Brinjal Pickle: Marking Achaar Din for Indian Food Observance Day


 

Pickling has several  connotations in many parts of the world. Very simply put it means preserving food in brine or a vinegar immersion. We find pickled foods almost everywhere, right from cucumbers, gherkins, kimchi, carrots to even meats and seafood. Now pickles can be quite diverse and can say a lot of one’s culture. For instance in most european countries picking could mean preserving the vegetables in a simple brine solution and hence tend these to be more acidic in flavours. Where as here in the Indian sub continent the process of pickling lends a complexity of flavours quite tart and mingled with sweet and spicy notes.

Pickling is an age old tradition in India, albeit a dying one due to easy availability of ready made pickles off the market shelves.I have very fond memories of my grandmother and my aunts looking forward to the summer months when Mangoes are plenty. The green mangoes especially along with a host of spices, sugar and oil makes up a delicious pickle which serves up as an accompaniment with our meals. There are various varieties of pickle here including Lime, green chillies,mixed vegetables and even meats and sea food.

Well recently we celebrated Achaar Day in India. This translates into Pickle day as a part of Indian Food observance Day here in Mumbai.This is a wonderful initiative by the lovely blogger pal Rushina. She messaged me to come and join her for her AchaarDin potluck last weekend. Unfortunately due to a prior commitment I was  unable to attend this event, However I promised her a Achaar recipe that evokes childhood memories for me and my family.

My Grand mom,Mom and aunts would often make this Brinjal pickle which we would relish as kids.With Anglo- Indian blood from my maternal genes this could well be coined under lost Anglo Indian recipes…This pickle takes me back to my maternal grandmothers kitchen where often the aroma’s of this pickle wafted through the house. I have tweaked it a bit by giving it my own touch. It’s just as good (so I think) Will have to send some across to my mom and my sister  to sample some.I’m nursing some allergies at the moment and all I can do is stare at this wonderful and easy pickle for the moment.
But I would love for you to try this recipe out. This can be eaten hot or cold and stays well for 3-4 when refrigerated.

Brinjal Pickle:

Ingredients:
1/2 kg small brinjals
3-4 pods chopped garlic
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
5-6 curry leaves
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon roasted cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 teaspoon chilli powder
5 tablespoons groundnut Oil
3 tablespoons White vinegar
2 tablespoons powdered jaggery (gur) or sugar

Method:

Wash the brinjals and cut into quarters
Add a little oil and fry the brinjals till semi cooked.
Remove them and keep aside
In the same pan add the balance oil and temper with mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
Add the chopped garlic and ginger garlic paste and fry for a bit.
Next add in all the powdered spices. and fry.
Add the fried brinjals and cook till almost done
Add in the vinegar and jaggery powder.
Cool and store in an air tight container.
Must consume within 2-3 days

Achari Aloo: Potatoes cooked in Pickling Spices

Food Like A Loving Touch Or A Glimpse Of Divine Power Has The Ability To Comfort…

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Let’s say we all have our Comfort foods.I for one crave a simple meal especially after a busy day at work,perhaps when I’m low and even especially after travelling and being away from home for awhile.It also has a lot to do with the kind of flavours one grew up on.I spent a large part of my childhood with my grandparents.My grandmother was a great cook and while meat and fish dishes were a regular  at the dinner table,she cooked a variety of vegetarian meals as well.And yes potatoes were always the family favourite.She would often make potatoes with onions and spices and this was very often made it to our lunch boxes..There are certain flavour’s that linger on and taste just like childhood.Well here is a recipe that reminds me of my grand mom’s cooking,and curiously enough, instantly transports me back  to her kitchen.Well of course food that is linked to childhood nostalgia often brings on a cooking marathon in my kitchen,partly from the incessant desire to revive traditional cooking.

