easier it is to roll. If the dough is not kneaded well, while rolling the rottis start cracking and gets difficult to handle

• The same can be prepared with fine soji or maida instead of rice flour. But the one with rice flour is a far healthier one.