Sunday, July 22, 2012

Need a better camera. Spices.

Ok, So here is what I was working with. I do hope there is an asian/Indian Market somewhere in your respective villages. :)

MDH Baingan mix box : Coriander, salt, dry mango, cumin, red chili, pomegranate seeds, musk melon, fenugreek leaves, black pepper, mint leaves, dry ginger, cardamom, amomum sees, nutmeg, cloves, cassia, mace ( I would suggest simply buying the mix unless you happen to have access to all of that stuff. It's not cheating.... its just spices premixed right? )

The other bags are cumin, coriander (powders) and mustard seeds. 

Here we go : Chopped up the tomatoes of your choice. maybe a cup or two. Your choice on this. Nothing wrong with yummy tomatoes. Depending on how many potatoes you want, chopped them into small chunks. Too many potatoes means less saucy dish. Having to add liquid etc. Take your eggplants and chopped them up into cubes as well. Dice up a medium onion to the size you enjoy in dishes.

All the amounts of tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplant are relative to how much you wish to eat etc. You can tweak the amount of spices later on if you think you needed more or less because of how much you added.

Take the potatoes and boil them in a different pan. I think it works best to get them to a firm state just before you would make mashed potatoes. That way you do not have to wait forever trying to cook them in the sauce. Instead you can let them mix at the end. 

In a pan, pour a bit of oil in then add the mustard seeds. Hmm, maybe a pinch or two? ~ half teaspoon? They add flavor, however, too many and they become bitter.

Toss in a teaspoon of the cumin, coriander. I'd prolly use a table spoon or two of the Baingan Mix.

Heat that in the oil for a minute or so with the onion You just want to bring out the flavors in the spices. Please do not burn your spices! ;) It would be yuck at that point. *eek almost forgot to add that you should add a dollop of mince/chopped/grated ginger to this as well!*

Then add in your chopped tomatoes and one of those small cans of tomato sauce. I add a bit of water to it as well to bring it to a saucy consistency. At this point it is basically similar to making a marinara. 

Cover it and let it reduce down a bit. As the tomatoes break down, use your 'stir stick' to mash the chunks down to more of a chunky mashed tomato. What you are looking for is the point at which the oil starts to separate from the sauce and pool on the top. 

Then you can add your eggplant to it. If you wish, you can saute the eggplant a bit prior to adding it. It tastes great that way as well, or you can just toss it into the sauce, cover it up and let it simmer for 10-15 minutes while it breaks down. 

Somewhere along the lines here the potatoes reach a point of being 'al dente' ie firm enough to add to the sauce and eat (breaks apart in your mouth) but is neither mash potatoes nor a brick. 

Once you get to that point toss them into the sauce (I'd wait till after the eggplant is cooked) Mix it up well. If it is too dry for your tastes, add a bit more water, if saucy then good to go. :)

Aloo bindi tastes great over fragrant basmati rice or as a dish alone with bread. For ease, if you do not have naan then just toss a buttered tortilla in a pan and heat it up until it just turns golden, fold it over a couple times and toss onto the side of the plate with a heaping mess of the aloo bindi in the center!

That should do the trick!

Ingredients : Cumin/Coriander/Mustard ETC
MDH Brand 'Baingan Bharta' Spices

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