I too tend to cook potatoes in different forms.While my  son loves them either as a baked potato or in a salad,the husband loves them curried with a riot of spices and onions.This is my favourite way of making potatoes which replicates my grand mother’s recipe with  a few variations. Continue reading

Zucchini Noodles: Loving My Spiralizer

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All right I may as well admit it.I’m an absolute and out right gadget freak.More specifically a Kitchen gadget freak.Travelling does that some how.An incessent and obsessive need to browse through home and kitchen stores,walk down endless aisles of supermarkets,on the look out for some kitchen gadget or house ware that would make cooking a lot more interesting.That, I do not have any more shelf space  is another story all together.Amongst the stuff that I’ve been amassing over the years are hordes of  Bakeware, Cookware,Gizmos and  various other kitchen memorabilia collected over numerous travels ,making the insides of my pantry  resemble a well stocked Kitchen-ware store.No,I’m not complaining,just overjoyed at my stash.After all having the right equipment makes all the difference.

Continue reading

Worth Switching to Fortune Rice Bran Oil: Subz Kheema with Paneer & Soya

 

 

Watermark Suba kheema

 

 

An eternal debate for me has been making a conscious and healthy choice with regards to the Cooking Oil I use in my kitchen.For many of us seem baffled with the various alternatives available on the supermarket shelves and in stores.

I for one have  been using Sunflower Oil for some time now and have been on the look out for a lighter and a healthier alternative. Having moved to Mumbai just about a year ago, I’d been following many debates on the best medium of Cooking Oil.All though  one may argue and have multiple views on this topic.I’m very conscious of the Oil used for regular cooking in my kitchen as using good Cooking Oil is of prime importance for my family’s well being.That said and coupled with some extensive research made me realise that it was perhaps time to explore using Rice Bran. And just as well,this 5 kg pack of Rice Bran Oil arrived from Fortune Foods last week.

 

 

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Rice Bran Oil is extracted from the rice husk and has some great health benefits.It is  enriched with multiple nutrients like Oryzanol that makes it extremely healthy and heart friendly. Rice Bran Oil is a new entrant in the market and soon becoming fairly popular with those looking for a healthier option.

Some key benefits Include:

  1. Cholesterol lowering oil: Heart friendly.
  2. Oryzanol: Improves HDL/LDL ratio. Healthier heart.
  3. Balanced PUFA/MUFA ratio: Cleaner blood vessels.
  4. Balanced Fatty Acids#: Balanced nutrition, balanced health.
  5. Tocotrienols & Phytostrerols*: Anti-cancer properties.
  6. Squalene: Improves skin tone and delays wrinkle formation.
  7. Vitamin E: Helps maintaining balance of nervous system.
  8. Natural antioxidants: Protection against diseases.
  9. Ferulic acid^: Stimulates hormonal secretion, rejuvenates health.
  10. Low oil absorption: Healthier food.

Information source: http://www.fortunefoods.com

Here is a super easy vegetarian recipe that I made up over the weekend using Fortune Rice Bran Oil.

Verdict:Well it’s been about a week of cooking in this Oil and I’m very happy to have made the switch to Rice Bran Oil.I personally find it much lighter than most other cooking oils’ I’ve used.It’s fairly odourless and a mild and pleasant flavour.Best of all it has a high smoking point and that works really well for the Indian Cuisine especially deep frying and stir frying.

Subz Kheema with Paneer & Soya Granules

Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 Tomatoes (diced)
  • 350 grams Paneer (Cottage Cheese)
  • 150 grams Soya Granules (Soaked in warm milk)
  • 50 grams green Peas (par boiled)
  • 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1-2 green chilies (finely chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon Zeera (Cumin seeds)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Fortune Rice Bran Oil

Directions

  1. Soak the Soya granules in some warm milk for about 30 minutes and then squeeze out the milk and keep aside.
  2. Next crumble the Paneer.
  3. In a pan heat some Oil and let it heat.
  4. Add the jeera and let it splutter and then add in the onions and fry well.
  5. Next fry the ginger-garlic paste for a few minutes.
  6. Now add in all the spices and mix well.
  7. Put in the diced tomatoes,fry well and add some water so they cook well.
  8. Once the spices and tomatoes are cooked add in the soaked soya granules and fry for about 8-10 minutes.
  9. Lastly add in the crumbled Paneer and mix well.
  10. Sprinkle with garam masala and garnish with some chopped coriander.

Disclaimer: The above thoughts and views expressed on Rice Bran Oil are part researched from reliable  Internet sources and some information derived from the Company website.The Recipe is my  initiative to promote Fortune Rice Bran Oil which was sent as a complementary sample for me to use.