Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SIMPLE PLEASURES- Vangyache Bharit / Baingan bharta /eggplant raita

I am always ready for a hot serving of vangyache bharit with Jowar bhakri. This dish has different versions in different parts of India. This is a dish that I think does not need proper measuring. You can eyeball all the ingredients and no matter how much you put, it will always taste yummy. So add as much or as little per your taste.

You will need-:

Eggplant- big not the small once
Curry leaves
Lemon juice
salt to taste
Mustard seeds
pinch of hing (asafoetida)

Here is how to make this yummy Bharit-:

  • Preheat the oven to 550 F or whatever the highest temperature your oven offers.If you have convection oven, then set it up on convection mode. That way you don't have to rotate the eggplant  half way and it will be done in less time.
  • Line a baking tray with an aluminium foil and place the eggplant on it. Keep it for about 20- 25 minutes depending on your oven. Check if it's done by inserting a knife.
  • Next thing is you want to get rid of the skin. To get the skin off easily, just slide the hot eggplant into a brown lunch bag or any paper bag and fold it's opening. Let it cool  and the skin will just peel right off with no extra efforts. Peel all the skin and cut it's stem end.
  • Mash the eggplant with your hands. See picture below.

  • Make a paste of ginger, green chilies and garlic. You can use mixer, or you can use mortar and pestle to make a paste. Keep aside.
  • Add oil into a pan. When it heats up, add Mustard seeds, pinch of asafoetida, curry leaves, turmeric and the ginger garlic chili paste that we kept aside. Saute for few minutes until raw smell of ginger garlic goes away.
  • Add diced onions , saute until they become translucent , add diced tomatoes and saute until they become soft. See picture.

  • Add the mashed eggplant and mix everything well. Season with salt as per taste. Put the lid on for about couple of minutes. Since the eggplant is already cooked, it doesn't need much time after this stage. Vangyache bharit/ baingan bharta / eggplant raita is ready. Sprinkle some chopped cilantro on top, squeeze some lemon juice as well and serve with Jowar bhakri / poli/ any Indian bread.

I am sending this entry to Walk Through Memory Lane Event hosted by Gayathri's cook spot.
Thanks Gayatri for hosting the event.


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Inspirational Award and Happy blogger award..:)

New year certainly started great for me already. My friend and a very good blogger Ashwini of Indulge- Ashcorner shared 2 awards with me and asked me to answer 8 questions about me. How nice of her to share the awards with me. I sincerely thank her for both the awards. 

Inspirational Award.jpg

About answering the questions, I have never done something like this before. But it was fun..:))

1. What makes you laugh, smile or giggle?

Everything that my little one does and talks all day long and Jerry Seinfield..:)

2. What are your dreams for your future? 

Oh...well..  I don't dream, I set goals. So my personal goal for this particular year is to get super fit and continue on the path of eating healthy. I have also set some professional as well as family goals, but I would prefer to keep them to me until they get done...:)

3. If you are going to a cruise, where would it be and why? 

I would love a cruise to Bahamas. I would like to relax and unwind on the islands of Bahamas and would love to try Caribbean cuisine.

4. How would you spend your vacation and with whom? 

At times, I want to spend my vacation with my family back in India. We have one planned very soon..:) At others I would prefer to spend with my hubby and my son. It doesn't have to be too long too. I enjoyed a lot going to Vancouver last summer for a couple of days...:) It's the quality not the quantity that matters when it comes to vacation.

5. If given a life, what life would you choose ? Your life now or your past? 

Always I will choose my current life. I absolutely love my current life and I can't imagine switching it for anything else. I am at my absolute best so far, and it's only going to get better...:)

6. Is there something that you wished before when you were young but you didn't get it?

There were a few things, but not worth a mention here.

7. Have you been in a situation where you might have given up but you still choose to move on? 

Last year was full of such situations where I could have easily given up, but I persisted and I am ripping the fruits of that hard-work...:)

I am a follower of Robin Sharma. and I truly believe his words- " Big lesson I've learned as an entrepreneur and as a human being: when we most feel like giving up is the moment we must keep persisting. "

8. Is there someone in your life who has been your source of strength and inspiration?

  • Someone who is very close to me is my source of inspiration- My husband.
  • My mother in law is my inspiration as well. I always look up to her for her management skills. She is the most honest person I have ever met in my life. 
  • I should also not forget about my friend Sneha, whom I met back in California. We were together studying Human Resources. Whenever I talk to her, it always reminds me of my purpose in life. I think it's because we both were on a same boat, figuring out what we wanted to do in our lives. Discussing our goals and our passions, is always such a fun with her.
  • Last but not the least, my son V, is my hero. He teaches me how to be calm in stressful situations and he is the reason, that I have a lot of patience in me than ever before...:) Love him..:)
  • Also my sources of inspiration are Rujuta Diwekar and Robin Sharma- really my idols!

It's time to thank Ashwini for one more award "Happy blogger Award". Thanks again for her generosity.

happy bloger.jpg

Anyone of you, who wants me to pass this (Happy Blogger)award to you, just comment on this post and I will be more than happy to share this award to you..:)

Happy Blogging!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

SIMPLE PLEASURES - Masalebhat (Spicy Rice)

A very Happy New Year to everyone!
I am sure you all had a great new year's celebrations just like I had.

I always love the first post of the new year. It's such a fresh and encouraging feeling to get started with the new recipe.

'Masalebhat' is a traditional maharashtrian recipe, a very popular menu item for almost all the maharashtrian  weddings. It is essentially rice, which is nicely blended with different kind of spices and your choice of vegetables.


Basamati rice- I used extra long grain 1 cup
Tomato- diced 1 small
Onion- sliced 1 small
Green Peas - thawed about half a cup
Cauliflower- cut into florets
Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Peanuts- a handful/ as many as you like
Curry Leaves - 5-6
2 tsp Goda masala ( you can get  in some of the Indian grocery stores, however I always have hard time finding it, so if you want to try and make your own, here is the recipe from another blog- )
1 green chilli
1 bay leaf
1 tsp red chilly powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
Pinch of Hing / asafoetida
Oil - 3 tsp
2 tsp ginger paste

Dry roast the following ingredients together , let them cool and then grind. The consistency should be coarse.
Coriander Seeds- 2 tsp
Cumin Seeds- 2 tsp
1 inch cinnamon stick
4 cloves

  1. Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, hing, curry leaves and sliced onion. Saute till the onions get nice golden color.
  3. Add turmeric powder, ginger paste and cook for about a minute.
  4. Now is the time to add the dry roast powder that is kept aside. Also add goda masala and red chilli powder. Mix well and cook for about 2-3 minutes.
  5. Now add cauliflower, salt , add some water and cover for about 5 minutes. Add any other vegetables of your choice at this stage along with the cauliflower. You can add potatoes, carrots, green beans etc. Don't add the peas just as yet.
  6. Add the soaked rice, and then add peanuts, water, tomatoes, and salt to taste. Cover the pan and cook on high for 5 minutes. Add twice the water of the rice, 2 cups in this case.
  7. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for about 15 minutes. 
  8. After turning the stove off, let it rest for a minute or two. 
  9. Add the peas on top of the rice and give it a good mix.
  10. Garnish  with shredded coconut and cilantro.
There it authentic masalebhat is ready.