Eggplant curry Instant Pot

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : DEF – Curries

This week’s blogging theme is Curries in alphabetical order and for the alphabet E, it’s an eggplant curry. My initial plan was to make an egg curry in Instant Pot, but then this one sounded better to me.

Eggplant is not exactly a favorite veggie for most people. I don’t have eggplant haters at home, but at the same time no one requests for it too. But this curry changed that a bit. I have made this couple of times already since my husband likes it a lot.

I use Instant Pot a lot and so I ended up buying couple of cookbooks for it too. One of the books I use most is Archana Mundhe’s The Essential Indian Instant Pot cookbook and this recipe is from there. Every single recipe I tried has turned out great, so it’s a good book to invest if you have an Instant Pot and cook Indian food often. A big bonus with this recipe is that it’s not only tasty, but very very easy to put together too.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 8 eggplants
  • 1 big onion, minced or grated
  • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery or brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt to taste

Method:

  1. From the round end of the eggplants, cut a ‘plus’ and cut through until you are close to the stem. Keep the stem intact so that its not cut into four pieces. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, add the finely chopped onions, coconut, ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, chili powder, garam masala, jaggery and salt as needed. Mix everything well together.
  3. Carefully stuff the eggplants with the prepared mix. You will have some leftover, set it aside.
  4. Turn the Saute mode in Instant Pot. Heat oil. Add the stuffed eggplants. Turn off the Instant Pot and add one cup of water to the bowl. Slowly distribute the leftover filling on top of the eggplants.
  5. Switch to Manual mode for 5 minutes. You can let the pressure release naturally or do a quick release once it’s done.
  6. Once the pressure is released, if the gravy is runny, gently scrape the filling on top of the eggplant and add it to the gravy. Press the Sauté button and bring everything to a boil. This helps the gravy thicken a little bit more. Serve with rice or rotis.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Dal Tadka

BM #109 : Week 2, Day 1
Theme : DEF – Curries

I am back in the blogging space after a really long time. Each time I take a break, it always seem to extend it beyond what I originally meant! Anyway, here I am finally with a theme that I should have kick started last month. It’s an ongoing alphabetical theme for the year and I have chosen Curries as my theme.

About the recipe here, it’s dal tadka. I have used red lentils (masoor dal) here, but this can be made with toor dal or moong dal with the same results. This pairs well with roti, naan or rice. It’s surprising that I don’t have any recipes for dal tadka in the blog though I have made this as part of some Thalis before.

Read on for the recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup masoor dal
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped finely
  • 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1.5 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1.5 teaspoon garam masala
  • A pinch of kasoori methi, optional
  • Lemon juice to taste, optional
  • Salt to taste

For tadka:

  • 2 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon Jeera
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 2 dried red chilies
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or chili flakes

Method:

  1. Pressure cook 1 cup dal with 3 cups water And turmeric powder. Let the pressure release naturally. Keep aside.
  2. In a pan, heat oil and sauté the onions. Once the onions turn pink, add the ginger garlic paste. Mix it in and add the coriander powder and garam masala. Mix it in. Add the dal and salt as needed.
  3. If the dal is too thick, add some water, half cup at a time. Once everything comes to a boil, add the kasoori Methi and lemon juice. Mix well. Take off the heat.
  4. For the tadka, heat ghee in a small pan. Add red chilies, jeera and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds crackle, add the chili flakes or chili powder. Take off the heat and add to the dal. Serve with rice or roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Vadacurry with Idli

BM #106: Week 1, Day 2
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

The first time I had vada curry is when our friend’s mom prepared it for us. It’s not a dish I grew up eating, but the first time I had it, I absolutely loved it. I thought it was a complicated process to prepare these, but it’s a fairly easy one. First you have to soak Chana dal and then grind it fennel seeds and dried red chilies. It’s ground to a coarse paste and steamed as small vadas. The gravy for this is the common onion tomato base with the usual spices. The vada is then broken into smaller pieces and added to the onion tomato gravy.

The only difference I see in my friend’s mom’s recipe from the other ones in internet is that she keeps a little bit of vada batter aside and uses it to thicken the gravy later. In the other recipes I see coconut being used for this purpose. The smell and taste of fennel seeds here is absolutely divine. Mine doesn’t have that much fennel, so feel free to add a bit more ground fennel seeds to the gravy if preferred.

This is a typical breakfast/dinner dish and is usually served with soft thick dosas or idli. This was dinner getting packed as lunch next day for my husband:-).

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend’s mother

Ingredients:

For vada

  • 1 cup Chana dal
  • 2-3 dried red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • Salt as needed

For curry

  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds
  • Salt as needed

Method:

  1. Soak the dal overnight or for at least 3 hours. Drain the water completely and pulse it in a blender with fennel seeds, chilies, chili powder and salt. It should be a coarse paste and not a smooth paste. Remove the ground paste to a bowl reserving about 2 tablespoons ( roughly a handful) of it back in the blender. The reserved batter will be blended with water to use for thickening the gravy later.
  2. Take a marble sized ball from the vada batter. Flatten it and place it on a steamer rack. Repeat with the rest of the batter. Steam for 12 minutes. Set aside.
  3. For the curry, heat a tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onions till it’s pink. Add the ginger garlic paste and mix it in. Add the tomatoes and all the spice powders and salt. Mix everything well and let it cook until the tomatoes are really mushy and almost like a paste. You can add a little water whenever it looks dry or if the curry starts sticking to the pan.
  4. At this point, add 2 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Taste test and adjust seasonings.
  5. Break each vada into smaller pieces, roughly 3-4 pieces per vada. Add the broken vada to the gravy. If the curry is dry, add more water. You are looking for a chili like consistency.
  6. To the reserved vada batter, add 1/4 cup water and grind to a very smooth paste. Add this to the gravy and bring it to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon ground fennel seeds if preferred. Taste test again and adjust seasonings if necessary. Take off the heat and serve with idli or dosa or even roti.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week

Moong dal with Dill leaves

BM #106: Week 1, Day 1
Theme : Packed Lunchboxes

My husband’s lunchbox and my son’s lunchbox are completely different. My husband prefers rice and my son doesn’t like rice. I serve rice to my son when he is back from school and pack something light for his lunchbox. Pasta is the only thing they agree on.

Here is a sample of my husband’s lunch. I usually pack a salad or a cooked vegetable on the side, but I was out of time to do so. Dal with dill leaves is a recipe I learnt from my friend and I love it.

Read on for the recipe.

Recipe source: My friend Devi

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup moong dal
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 green chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1″ piece ginger, grated or minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt as needed
  • 1 cup chopped dill leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ghee
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Method:

  1. Wash the dal and pressure cook with the diced tomatoes, onions, chilies , ginger, garlic and turmeric powder. Add about 2.5 cups of water or until the dal is completely submerged and water floats about an inch on top. Pressure cook for 6 whistles (6 minutes in Manual setting in Instant Pot) or until the dal is cooked completely. I use pot in pot method. Let the pressure release naturally.
  2. Heat ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add the cooked dal. Add salt as needed and garam Masala. Roughly chop the dill leaves and add it to the dal. Let everything cook together for a couple of minutes. You can add more water if the dal is dry. Taste test, adjust seasonings. Take off the heat and serve with rice, pickle and chips.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this Week